Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Movember Discussion: What to Check

Movember, Movember, Movember.  It's been a recurring theme on my blog, my tweets and my social media feeds this month.  Some of it has been serious, some of it has been scary and some of it has been just plain fun.

The whole purpose of Movember has been to promote men's health overall and even though the focus tends to be on prostate cancer, there are many other ailments men must look out for.
Image: http://www.istanbultipmerkezi.com.tr

The fact is, many men get lazy when it comes to getting check-ups done.  This is why it was interesting when I was browsing through the Movember site this morning that I saw a checklist of what men should get checked at different age brackets.

There is a lot of controversy regarding this checklist on the Internet with several people claiming it is misguiding or misleading people thinking that they should just check for the bare minimum but isn't it better to at least check for the bare minimum than to check for nothing at all?

For example, if you are in your 20's or 30's, this is what the checklist says you should check for:

BLOOD PRESSURE  Every 2 years or annually if high/low

FASTING CHOLESTEROL  Every 5 years or more frequently
with an abnormal test result

DENTAL HEALTH  Annual check up

EYE HEALTH  Every 2 years or as doctor recommends

IMMUNIZATIONS  Tetanus-diphtheria at age 19 and annual
flu vaccine

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES  Regular Checks and HPV vaccine if appropriate

SKIN CANCER  Look for marks or changes on your skin and have a doctor do an annual skin check

TESTICULAR CANCER  Monthly self-exam, especially
if there is a family history

As you get into your 40's, it's then about checking for diabetes, prostate cancer and other conditions that tend to develop as you get older.  Living in the United Arab Emirates where the rates of diabetes are extremely high as a percentage of the population, I would recommend checking for diabetes in your 30's.

To see the entire checklist on the Movember site, please do click here.  I also wrote a post on diabetes for my Movember series and that can be seen by clicking here.

Get yourself a check-up.  It's not a matter of it you can take the time out, it's a matter of planning when you will take the time out to go down to your doctor or medical facility and get these things checked.  Wives, girlfriends, mothers - you need to start nagging now onwards and make sure your loved one does get themselves checked soon.  There's no point putting it off...

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Movember Discussion: Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects both men and women but keeping in line with the Movember theme that I've decided to adopt on my blog this month, I decided to do a little research and dig into how diabetes affects men.

The information I got was scary.


Most of us know that Type-II Diabetes is something that can be controlled if we take care of ourselves, watch our diet, get plenty of exercise, control our weight, be aware of any hereditary risk factors and manage our stress levels.  The risks associated with diabetes can include cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, loss of vision and nerve damage (Health Information and Consequences of Diabetes).
Image: http://www.healthytimesblog.com/2011/02/diabetes-your-food-plan/

Diabetes in the UAE

The stats are scary in the UAE.  With the country prospering and the weather being as uncomfortable as it is during the winter, the UAE has gotten heavier, to the point that obesity has become a major concern.  This coupled with the food and sedentary lifestyle that many of us are used to has meant that a staggering 25% of the population in the United Arab Emirates is diabetic.  This is one of the highest percentages that you'll find and it means that one out of four people reading my blog in the UAE could be diabetic, many of them probably realize it but many may not (UAE and Diabetes: One in Four Has It).

Men, Watch Out

Men face several additional risks if they are diabetic when compared to women.

  • Men who develop diabetes before the age of 30, have greater risks of vision impairment as compared to women.  Couple this with the fact that we have so many obese children in the UAE, it worries you even more.
  • Men are more likely to suffer from pain in thigh, calf or buttocks while exercising; suffer from cramps or changes in temperature; have swelling that is linked to a two-to-three fold increase risk of coronary heart disease or stroke.
  • Amputation risks are 1.4 to 2.7 times higher in men than women with diabetes.
  • Up to 50% of men can suffer from a loss of sexual desire or sexual problems if they are diabetic. This is twice that for women.  Almost 33% of men with diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction.
There could probably be more information I could dig up if I researched into this more, but to see more, visit both the links I used to get this information (Men & Diabetes and Diabetes & Sex).

Movember meets Diabetes

November isn't just about talking men's health in Movember but also Diabetes Awareness Month.  This topic is therefore perfect as it's important for men especially to be aware of all the health risks they face and there would be many resources that may come across during November that could give them further information on diabetes in particular.  This Gulf News link has more information.

Diabetic Children

What scares me more is what impact this is going to have on the younger or future generations.  Are we setting the right example for them with what we eat, with our lifestyle or the attention we pay towards our own health?  Popping pills isn't a solution to control diabetes, changing our mindset is.  We live in a part of the world where we are more likely to suffer from diabetes and it is up to us to make sure we take control of the situation.

Months like Movember are a good opportunity to share knowledge and talk about these issues.  Take advantage of it and if you have loved one who you feel is at risk, talk to them about it and help them.  A little moral support can go a long way to making us all a healthier community.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Movember Discussion: Alcohol

This is the month of Movember and I will be writing about men's health issues on the blog this month.

The first topic in this series is alcohol.  This isn't uniquely a men's problem but considering the number of bachelors or people living without their families in this part of the world, alcohol can in many cases become a man's best friend.  For those of you with kids, it's also about what sort of example are we looking to set.

The below is an excerpt I found from Bupa's website and felt it was worth sharing.


In the UK, over a third of men drink more than the government's recommended limits. These state that men should not regularly drink more than three to four units of alcohol per day, and that they should not drink alcohol for 48 hours after a heavy session to let the body recover.
It's easy to underestimate how much you're drinking. Although there is no firm definition of 'binge drinking', a measure of it can be taken as drinking double or more than double the recommended daily limit of alcohol. Nearly one in three men aged 16 to 24 drinks more than eight units in a session at least once a week.
Image: http://web.centre.edu/smart/facts.html
Drinking too much can cause immediate problems, including injuries and alcohol poisoning. In the longer term, too much alcohol can cause liver damage, high blood pressure and memory problems.
To read more on the Bupa website about other men's health issues, click on this link.

I am growing my Moustache this month of November to raise awareness for the Movember movement.  If you'd like to donate and support this cause, please click here.

Let's get the word out about men's health issues this month if we can.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Grow your Mo!

November has started and so has Movember.

What is Movember some of you may ask?

If you go to the Movember website, it says as follows: "During the month of November each year, Movember asks men across the world to grow a moustache with the aim of raising vital funds and awareness for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer.

Guys taking part (Mo Bros) are helping to change the face of men’s health by effectively becoming walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by promoting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health."
Could this be what I look like at the end of the month?
Image: http://8bitalliance.com/feature/episode-43-sporting-a-moustache-for-movember/

It was a movement that started in 2003 in Australia and is basically a man's version of the pink ribbon month.

I've decided to join the movement this year and have started growing my moustache.  I'd encourage you to donate to the cause this month as I start sporting my moustache (or Mo).  I've got a page on the Movember website where you can donate at the following URL: http://mobro.co/ashishpanjabi or http://ex.movember.com/mospace/2832093

Rest assured you will be hearing a lot about this from me during the month of Movember, especially if you follow me on any of the social media networks I'm on.  So go ahead, don't just read this, start donating...