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We are now living the bulk of our productive lives later than ever before, so it’s imperative that if we want to remain active, engaged and fulfilled across all areas of our lives into our 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond – such as relationships, fitness, work and family – that we are physiologically supported to do so.
While there is growing awareness and understanding around menopause, men may also have a menopause-like moment in midlife that is not widely known or talked about. To remove the stigma and taboo, it’s crucial to equally raise awareness about each gender’s experience and the things we will all go through as we navigate our way through our health in midlife.
We brought together two prominent doctors who are passionate about just this for a Midlife Health MOT discussion held at the exclusive private-members club, Home Grown, in London’s Marylebone on 6 October.
Dr Fionnuala Barton (AKA The Menopause Medic) and Dr Jeff Foster discussed the topic of health as we age. Both doctors are proponents of a proactive approach to health and not waiting until crisis has hit – where you have bucketloads of symptoms and life is a real struggle – before seeking support. And don’t worry, this is not all doom and gloom at all. In actual fact, this is about a positive, proactive and preventative approach to health across the genders so you are empowered with knowledge to make informed choices and can stay fighting fit, happy, active and productive as you age.
Midlife Health Check
Two prominent doctors talk midlife health checks needed for a positive, proactive and preventative approach to health so you can stay fighting fit, happy, active and productive as you age. This content is for general information only. For specific advice, please contact your healthcare professional.Posted by Life/Redefined on Thursday, October 27, 2022
The topics we covered off are:
Finding the right support is crucial at any stage of life, however, finding someone right for you during the midlife stage is especially important. Here are the doctor's tips on where to start and what to look for.
"There is a big knowledge gap for this generation, and we have a catch-up to do. Until recently menopause wasn’t on the curriculum in schools, it was barely touched on in the curriculum in medical school, let alone it being an education factor in the non-medical or education sector. It’s great that we’ve got this focus and we’ve got a voice to improve access to education and empowerment for women, but I do really worry about the fact that men still don’t have that opportunity.” - Dr Barton
Dr Barton's tips for finding support are:
1. Check the accreditation of the provider (GMC for doctors).
2. For menopause support look for practitioners who are registrated or associated with the British Menopause Society.
3. Private clinics should also have CQC registration.
4. I had a really interesting chat with Susan a Healthy Ageing "coach" who has authored a few books including "the age well plan" - coaches may be a useful as a resource.
To read more about Dr Barton's work you can visit her website here: www.themenopausemedic.com. And follow her on Instagram here for some excellent content:
To enquire about Dr Barton's services, you can email her here: firstname.lastname@example.org
"A lot of men are told it’s normal that in your 40s, 50s, 60s, you should be fatter, you shouldn’t want to have sex, you should feel tired, you’ve got kids, and life’s busy, it’s normal. But if you said to a woman, you’re 50, you don’t want to have sex and your body is changing shape, you feel irritable and you can’t concentrate at work, your first thoughts would naturally be that she is going through the menopause. For guys, however, they’re just told it's part of a busy lifestyle, a normal part of getting older. It is essential that we change this cultural narrative, and have men understand that, while some of this is due to age, for many men, the symptoms they feel are actually a result of a decline or drop in testosterone levels, and has similar effects to the loss of oestrogen that affects menopausal women. Low testosterone is something that can make men’s lives a misery, put a strain on relationships, and increase the risk of multiple illnesses. But just like HRT in menopause, testosterone deficiency is entirely treatable and can literally change the quality and health outcomes for thousands of men". - Dr Foster
Doctor Foster's tips for finding support are:
1. Ideally I would suggest looking for a men's health specialist. Usually this is a GP with a specialist interest as secondary care doctors such as urologists and endocrinologists are very good at their specialist areas but do not look at people as whole.
2. Ideally for men's health, the doctors or organisation would be part of the British Society of Sexual Medicine and must be CQC registered.
To enquire about Dr Foster's services, you can call H3 Health on, 03309 120769, or email: email@example.com