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Help for men's mental health

Men’s health: your questions answered


Who are you?

Hi, my name's Aaron Thiyagarajan.

I'm the managing director for the health clinics in Bupa UK. In this

conversation, feel free to ask me anything you want about Men's Health.

What are the symptoms of heart disease in men?

So the symptoms of heart disease actually are not necessarily sex specific.

So they're the same in men as they would be in women.

And you can get different types of heart disease. Heart disease can be

when it's progressed quite a lot, can be things like leg swelling,

shortness of breath or it can be chest tightness. Quite often,

sometimes these symptoms start when people are exercising or exerting

themselves. Equally, actually heart disease - some types of heart disease

have no symptoms, and

that can be things like well, no symptoms at all.

But also you can get things like chest palpitations,

which is basically the medical fancy word of saying a fast heartbeat,

like feeding your heart really thumping, equally,

that can be normal when you're exercising,

but I guess if it feels abnormal to you is when you need to see someone to get

that checked.

And heart disease is something that actually contrary to what a lot of people

think. Think it's an older person's problem, but it's not.

It can be ranging from young people all the way to old.

And we've seen things like,

or sportsman like Christian Erickson recently have heart issues.

And so it's really common.

So the most important thing is if you think that something feels different to

your normal physical health, feeling a heartbeat fast than usual,

feeling a skip beat, getting chest pain, whether at rest when you're exerting,

go and see a doctor, get it checked out. And if it's nothing great,

but if it is something, you'd be glad you've checked it.

How can I manage weight better?

I think the way I like to think about this is weight is an

output of what you put into your body and what you expend or get rid of.

So essentially, if you eat more calories than you use, you will put on weight.

Women have a slightly lower calorie requirement than men,

so men should be aware of that.

But I think the key to managing your weight is to not necessarily calorie count,

but think about the foods that you're eating and have a mixture of them.

I think there is some theories around the fact that one calorie from one type of

food is not the same as calorie from another,

and I think there may be some truth in that.

So I don't think you should necessarily look at how many calories you are eating

as a whole, but think about are you eating foods from every family,

and then are you coupling that with a good amount of exercise, 30 minutes,

preferably at least three to four times a week would be ideal,

or something that gets you a little bit out of breath.

So that can be variable according to who you are.

If you can put all those things together,

then you are bound to be in a better shape than if you weren't doing any of

those things.

Does erectile dysfunction affect mental health?

Absolutely. In fact, erectile dysfunction can affect someone's mental health,

but it can also be caused by someone's mental health.

So there's actually this really vicious cycle because actually around 60 to

70% of the time, mental health is the cause of erectile dysfunction.

And the really sad thing about it is that erectile dysfunction can actually make

people feel or make men feel even worse,

and then it perpetuates and makes their mental health even worse.

And that then is a spiral that needs to be broken.

What causes hair loss?

So hair loss can be caused by many different things.

In men, there is male pattern hair loss,

and that means that what happens is ordinarily

the front line of someone's hair sometimes starts to recede and the crown

on your head, right at the back can sometimes start to thin out.

And those regions are what we call male pattern boldness.

And that can happen to any man. And again,

there are very few men the older you get that aren't impacted by it in some shape

or form. So that can be the case in for men.

But equally, sometimes iron deficiency can also cause hair loss.

But then that's not generally in the pattern that I just described,

that can be a bit more generalised. So again, see your doctor,

they may do choose to do a blood test if they're not sure about the the cause,

but often just by looking,

we can tell if it's male passing hair loss or not.

How can I treat acne?

You can treat acne with simple over-the-counter washes.

You can buy them sometimes in pharmacies and supermarkets,

but if that's not working,

you might want to speak to your doctor about topical treatment.

Topicals basically like creams and if that doesn't work,

there are stronger medications that can be given. In some cases,

antibiotics are given for a few months,

and in some cases medications such as were roaccutane,

but that's only prescribed by a dermatologist. So if you're at that stage,

you need to see a skin specialist.

What causes acne?

There are many different causes of acne.

They can be because of rapidly changing bodies,

skin architecture changes, sweats or closed

pores or no known reason at all.

But one thing I will say is it isn't because you are not clean or you're not

cleaning yourself enough or washing your face.

I think there are some myths out there that say, oh,

it's because you're not washing your face enough. And I think that's not true.

Why do I have acne?

Acne is essentially a skin condition that can happen to anyone.

It's very common in the teenage years,

and that's because there are hormonal changes and rapidly development,

developing bodies. There's nothing shameful about it. It's completely normal.

It can happen because of stress.

It can happen because of sweat or hormonal changes or

imbalance of the skin texture.

So those are all things that are all really common.

So there's many different reasons to why someone might get acne.

I think one thing to remember here is that it isn't,

you're not clean or you're not cleaning enough.

