Research shows that men tend to visit their doctor less than women, skip annual checkups or delay getting medical help when they need it. Many men ignore symptoms that could be an indicator of cancer and other disease.
For this reason, we chose Men’s Health as the topic for the latest in CTC’s Safety Series Seminars which was held Tuesday, 28th November in the Hugh Hamilton Conference Room.
Three presenters shared their knowledge about major issues impacting on men’s health. First up was Phil Hortz, Field Officer with Mates in Construction who shared sobering statistics about the suicide rate among Australian construction workers. Mates in Construction is a charity established in 2008 to reduce the high level of suicide among Australian construction workers. Their model uses training as a tool to raise awareness of the problem and empowers everyone can be part of the solution. Support is provided by offering clear pathways to professional help, case management processes and on-site visits by field officers.
Next up was Phil Diver, CEO of The Construction Training Centre whose talk focused on the psychological and physical impacts of stress and gave pointers on how we can become a master of stress in our lives using simple but effective techniques such as breathing exercises, mindfulness and power-posing.
Phil is available to deliver this insightful talk in your organisation. Just contact us to arrange.
Our keynote speaker was Dr Tariq Ali from SMG Health. Dr Ali is a highly respected medical practitioner and dentist who recently immigrated to Australia from the U.K. He focused on the vital information men need to know about managing their health.
He said men are less likely to admit to experiencing emotional stress or to visit a GP without being prompted. They are more likely to remain in denial about their health, eat processed foods, exercise less, drink alcohol in excess, smoke, use illicit drugs and engage in other risky behaviours.
Dr Ali focused on the main issues for men, starting with cardiovascular disease and the “deadly quartet” of diabetes, hypertension, obesity and dyslipidemia (the abnormally elevated cholesterol or fats (lipids) in the blood).
He noted that the impact of diabetes is often underestimated. People know that diabetes is a disease of abnormal carbohydrate metabolism, characterised by hyperglycaemia but they may not be aware of other effects such as increased susceptibility to infections, poor wound healing, peripheral nerve damage, microvascular damage and ultimately end organ damage.
He discussed the merits of adopting a Mediterranean diet and exercising regularly to manage weight and prevent lifestyle diseases.
Cancers that affect men include bowel, prostate, testicular, skin and lung cancer. 1 in 3 Australian men will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 75. It is important that men visit their GP when they notice something unusual because it might be an indicator of cancer. They should also schedule regular cancer screening tests.
Dr Ali finished by using the analogy of motor vehicle maintenance and your health. Some people, when they notice something wrong with their car,will immediately take it into their motor mechanic for repair, while others wait and then the problem becomes expensive to fix. The same can be said for your health. He said if men invested in their “Health Superannuation” they had more chance of living longer. Key areas of investment are:
- Cardio-respiratory reserve
- Hepatorenal reserve
- Core muscle strength
- Bone mineral density and carriable muscle mass
- Mental agility (learning skills in later life)
- Stress (easing off the accelerator)
- Good social network
- Good dental and skin health
To hear more, click on the link to our podcast where you’ll hear Dr Tariq Ali and Phil Diver discussing the key issues around men’s health. Men’s Health Podcast with Dr Tariq Ali.