Men’s Health Matters

Topics on men’s health are not often heard. Hence, the Rotary Club of Greentown took the matter upon themselves and organised the forum, “Men’s Health Matters” to shed light on this murky subject.

With an eye on improving the awareness and attitude of people on the subject, the president of the Rotary Club of Greentown, Sangari Krishnan believes men’s health has to be brought to the spotlight to encourage people to come forward and seek help before it’s too late.

The talk covered various topics relating to men’s mental and physical well-being. Men are just as human as women and they can fall sick too. But many of them have resorted to resolving their issues on their own. What we really need to look at is lifting the stigma of feeling ashamed and the fear of being judged.

Some of the insightful highlights were psychological changes in men, prostatic health, effects of muscle aging in men, male menopause, as well as empty nest syndrome.

Both consultant psychiatrist of Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta, Dr. Arunakiri Muthukrishnan and primary care physician of Clinic Manalan, Dr. Jananee Muniandy, urged men to seek help when feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope. In today’s world, help is more readily available, yet many are still apt to dismiss their help; preferring to fight silent battles instead.

Many of the health risks that men face can be avoided with a healthy lifestyle. Health experts warned us to steer clear of unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, physical inactivity, and having a poor diet.

Another significant contributor of ailments among men apart from destructive behaviour is late diagnosis. Early detection can make a real difference in a person’s life.

Consultant urologist of Pantai Hospital Ipoh, Dr. George Choo Eang Leng, told the group that more than half of the people who have cancer are diagnosed late. The delay in treatment puts them at higher risk of death.

Prostate is part of the male reproductive system that tends to enlarge as a man ages. The size change in the prostate can pose adverse effects to men, and in some cases, it becomes cancerous.

Enlarged prostate will narrow the urethra causing difficulty in urinating. “When urine accumulates in the bladder, it creates pressure in the kidney, which for the long haul, can alter kidney function and increase risk of infection. Besides that, nocturia is also a common condition that plaques men as they age. This condition causes one to experience frequent urination at night and affects the person’s sleep quality,” he said.

Consultant physician and geriatrician of Pantai Hospital Ipoh, Dr. Harnek Singh Badeshae, told us something most of us are unaware of, that ageing changes the body shape of a man.

According to the geriatrician, men grow bigger when they reach 40 due to the loss of muscle mass. “Muscles turned into fat, take into account that sugar is stored in muscle, and the process accelerates faster than women. Men lose at least eight percent of muscle when they age. The muscle loss will affect men’s bodily function, like strength, stability and maintenance of posture.”

Primary care physician of Klinik Manalan, Dr. Monesh Pillai then touched on male menopause. The term ‘menopause’ is often associated with women, but men experience menopause just like women do. “Male menopause is not a myth. People have to reset the way they view the condition as doing so may help people to come forward and seek treatment.

“Male menopause occurs when a man gets older. The condition is closely linked to declining testosterone levels and may affect their mental well-being, such as experiencing lethargy and feeling dispirited,” he explained.

Health screenings can help you lead a happy and healthy life.

by Gisele Soo

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