I think those are myths that are out there in the public domain about why people

might get acne.

There are treatments for it stretching from as simple as simple washes over the

counter to some medications.

But if the simple treatment that you buy over the counter isn't working,

speak to your doctor because they can look at giving you some higher grade skin

therapy that might work for you.

How does acne affect someone's mental health?

Acne a little bit like any type of body dismorphobia

or concern about body perception.

Can it be quite dramatic on,

it's clearly it affects the face and the neck and sometimes the back,

but the face is visible to everyone on a day-to-day basis.

So people quite often feel really embarrassed by it,

and I totally acknowledge that and appreciate that

people might be feeling quite low from it.

I think the key takeaway here is that acne is treatable and don't worry about

it. Make sure you see someone get it treated because it is most of the time


At what age do men mostly start the male menopause?


Menopause generally occurs at the same time that women go through menopause,

and in average in the uk that's around the early fifties, 55 or so.

What is male menopause?

Male menopause is a relatively new term.

It's kind of a collective description of some of the symptoms that men might get

around the similar age that women go through menopause.

So that's on average in the UK early fifties,

and it kind of includes different types of symptoms that people experience.

So that can be loss of sex drive or loss of libido, weight gain,

low mood, and collectively, when they happen together,

they have been termed the male menopause.

Is acne genetic?

Acne is not genetic. It is an inherited condition.

It can happen to anyone at any time.

Most people experience it in some shape or form.

Will a healthy diet help with male menopause?

A healthy diet helps with the majority of conditions that anyone might suffer

from, so absolutely, yes,

and it's really important to have a balanced meal that consists of proteins,

fats, sugars, and a mixture of all of those all the time.

How is male menopause treated?

Male menopause consists of a few symptoms,

notably low mood, weight gain, bit of anxiety,

low sex drive.

And so the way it's treated is depending on which symptoms that you might have.

So if you have low mood, for example,

then we treat it from a mental health perspective.

And that can include talking therapies, sometimes some medication.

If it's weight gain,

then obviously advice about how to lose weight or how to manage your diet and

lifestyle. So it really depends on the cause and the symptoms within that.

But what I'm glad to say is that they, on the large part, treatable.

Does regular exercise help with male menopause?

Regular exercise is fundamental to keeping many conditions at bay,

but also to treating many conditions.

I think I've seen many patients in the past that have responded really well

to regular exercise and initially they think, oh, do you know what?

This is really difficult. But after they've done it for a few weeks,

it's become a habit. And then now actually they're addicted to doing it,

which is great,

and it's really helped them get through difficult periods in their life and male

menopause or the period around what we call or what's now known as male

Menopause is around the early fifties,

and that's a great time to keep the exercise regime up because it's about the

time in people's lives when sometimes it dips a little.

Can men have HRT?

So HRT is hormone replacement therapy and generally we give it to

women when they are having symptoms that are associated with the menopause.

For example, flushes or hot sweats.

We don't really give as clinicians hormone replacement to men unless there's

another cause that might mean that they have low levels of hormone.

How can I talk to a loved one about male menopause?

The symptoms that you might have are really important to discuss.

Quite often in male menopause, it's a mood related issue.

You might have anxiety, low mood,

and just generally feeling low on a day-to-day basis.

And I think if you're experiencing any of those,

whether related to what's now known as male menopause or not,

I think it's important to talk to your loved ones.

Cause the problem shared is always a problem halved,

and you can quite often find that you can get through a lot of things with your

support network in the loop.

Can adults get acne?

Unfortunately, yes. Although younger people are more likely to get it,

adults can get it as well. This can be because of stress,


maybe changing your daily routine because you're just very busy in terms of your

skincare regime. Any of these things can cause acne,

but just like it was when you were probably younger,

it is treatable and they do go away,

and most of the time you can use medications over the counter to solve it.

Will my acne ever go away?

Ordinarily acne does go away with simple measures that you can buy with washes

over the counter. But if that doesn't work,

speak to your doctor and your doctor will be able to provide treatments like

creams. And if that doesn't work, there's even tablets that will work.

But I can assure you in the majority of cases, acne does go away.

Will I get scarring because of my acne?

Scarring is possible from acne, but in the large part,

if you leave it alone and get treatment for it, you will not get scarring.

So the best advice I can give you,

if you have a spot or a zit or acne or whatever you want to call it,

don't touch it. Resist the urge to pop it, leave it be,

seek treatment, and you can go from there.

Is it common for men to be depressed?

It's really common for men to be depressed.

And the one thing I would say about men is that we aren't often that open about

it. And that's the really concerning thing. It's natural to be stressed.

Stress is a normal reaction to anything that might be going on in our life,

whether that be personal, work, home, bereavement,

family disagreements, whatever it might be.

And the really important thing is to acknowledge, to look inwardly,

understand and be empathetic with yourself if you feel it.

