Sit down son, we've got LUTs to talk about
Did you know that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has his own sleep coach? And that 20% of the population suffers from insomnia but sleep is only discussed in 1.5% GP consults?
I’ll be honest, and this is kind of embarrassing but sometimes I won’t be bothered making lunch to take with me to work because I’m full from the breakfast I just finished. There’s this incredibly illogical (read lazy) part of my brain that foolishly says “well, I’m super full now so I don’t need to think about lunch now.” And then lunch time rolls around and I’m like, “what was I thinking!?” I usually then go out and buy my lunch but over time those bought lunches end up costing much more than if I’d just made a little effort each day to prepare and bring my own lunch from home regularly.
Why am I talking about laziness and bought lunches? Well, because it perfectly sums up how I felt when I attended a Men’s Health talk delivered at Adelaide Uni on 8 August to an audience of mostly senior men and health care professionals. It was part of their Research Tuesday’s initiative where they invite top academic researchers to present their latest findings in a simple and practical way so that the wider community may benefit.
Here I was, sitting next to MANABOUTADL Founder Eric, listening to very clever doctors and professors talk about topics like LUTS, (Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms) sleep apnea, and how problems in both of these areas can lead to serious conditions later on down the track if not addressed and treated by a healthcare professional.
I caught myself thinking, “I’m pretty young and fit, this stuff doesn’t really apply to me,” and it wasn’t until I reviewed my notes a couple of days later that I realised that the game I play with not regularly taking my lunch to work was the same game that many men play with their health. Except for blokes, it’s not until we have a health crisis or perhaps witness our dads go through some issues before we realise that we better get our act together and change our lifestyle or seek assistance to address some underlying issues so that we don’t end up in the same position or worse.
See, we typically see a doctor or alternative health practitioner once we reach a point of concern or experience a health crisis, and as a younger bloke in the room compared to the rest of the audience, it got me thinking about what guys my age can be doing now to ensure they don’t end up in a LUTS study or at an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart attack or stroke because of poor quality sleep.
If you’re not feeling tip top, consider seeing your GP to have some blood tests done. You might discover you’re deficient in some areas or that something else is at play, and your doctor can work out a plan with you to get you back in the green.
If you’re looking at going down the alternative and holistic route, there are myriad of health care professionals and therapists that can work with you to discover what’s getting in the way of feeling fantastic (like you should be!). It might be excess inflammation in the body, food intolerances, environmental toxins, a nutrient deficiency, poor diet, alcohol related, you name it.
The key take away is to ACT and engage someone that can shine a light on what’s going on, give you some answers, and work with you to formulate a plan to get you feeling tip top again. You’re designed to perform and feel outrageously fantastic, so if something’s stealing that from you it’s time to report it and claim it back.