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Checking men’s health

Men's Health Week and beyond...

It is a widely known belief that men are more reluctant to discuss health issues and visit a doctor than women. Now research is showing that this is indeed the case; men go to the doctors 20% less than women not because they are overall healthier but because they just don’t like visit the doctor.

High street pharmacist Boots are now getting involved in this and to start things off, they are launched a Men’s Health Week (June 15th to 21st) to encourage men to take control of their health issues by simply visiting their local pharmacist.

Boots say that generally men don’t realize that many simple health issues can be addressed by their local pharmacist, especially with issues such as erectile dysfunction and hair loss.

They say that local pharmacies are generally open for longer than doctor’s surgeries and health advice and treatment is available without the need for a pre-booked appointment. Men can get the information they need at a time that suits them - without having to take time off work and without the normal build up to a doctor’s appointment.

Discussing health concerns can be an especially daunting prospect for men, but certainly at Boots, you can be offered personal and private consultations with both male and female pharmacists, meaning men can feel confident about discussing any concerns with a qualified healthcare professional in private.

Boots Pharmacist Tom Kallis told Laterlife that many men do not realise that their local pharmacist can help them to understand and treat their health issues. “We see lots of men in store who have booked GP appointments to speak to a doctor about sexual health concerns, but then cancelled them as the build up to the appointment has proved to be too much,” he said. “Issues like erectile dysfunction, which many men are embarrassed about are actually more common than most people think, and in the first instance there are treatments and solutions available in-store, which can be prescribed and/or bought over the counter, to help men who don’t have time to or don’t want to go to their GP.‘

It seems women are often the ones that encourage the men in their lives to take better care of their health. Tom Kallis has also provided some helpful tips on how women can raise the subject with their man and encourage him to take control of his health during Men’s Health Week or indeed in the future.

  1. Get into his mind set - when it comes to their health, a lot of men think they are invincible. So when a health issue does occur, they can be quite worried, fearful and in some cases, really embarrassed. It’s important to recognise these feelings beneath the bravado and nonchalance, so you can address the issue in the right tone.

  2. Pick the right moment - let’s face it, bringing up concerns about your partners health in the middle of an argument is only likely to make matters worse. Picking a time that is right and creating a reassuring environment is key. For example, with sexual health issues, a lack of eye contact can actually help to reduce embarrassment or awkwardness so raising the issue when out for a drive in the car for example, could work well. Although you’re sitting together and able to have a conversation, one of you needs to keep your eye on the road so can legitimately avoid eye contact and reduce the awkwardness of the conversation.

  3. Coax, don’t push - try to coax your husband or partner into talking about their health concerns first, rather than telling him what you think. Encouraging him to say what he is thinking and feeling out loud, can help him to realise the situation is real and needs to be seen to. By showing that you’re listening, you can then help and influence him make a decision to take action.

  4. Don’t take it personally – if you’re partner has lost interest in sex and perhaps avoids intimacy, or maybe doesn’t want to talk to you about their health concerns - try not to take it personally and/or jump to conclusions! Instead take it slowly and try to find a way to approach the subject.

While Boots is providing special information during Men’s Health Week, their instore services by trained pharmacists are available all year round. In addition. Boots is also offering online assistance to provide information and support men with their health needs. Visit www.BootsWebMD.com

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