And the next thing when you've done that is take it to someone.

Take it to someone who can independently assess it and help you with it.

And don't be shy because we've all been there.

I feel in a low mood, can you help me understand why?

Everyone experiences low mood at certain points in their life.

Sometimes it's obvious what the cause is,

meaning you've had a disagreement with a family member or

you've had a problem with one of your friends,

or you've been through a bereavement, for example,

or you're just anxious about something that's coming up in the future and you

don't know how to mentally process it. It doesn't really matter in the

first instance as to why you feel that.

I think the first step is to acknowledge that you do feel like that.

Once you've done that, then go and talk to someone about it.

Once you talk to someone about it and help process your thoughts,

then you can figure out what the cause is and then you can try and address it.

So just take it in baby steps.

Are you open about your own mental health?

I think I've been on a journey with that actually and once upon a time,

probably not so much, but I've changed,

I've learned to realize that actually there's nothing to hide about these types

of problems.

And actually it's really helpful to share it so that people can relate to it and

understand. A few years ago, actually,

actually many years ago,

I got diagnosed with a heart condition and I was told that I'll need to have my

heart valve replaced.

And actually last year came the time when that needed to be done.

And I had open heart surgery to fix my heart valve,

which was a five hour operation. And when I was in hospital that week,

I did have low mood. I really did.

I was apathetic towards anything and everyone,

I wasn't caring for visitors.

I wasn't that fussed about what was on the television.

Wasn't my usual self. My wife was pregnant at the time,

and of course I cared about her. And because it was during Covid,

I didn't have many visitors,

but she was the only one I was able to see actually.

And when I was FaceTiming my family,

I just didn't have that same energy within me.

And I recognised very quickly that I was suffering from low mood.

And I think the low mood came perhaps because of the drugs that I might have

been on, or perhaps because of the major surgery that I had.

But it really improved when I got home. And I think there's a lesson in that,

be in an environment that's comfortable for you.

Don't put yourself in a situation unnecessarily.

Obviously I had to be in in the hospital, but when I got home,

I made sure I did things that I enjoyed.

I watched my favourite team play football at home.

Obviously I wasn't going to the stadium at that time. I,

I made an effort to talk to my friends.

I made an effort to get out in the fresh air.

As difficult as that was when I was in cardiac rehab.

And I think the lessons that I learned from that are take time for yourself.

Don't rush yourself. Talk to your friends and family.

Focus on your physical health and your mental health at the same time,

because the two are intertwined.

I'm really proud to say that very quickly I got out of that with

the support of friends and family,

but mainly my wife and talking to her on a day-to-day basis about how I was

feeling and being really open about it with her.

And I think you need that constant, your life is going to help you.

And she was definitely that for me. So if you have that, you're very lucky.

But if you don't,

you can always reach out to an independent professional who will be happy to

support you in your journey.

I burst out into tears randomly. Why is this happening?

I think if you're bursting out into tears randomly,

you probably have some type of low mood or anxiety,

and if you don't know why,

it's probable that there's something going on in your life that's making you

feel like that,

and you're just not able to pinpoint whether that is or what that is at the


My advice to you would be to take some time out for yourself once you're settled

with that and focused on yourself and working out a little bit more about the

origin of why you feel like that.

Go and speak to someone and they can help you sort it out.

I feel stressed and I don't know why. What could be causing it?

It is actually really normal to feel stressed and actually coupled to that,

it's really normal to not know why.

Because sometimes our body reacts to these types of stresses in our

life, whether that be just being on the go, or looking after children, or work.

And it's hard for us to locate it cause we don't often pause

and think where is that actually coming from?

So what I would do if you are suffering from stress or anxiety and you don't

know why, is stop for a minute. Take some time out for you,

turn your phone off. Tell any loved ones, I'm turning my phone off for a while.

I'm not going to be accessible.

Sit down somewhere where you can have a free space. Write down your thoughts.

And if you don't like writing, just think about it openly.

And then sometimes you might not actually think about anything that you feel of

value, but that simple process of doing it helps you to look and

centralise and refocus.

And doing that regularly is really healthy for your mental health.

So just try it.

I fear leaving the house, what can I do about work?

Fear leaving the house is something that is called agoraphobia,

and it can happen because of anxiety and low mood.

It's actually very common.

If you're struggling to leave the house and you need to for work purposes,

then I'd speak to your employer as quickly as you can and also speak to your

doctor so they can help give you a treatment plan,

but also give you the documents that you might need for some time off work until

it's managed.

How can I stop being anxious in social environments?

I think that's a great question. A lot of people are suffering from anxiety,

especially after the Covid pandemic,

and that's because we went through a significant period of not seeing a lot of

people or not seeing many people in one place whilst in the

pandemic. So I think the readjustment is totally normal.

