It’s a well known fact that the average man pays less attention to his health than the average woman. Compared to women, men are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke, make risky choices and not see a doctor for regular checkups. Men have 4% more brain cells than women and about 100g more brain tissue but somewhere between 18 and 26 weeks into a pregnancy, a male baby’s hormones (testosterone) kick into gear causing a bundle of nerve fibres, which connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain, to disintegrate.
As a result about 85% of men end up being left-brained or task orientated. Men tend to be better at analysing systems whilst women, who have more connections between brain cells, are better at reading their environments and other people’s emotions. Due to the female hormone oestrogen, more nerve fibres grow between the hemispheres in the womb in a female baby which leads to the hemispheres interacting and processing information together.
Research has also found that men can think about nothing! In fact when they are resting, 70% of the electrical activity in the brain shuts down, leaving only 30% functioning to keep them alive! An American neurophysiologist also discovered that when a woman is resting, her brain is still functioning at 90% activity… Now there’s a thought to ponder ladies!
Men are affected by the same chronic lifestyle diseases as women—heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, depression and neurological diseases. These are all driven by high levels of inflammation in the body. However men also have unique issues such as prostate cancer and benign prostate enlargement. Did you know that 1 man in 5 dies before the age of 65 and that 2 men in 5 die before the age of 75?
Men (and women) are sicker now than 50 years ago and this is mostly due to the increased levels of inflammation in the body which come from eating a highly processed diet, not eating enough vegetables and fruit plus high levels of stress etc. In fact since the 1970s, viable sperm counts have fallen by almost two thirds (1970: 338million/ml; 2010: 138million/ml) a 59.3% decline. What does that say about the continuation of the human race? We have to address these issues now and fast.
One of the important numbers for a man to know is his waist-to-hip ratio. Measure your waist and hips with a tape measure, and then divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement. The answer should be no more than 0.9. (For a woman it’s 0.8). According to the WHO, a waist-to-hip ratio greater than 1 is indicative of a higher than normal risk of developing heart disease.
Here are a few more numbers for men:
- Eat 8 portions vegetables a day (a portion is a fistful)
- Eat 2 portions low sugar berries a day
- Drink no more than 14 units alcohol per week (considerably less if your W/H ratio is high)
- 130/80 is normal blood pressure (used to be 120/80)
- 75% of suicides (3 out of 4) are by men
- 48,500 new prostate cancer cases in the UK every year
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in males in the UK
Many of the major health risks that men face can be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle: regular exercise, a healthy diet, not smoking, reducing stress, and low alcohol consumption. Make the most of regular checkups and don’t dismiss screening tests as if they aren’t necessary. Get your PSA levels checked if you are an older man and do the bowel cancer stool test which is sent to the over 60s every 2 years. These tests can spot disease early, when it is easiest to treat. Prevention is far better than the cure! A lack of symptoms does not equal health! Sons make sure that your Dad is looking after himself.
Don’t be the average Joe Bloggs — be pro-active in protecting your health today.
Get your Man MOT at: www.menshealthforum.org.uk
Find me at www.thegenuinelivingcompany.com or 07961 990087.
Winner of Most Dedicated Nutritional Therapist-Surrey Award for Excellence in Naturopathy 2020 in the Lux Life Health & Wellness Awards.