By Enyeribe Ejiogu
It has been 12 years since Joseph Ibezim, a journalist and editor of Infrastructure Quarterly Magazine, lost his beloved elder to the cold hands of death. However, the pain of the loss has not fully gone away. It ticks up occasionally when the issue of one not caring for one’s health comes up. “Today, one thing that gives me joy is that my late brother’s son is about to graduate as a medical doctor. The second son will become a lawyer in a year while his youngest child and only daughter just got admission into the university. Nonetheless, I would still have preferred to have him around to enjoy the progress the children he worked himself so hard to provide for are making. But then, can we question God,” he says, with resignation.
Ibezim frets about health issues, particularly when he sees men who show a macho attitude about health and somehow live in denial of reality, as if recognising the fact would make them less masculine. Such men, in a very real way, ignore taking adequate steps to care for their health. It is commonly said that prevention is better than cure and a stitch in time saves nine. So, what are the things men do that show them as not taking good care of their health? Continue reading, to learn more…
Ignore the doctor
You already know you need to shed weight, cut back on beer consumption and your love for junk foods. But you just believe you are fine. Men are geniuses when it comes to finding reasons not to see the doctor. But one of the most important things you can do for your health is schedule and show up for a regular visit.
Think you can’t have a heart attack
The “Big One” is something most men worry about for their dad or granddad. But the threat is often there for much younger men. If heart disease runs in your family, it could find you as early as your 30s. No matter what your age is, make it a point to take care of your ticker – you know, the heart.
Ignore the snore
Do you saw logs at night? About half of men who snore have something called obstructive sleep apnea. It does more than just annoy the person next to you. This disorder can make you stop breathing for a few seconds. It’s also linked to heart disease and high blood pressure.
Refuse to get help for impotence
Don’t be ashamed. Bedroom problems have nothing to do with your masculinity. Chances are they aren’t caused by your state of mind, either. The main cause of impotence is usually a lack of blood flow to the penis. This can also be a sign of heart trouble, so put your pride aside and see the doctor. Got it?
Drink away the blues
More women than men get depressed. That’s part of the problem – the idea that it’s a “female problem” often keeps the more than 6 million men who have it from seeking help. As a result, more men turn to drugs and alcohol to help them feel better. This just makes depression that much harder to spot and treat.
Go with the flow
How many times have you gone to the bathroom today? Really, who has time to keep track? Maybe you should. If you go more than eight times a day or more than twice at night, it could be more than a nuisance. It could be a sign of a medical problem like enlarged prostate, overactive bladder (OAB), or even some forms of cancer. Talk to your doctor about it. Do it today, don’t delay one day longer.
Keep your mouth shut
In Nigeria as it is the United States and several other countries around the world, women are more likely than men to go to doctors for medical check-up. They are also more likely to go for routine dental check-ups. But the fact is that men need to regularly see the dentist too. Not only because dentists can spot and prevent oral problems, but sitting back in a dentist’s examination chair and saying “ah” can also reveal symptoms of things like diabetes, Crohn’s disease, lupus, and even leukemia.
Stick with suya and other meat products
Studies have shown that many men do not as a practice eat enough fruits and vegetables a day. Doctors advise that eating adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables as part of the daily diet is very good for the heart and keeps it healthy. If that’s not enough, eating the good stuff also lowers the odds that you’ll have a stroke, cancer, or digestive problems. And it keeps your blood sugar in check.
Some men just love to drink, smoke, gamble, drive fast as if they soend much time watching Fast andf Furious movie series. Sure these things are fun, but all of them can be bad for your health. Truth is men are more likely than women to do all these things. Why? Some men do drink more, which messes with their judgment. Others just spend less time worrying about the outcome of their actions. Sometimes, it pays to think twice.
Dear Nigerian Men, as Agatha Emeadi would often end her Sunday Sun back page opinion, please get real, quit being macho and go see a doctor today. Do it for the sake of your wives, children, close relations, who will terribly miss you if you suddenly kick the bucket. Got it?
• With additional material from webmd.com