I think be really proud of yourself that you've been able to acknowledge that

and work out that that's a problem for you.

I would then speak to your doctor or clinician about working out a treatment

plan for you, which might include talking therapies,

might include self-help groups, mindfulness,

a psychological therapy program, and if needed, medications.

Why does my heart beat fast when I am not exercising?

A racing heartbeat when you're not exercising is possibly a symptom of anxiety,

but it can also be something related to your heart.

So I think it's wise that you speak to a doctor so that the necessary treatments

and investigations can be conducted.

I can't sleep, can you help?

So not being able to sleep is actually really, really common.

Most people suffer it at some point in their life.

I think the key to working out why you're not sleeping is looking at what's

going on in your daily life and what's happening during the day.

Good sleep hygiene is really important.

Trying and avoid TVs and electronics and mobile phones in the hour and an hour

and a half before you sleep. That will help your brain just wind down,

try and turn down the lights,

get blue light filters if you think that will help.

The key is to try and signal to your brain it's time to shut down soon.

Then you'll have a better sleep hygiene,

better sleep processed during the night. Also,

try and avoid any caffeinated drinks in the few hours before you sleep and stop

drinking any kind of water or fluids about an hour beforehand so that you won't

have to pee during the night.

Things like that would generally help your sleep on a day-to-day basis,

but also managing your mental health.

Staying in the right space of mind will also mean that you sleep better.

How much exercise should I be doing?

Ideally you should be doing 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week.

That actually sounds like quite a lot, and I get it.

It's really difficult to fit in with daily life now,

but you can make simple adjustments to the way that you get to work

for example, could you cycle?

Could you walk up the stairs and the tube instead of taking the lift?

And that adds those minutes. Right?

The other thing I would say is that the way in which you do your exercise should

be a mixture of weights and intensity level exercise,

but also cardiovascular fitness.

What can I do to improve my self?

To improve your self-esteem, you need to do things that make you happy.

You should also,

I recommend write a list of positive affirmations in your diary on a log book.

Things that you are happy about, things that you're proud about,

things that you know you've achieved, that you should be proud about.

They can be really small. For example, I ate Healthy, balanced Meal yesterday.

That is something to be proud of. Or it can be,

I climbed Kilimanjaro Mountain. I mean, it can be as massive as that,

or as simple as the previous one that I mentioned.

But what's really important is the act of actually writing it down,

because sometimes you don't acknowledge the great things that you do,

you've done, and the great things that you are.

Once you are able to acknowledge it and then you can read it later on when

you're in a low period, it brings back that energy into you.

I'm worried about what other people think about me. What can I do?

We live in a world now where we are really conscious about what people think of

us, and that's because of the advent of social media and a lot more

interconnectivity between people in different cities and locations and countries

and brands and so on.

So it is totally normal to worry about what other people think of you.

It happens even at school when you're young.

I think to be really reassured, you should know that it's normal.

Then you should also talk to your doctor if you think it's impacting what you do

on a day-to-day basis,

because sometimes people stop leaving the house because they're worried about

what someone thinks of them,

and then you're starting to get into the realms of not functioning the way that

you need to live a healthy, happy life.

How is BDD diagnosed?

BDD is diagnosed in multiple ways. Really,

it's most commonly diagnosed.

What we say in the clinical world is a clinical diagnosis,

and what that really means is

how the person says what they're suffering from and does it fit with a

diagnosis of BDD.

So there isn't necessarily a blood test or a scan that can

deduct whether someone has BDD.

It's more about what they're saying and what they're feeling,

and that actually means that sometimes it's not clear whether someone has B d D

or not, but I think it isn't important really, whether someone has it or not.

It's not as binary as that,

or it's just actually how they're feeling and how can we help that as

clinicians, that's the most important thing.

Why do I constantly feel on edge?

Constantly feeling on edge is a symptom of anxiety.

The way I like to describe this is that you can get a filing cabinet in your

office and you can put a slice or sheet of paper in that

filing cabinet. And that's one,

that piece of paper represents one thought you can put in another one and

another one and another one into that filing cabinet.

And the filing cabinet is your mind.

You can keep going and it won't fill up very quickly.

But there comes a point that kind of tipping point where you put one more

thought into that filing cabinet, one more piece of paper.

And that cabinet cannot take any more. The cabinet itself is really strong,

and the sheet of paper itself is very small. So you might think, why not?

But there is a tipping point, and that's the same for everyone.

And when you reach that tipping point, it just explodes. And that's anxiety.

And the anxiety can take different shapes or forms.

One of them is feeling on edge all the time.

So I hope that analogy helps you understand how this happens.

But the reassuring thing is if you recognise it,

you can manage that filing cabinet.

You can shift pieces of paper from that filing cabinet to another place

by talking to someone, by writing in a diary,

by sharing your experiences.

