Men, it’s time to stop ignoring common health issues
Talking about health-related issues is never an easy task; whether through fear, embarrassment or pride, many people often choose to turn a blind eye to potentially serious illnesses. Needless to say, men are no exception to this – in fact, in many instances men are more likely to leave an ailment untreated.
With Men’s Health Week taking place this week, Pharmacy Outlet has surveyed 1,000 men across the UK to uncover exactly which conditions they are refusing to see a doctor, GP or pharmacist about. We found that one of the most commonly untreated issues is erectile dysfunction – 20% of the country’s male population said they have had problems with erectile dysfunction, yet 53% of this group has not sought professional medical help.
Other issues men are ignoring include piles and worms. With nearly a third of all men saying they have had piles, a massive 43% of sufferers also admitted to doing nothing about the condition. Similarly, worms – a problem for 13% of men – was left untreated by 54% of sufferers.
Even when looking at some of the more common ailments men experience, it is concerning to see a reluctance among the male population to seek advice or treatment. Constipation and diarrhoea are perfect examples; 59% of men say they suffer from these issues, yet over two-thirds (68%) of this group choose to do nothing about it.
These statistics are worrying for several reasons. Firstly, these conditions can all cause significant and prolonged pain for men – as such, they must put aside any notion they may have about the condition not warranting medical attention or, if it’s their pride holding them back, they must overcome embarrassment about having to admit the symptoms and seek help. For each of these common ailments, there is a broad range of potential treatments and medications on offer, many of which can be obtained through a high street or online pharmacist without the need to see a doctor or GP first. With solutions often readily available, there is no reason for men to suffer in silence with any discomforting illnesses, however big or small.
But there is a more pressing reason why men must not leave even common conditions untreated: in some cases, they can be the cause or result of something far more serious. For example, while typically a result of stress, erectile dysfunction can actually be a sign of more severe underlying health issues, such as a neurogenic, hormonal or anatomical abnormality. Likewise, if someone regularly suffers from diarrhoea then not only could they drastically lose weight or become dehydrated, but there is also a chance it is resulting from problems in the stomach or bowels.
It is absolutely essential that any man suffering from health-related issues, particularly persistent ones, seeks advice or treatment from a pharmacist, doctor or GP. By improving education and awareness surrounding common illnesses, we can help men and women alike overcome embarrassment, fear and pride, instead encouraging a more proactive and open approach to seeking treatment for medical concerns.
This is a guest article from Hitesh Dodhia, Superintendent Pharmacist, Pharmacy Outlet