August 20, 2008

Are You Man Enough?

TRADITIONALLY, Scottish men have had the strong, silent approach when it comes to their own health.

While always ready to treat a head cold as a terminal illness, they can also show an infuriating disinterest in taking a preemptive approach to good health - very often not willing to bother their doctor with what might be a minor problem.

Some topics are guaranteed to give the coolest of characters the heebiejeebies - such as testicular and prostrate cancers, or sexually transmitted diseases - but the hard truth is that these conditions are exactly what men should be aware of.

It only takes minutes to recognise normal testicle shape, or be aware of your usual bladder habits - so any changes can be noted immediately.

It's a similar story with sexual health, where simple but unbreakable rules such as always using a condom can keep problems at bay.

Be aware, both physically and mentally, of how you're doing, and don't try to forget your problems in the hope they might go away.

No matter what area of men's health concerns you, the smartest thing you can do is be well-informed, and take care of yourself, which also includes regular blood pressure and cholesterol checks.


In its early stages, prostrate cancer often does not cause symptoms. But when they do occur, they may include any of the following problems.

Difficulty in urinating

Delays in urinating

Stopping and starting urinating

A weak stream of urine

Urinating more often than usual

Blood in the urine

Pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips

It is vital that any man suffering from any of these symptoms should see their doctor as soon as possible so that the cause can be diagnosed.

If something other than a prostrate problem is causing the symptoms then it means peace of mind that bit earlier, and if they are caused by prostrate cancer it ensures the earliest treatment possible, which obviously has significant bearing on thelong-term prognosis.


Testicular cancer is the most common cancer amongs young men between the ages of 20 and 35, although it can develop in boys as young as 15.

Between the ages of 15 and 50, about one man in every 500 will develop this problem, and currently about 1600 men a year develop the disease in the UK.

More than 90 per cent of testicular cancers can be cured if caught at an early stage.

The symptoms may include:

A lump in either testicle Any enlargement of a testicle A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum A dull ache in the abdomen or groin A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum Enlargement or tenderness of tissue in the breast area If you have any of thesesymptoms, see your doctor immediately.

Being aware of your body can ensure testicular cancer is treated immediately and effectively, with an extremely good prognosis.

'Don't hope your problems will just go away'

Alternative remedies


Honey is a surprising alternative medicine, but it has wonderful medicinal and healing qualities that have made it renowned as one of the purest and most natural remedies for more than 5000 years.

It contains many therapeutic qualities and also antioxidants which are essential in protecting the body against cancer. A daily serving, whether spread on toast or as a sweetener in a hot drink will boost the bodies supply of antioxidants.

Honey is a source of natural, unrefined sugars and carbohydrates, which are easily absorbed by the body, therefore providing an instant energy boost with long lasting results.

It is also a well-known, complementary remedy for the treatment of colds, coughs and sore throats. Mix with cider vinegar and gargle to relieve sore throats, make into a hot drink with lemon to relieve cold and flu symptoms and add a little root gingereucalyptus oil to help congestion. A hot toddy - hot water, honey and whisky - claims to enhance sleep but that may depend on the quantity of whisky used.


Willow Trading on 0141-339 6446

Flotation involves lying on your back on 10 inches of a warm water which is loaded with Epsom salts. The solution is warmed to skin temperature and is so dense that you float effortlessly. The room is insulated against light and sound providing anextremely restful and stress-relieving environment. Flotation offers a very different experience in dealing with stress.

Light boxes

Willow Trading 0141-339 6446

Seasonal adjustment depression sufferers respond well to bright light treatment. By providing summertime levels of light during the winter through light boxes, the symptoms of SAD can be alleviated and sufferers should feel better within seven to 14days, aiming to banish the winter blues.

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