Or you can decide to extend that filing cabinet a little bit and

make it bigger. And you can do that by different ways,

exercising, mindfulness, meditation,

and that just expands that filing cabinet a little bit and gives you that

breathing room. I hope that helps.

How can BDD affect someone's mental health?

So BDD can affect someone's mental health in so many ways.

It can be as simple as not having the confidence to go to a social event

because they're worried about how they look. Or it can be quite complicated.

For example,

you might not necessarily feel like it's something that's affecting you,

but subconsciously you might have low mood, you might not be sleeping as well,

you might be feeling a little bit anxious about going on a date,

any of those things. So I think, again,

if you're tapping into any of those symptoms,

if you're in touch with yourself on a day-to-day basis,

how am I feeling now compared to last week? Am I on the same plane?

Is it getting worse? I think anything like that,

speak to someone and then you can take it forward because it might not be BDD

that's causing those symptoms. It might be something else.

And it's important to talk to someone who can help you out to work that out.

Is there a cure for BDD?

So with any type of mental health and BDD

there are definitely ways in managing it.

A cure is difficult in terms of the fact that a cure suggests that

it can just stop and sometimes it can. So in essence, yes,

in some ways there is.

You can definitely get help that keeps it well at bay and that it can never

resurface. At the same time. It can go away. It can come back again.

And just like we take time to exercise or we should do,

should I say maybe not me exercise to keep your belly

weight off and keeping good physical health,

you need to do the same with your mental health.

And that might mean things like taking time out, taking a holiday, meditating,

talking to your friends. It might mean anything.

But the most important thing is that you invest in your mental health as much as

you do your physical health because the two are really intertwined.

What does heart disease mean?

Heart disease, again, can be meaning lots of different things.

So heart disease essentially means something wrong with the heart or the vessels

that come out of the heart. Now, the heart itself is basically like a pump.

I like to think of it like the boiler in the house.

It kind of pumps everything where it needs to go,

but it also contains pipe work that comes out of it. Again, just like a house,

sometimes those pipes can become clogged,

just like when you need to call a plumber, but instead for your body,

you call a cardiologist, and then equally, within the pump,

there are valves, and those valves can sometimes leak or get narrow.

And so heart disease essentially encompasses anything wrong with the heart,

the valves,

and the vessels that come out of the heart and go and serve the rest of the


How do I know if I have BDD?

I think it's actually really difficult to know whether you have BDD.

I think the most important thing is do you feel like

you have or you are not necessarily happy with how you look?

Do you think that that could be perhaps not in line with

what other people perceive the way you look?

That's probably where I would start thinking about it and where I would take it

to next is: is it affecting you?

So is your perception of how you look affecting you? And if you think it is,

and if it's affecting you on what you do in your daily life,

then I think it's important to talk to your doctor,

irrespective of whether you have BDD or not,

I think it's important to try and address those things just to boost your

confidence because if you do boost your confidence,

whether that be when you're going to work, whether you're playing sport,

whether you're just happy about the way you look,

I think you'll feel a lot better. So it's hard to know for sure,

but I think if you have an inkling that you might feel something or you don't,

might not necessarily feel the way you want to, talk to someone about it.

How is heart disease diagnosed?

So heart disease can be diagnosed in many ways and it kind of dete depends on

what the doctor or the clinician that you're seeing thinks might be the problem.

So for example, if you have an abnormally fast heartbeat,

the first thing your doctor will probably do is something called an ECG.

An ECG is basically those funny little sticky things that you put on your chest

and then wires attached to it,

and then you just stay still for a couple of minutes. They press a button,

they see the tracing of your heart,

and that's a quick way of a doctor working out whether your heart is beating in

the right rhythm. If, for example,

you get chest pain and on exertion or when you're running or

whatever, then they might do a different type of test and that, for example,

they might run you on a treadmill and then do the ECG at the same time and see

how your heart does under a bit of strain.

There are more fancy tests where example, for example,

where they put some jelly on your heart and they kind of do an ultrasound,

which is basically like when pregnant ladies have it, when to look at the baby.

They do the same thing on the heart and look at how the heart's functioning,

and that basically just tells the doctor how well it's pumping.

So those are an example of a few tests that can be done.

There are a few more but again,

I think the most important thing is if you feel anything different to what you

normally feel, get it checked out.

The doctor can work out what tests needs to be done,

and hopefully they're all fine.

How do I know if I have a heart disease?

So heart disease can present in different ways.

It can present with shortness of breath, chest pain,

a feeling of your heartbeat,

but equally, sometimes it can present with no symptoms at all.

So what I would recommend is if you feel like something is different to

what you normally feel, like, for example,

if you're playing sport and you normally don't get short of breath when you run

a certain distance, but suddenly you do, then you should get that checked out.

That could be your heart, it could be your lungs, it could be nothing at all,

but it needs to be seen to. Equally, if you get pain or

if you feel a skip beat or you feel more lethargic than usual. Again,

reasons to get it checked out. It might be related to your heart.

It might not be, but it's good to just get it seen to.

What is heart arrhythmia?

So heart arrhythmia is a funny heart rhythm.

That's a very simple way of putting it.

And a funny heart rhythm can happen for many reasons.

It can even happen because someone's a bit tired and they're just exhausted,

and sometimes the heart is very sensitive.

It can just react to the normal feeling of someone on a day-to-day

basis and go out of sync.

The way I like to describe it is when you're feeling anxious, when,

let's say you're waiting for an exam result or going into a job interview,

and suddenly your heart can go a bit fast.

Even that is technically a type of arrhythmia.

So it can happen in normal circumstances,

but it can also happen when something's gone a bit wrong.

And so if you feel anything like skip heartbeats,

if you feel that your heart's pounding out of your chest,

which is again abnormal, then again, go see your doctor.

The doctor will do an ECG,

probably an ECG is the sticky heart tracings sticky labels that people put on

your heart. And then do a little tracing. Takes about a couple of minutes,

it doesn't hurt.

And then they can see if there's any arrhythmias that are noted.

And if there is, they'll move it on and work out what needs to be done.

What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

So symptoms of a heart attack generally are shortness of breath,

chest pain, feeling nauseous, sweaty,

sometimes left-sided pain. But importantly, you might not get all of those.

You might get some of those. You might get none of those. So again,

it can be quite unique. But if you get any of those, again,

if they're abnormal to you, that's the time to call someone immediately.

And the symptoms of a heart attack,

especially if you have more than a few of those,

you need to call an ambulance or go to the hospital straightaway or get someone

to take to the hospital straightaway, because those are really urgent flags.

Are there any treatments for heart disease?

There are lots of treatments for heart disease.

It depends on the type of heart disease you have. So for example,

your heart can consist of the valves in the heart,

the pump of the muscle itself, the vessels that come out of it.

All of those areas can have problems.

So it depends on where the problem is that the treatment then is planned

for. So, but in short,

there are lots of treatments and so you should be reassured that it can be


How can I reduce the risk of heart disease?

So there are preventable things you can do for heart disease.

And then there are non-preventable.

So I like to call them modifiable and non-modifiable. Sadly,

the non-modifiable ones are things like your age, your ethnicity, and your sex.

So I actually have two of these issues in terms of the fact that I'm Asian and

I'm a man, which make me higher risk of getting heart disease.

So those are two things that I can't change and I don't want to,

so I'm just going to live with that.

But there are things that you can change at the same time.

So the things you can change are your diets,

whether you smoke or not,

and whether you drink alcohol or how much alcohol you drink.

And those things obviously affect things like your weight and your general

physical core health. And if you can manage all of those things,

you're less likely to get things like high blood pressure.

And if you're less likely to get high blood pressure,

then you're less likely to get heart disease.

So those are things you can change. Having said that,

there are some types of heart disease,

which whether you control it or not, or the things I mentioned,

you might not be able to control the risk of getting them.

And those are things like electrical beats in your heart and sometimes

structural problems like whether the valves themselves are working well.

Unfortunately you might not necessarily be able to stop them,

but you can definitely reduce the risk of those things getting worse by doing

all the things I mentioned earlier.

What are the symptoms of blood vessel problems?

So blood vessel problems,

actually the most common blood vessel problem is high blood pressure.

And funnily enough, high blood pressure has no symptoms. Well,

for the large part, if it's really, really high,

sometimes you can get headache, funny blurred vision and so

on. But generally,

high blood pressure doesn't cause any symptoms and it's silent.

So it's always a good idea to check your blood pressure every now and again.

And generally the younger you are, the less likely you need to do this,

and the older you get, the more frequently you should be doing it.

But I'd say once in a while it's fine every few months at most and

let you know if you don't have any high known high blood pressure.

For example high blood pressure is more common in Asian

families and that's because there's a genetic kind of

preponderance or there's more likely to have that if you're from that

background. But essentially,

most of the high blood pressure can be treated with medication. But even better,

you can prevent yourself getting high blood pressure by exercising regularly,

not smoking, managing how much alcohol you drink.

Living generally a very holistic,

healthy life can prevent you getting high blood pressure in the first place.

High blood pressure itself when you have it,

is a risk factor for other cardiovascular problems. So in itself,

it doesn't cause any issues on its own,

but it can make you more likely to get other problems like heart disease or

heart attacks and things like diabetes.

So it's really important that it's kept at bay and managed because it

prevents you getting anything else. So that's why it's part of whole health.

Should I have regular check-ups with my GP?

So I think it's really important to see your GP very

frequently, especially the older you get. And when I say that,

I mean it's important to keep an eye on your general health yourself.

And if anything changes,

then I think it's important to see your GP at that point. Equally,

I think it's very useful to have an annual health assessment as well.

And then a doctor can assess you, see what your general health is like -

if it's in order, if it's changed from last year,

what the measurements are changing, for example, what's your weight,

what's your BMI, what's your core muscle strength,

what's your VA two assessment when you are on a bike, for example.

And when we do these things on an annual basis,

it's really easy to see what your general health is like and get a physical

assessment. And then if something's going wrong,

we can take it forward from there.

What is a prostate?

So a prostate is a gland that only men have.

It sits in between the male genitalia and the buttock.

And the purpose of it is to produce semen and seminal fluid for

creation and fertility reasons. It can, as you get older, get bigger.

Actually, it does. The older you get, the bigger it does get. So that's normal.

The reason why we are so concerned about it as doctors and clinicians is because

sometimes it can get too big or it can get abnormally big on one side or a bit

craggy or a bit abnormal in shape, and that's when for us,

it needs a bit more closer attention.

When should I get screened for prostate cancer?

So in the UK, screening for prostate cancer happens as you get a

little bit older and they do something called a prostate blood test,

PSA, and they also might put,

the doctor might put their finger in your bottom just to feel the prostate and

that when that's done,

essentially what they're feeling for is to feel if the prostate feels nice and

smooth and it's general size. So it's,

it is a little bit like a very small nectarine has a little groove

in the middle and both sides should feel smooth and in normal texture

across the two. Where we get a little bit concerned is when it feels abnormal

on one side to the other, or if it feels hard or knobbly or craggy.

And if we feel any of those things, then we'll have to scan it very quickly.

That's how we kind of test for it.

And the PSA blood test is another thing that we do.

But the most important thing is I think if you get symptoms,

you should be going to see your doctor earlier. But otherwise,

I think it's something that we can look at in your health assessment if you have

it every year or otherwise, it can happen as you get older.

The doctors will then do it themselves at one point and see what your baseline

is like.

What are the symptoms of trouble in my prostate?

So trouble in the prostate can present itself in a few different ways.

I think if I go through the main ones.

So the things to watch out for is when you're going to the toilet,

does your pee come out in the nice fluid stream that it ordinarily


So what I mean by that is it should just come out in one go and it shouldn't be

stop start. You shouldn't necessarily get dribbling afterwards.

It shouldn't be painful.

So those are the key things to watch out in your urine flow.

Other things to watch out for are sometimes, for example,

if you're having to go really quickly or really urgently.

Now that can happen if you drunk a lot of water. But the key is, again,

to be in tune with yourself.

So is that happening suddenly out of nowhere or is it progressively getting

worse again, unusual to you. Another couple of things might be,

for example, going to the toilet at nighttime more often than you usually do.

So work out what your base is. So example, if you go, if pee once at night,

that's fine, but if it starts getting to two, three times and that's exact,

that's abnormal to you, then that's another thing to look out for.

Another thing to look out for again, is when you pee,

if the colour of your pee has any blood in it or if it's got a red tinge to it,

that's really important to look out for as well.

And that's important to raise urgently. And pain,

again, pain in those areas and those the region around your genitalia,

that's important to look out for and let us know, let a doctor know.

But generally, urine flow, abnormal colour,

going to the toilet more often than usual or being,

having it more urgently than usual or going at nighttime more often than usual

is another thing you need to let a doctor know about.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is an abnormal enlargement of your prostate.

Now, as a man,

your prostate gets bigger no matter what you do as you get older.

So if you live long enough, you will have a big prostate. I can bet you that.

But where it's important to get it checked out or to get managed is when the

prostate actually gets abnormal in an inconsistent way.

Abnormally big in an inconsistent way.

So by that I mean nobbly or craggly on one side,

and your doctor can assess that when they put their finger on your bottom.

And we try, I know is a bit uncomfortable, so don't feel embarrassed by that.

They've done it 101 times and it's completely normal.

So just try and let it be for those few minutes.

I get it if it feels weird, but it's really important that we do it.

And if they feel anything abnormal or if the PSA for example, is a bit high,

then the next step is they'll get it scanned and the scan will tell us a little

bit more about whether it's a dangerous enlargement or whether it's actually

just a smooth enlargement.

And the smooth enlargement is something that we don't need to worry too much

about, keep an eye on it.

But it's when it's abnormally large on one side or if it's a bit uneven,

that we start to think maybe we should do something about that.

And that falls into the pr prostate cancer kind of diagnosis.

What is a urologist?

So urologist is basically a doctor that specialises

in the male genitalia and anything around that


Is prostate cancer common?

Sadly, prostate cancer is very common, especially in the western world,

in the UK, the USA for example,

that might be because a little bit because we're actually really good at

diagnosing it. So actually the number of cases that we diagnose are high.

At the same time it's obviously a cancer that only affects men,

clearly because the prostate gland is only a male gland.

But that coupled with lung cancer and breast cancer in women's case

obviously are one of the most common cancers diagnosed in the country.

What is BDD?

BDD is body dysmorphobia disorder. A lot of people are struggling with it,

and I think actually that's probably more so because people are aware of it.

Essentially, it's how people perceive their own body.

And quite often that doesn't fit with what they think they should look like or

they have a perception of it that it's not good enough.

And that's actually really worrying for a lot of people.

It's most concerning actually, when it affects someone's daily life,

when it gets in the way of their confidence, the way they go to work,

or how they feel at work or with their friends.

And most of the time they look brilliant, but they just don't see it,

that their mind and their eye doesn't see how good they really look.

And that can stretch from anything from the way they shape their nose is or

their hair pattern,

or their skin complexion or their body size.

And that's the kind of thing that grapples with them on a day-to-day basis.

And then they start to suffer from that or suffer from the perception of their

own body.

Can prostate cancer be cured?

So prostate cancer, actually, yeah, it can be cured.

It all depends on the timing of when it's found and the type of

prostate cancer and not going into the detail,

cause it might get a bit confusing,

but there are different cell types of prostate cancer as well.

And it kind of depends on that. So yes,

it can be and I think the most important thing here is

when it's found and the speed to getting it sorted.

And then from there it can be cured in different ways.

Sometimes it can be cured with just cutting out the area

and sometimes in

some cases it is not curable. And I, that's really, I'm sorry to say that,

but it's important that it's caught early because the more likely they catch it

early, the more likely it's to be curable.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a very fancy way of saying when things

aren't working down south as they should do and predominantly in a

sexual function perspective.

So what I mean by that is when you're having sex with your partner,

it might not work as it used to.

So that mean that might mean you might find it hard to get or maintain an

erection, or it might mean that it doesn't feel like it used to,

or it might mean that you don't get aroused in the same way you used to,

or it might mean that you don't ejaculate or you have

delayed ejaculation. There's lots of different things,

and all of those things come under the umbrella of erectile dysfunction.

So if you feel like you have any of those symptoms, talk to your doctor.

A lot of the time it can be solved.

How to prevent prostate cancer?

So prostate cancer itself is like every other cancer

actually, more likely

if you are doing things that disturb your general health.

And so by that I mean things like drinking too much,

smoking too much having a very, very high weight,

or to that matter for a very, very low weight too.

So what you really need is a good, healthy,

holistic lifestyle, which incorporates exercise, good diet,

good mental health.

All of those things put together are going to reduce your risk of developing any

cancer, including prostate cancer.

What is prostatitis?

So prostatitis is basically inflammation

of your prostate gland.

The prostate gland is a gland that only men have,

and sometimes it can get a bit angry, if you will and it can get unsettled,

and that can be because of inflammation or infection,

and usually it goes away.

Sometimes it needs some treatment for it,

some anti-inflammatories or antibiotics,

but it's quite an easy fix if diagnosed.

So if something's not fitting right with you, your symptoms, for example,

if you're feeling irritable down below,

if you're having to pee more frequently than usual,

if it's hurting after you've had sex, for example,

go and see a sexual health doctor,

come and see us in Bupa in one of our health clinics. Go and see your GP,

whoever it might be. See someone,

get it checked out because as it can be sorted.

What does a prostate do?

So the prostate is a gland that only men have.

It sits in between the men's genitalia and the bum,

and it's a gland that produces seminal fluid and seminal fluid is needed to,

for fertility reasons when you have to have children, for example.

And it also provides some sort of sexual stimulation when you're having sex,

for example.

Is a healthy diet important?

A healthy diet is really important. It perhaps alongside with exercise,

is the single most important thing to manage for any healthcare condition.

And even if you don't have any healthcare condition,

it's the most important thing to look at alongside exercise to prevent any

healthcare conditions arising.

A healthy diet consists of a balanced meal between fats, proteins, sugars,

and so on. So it's really important that your plate of food when you eat,

has a little bit from each food family. Again,

anything of one or the other, too much is always bad.

Everything in moderation is always the answer.

What causes erectile dysfunction?

Most of the time erectile dysfunction is caused by mental,

poor mental health or mental health that isn't going right for that individual.

Sometimes it can be caused by cardiovascular or neurological conditions,

and by that I mean something wrong with the heart or with the brain or the

nerves that come out the brain,

but that's actually rarer than the mental ill health cause.

Is there a cure for erectile dysfunction?

The cure for erectile dysfunction depends on the cause. So most of the time,

erectile dysfunction is caused by mental ill health,

in which case the treatment for it is actually managing the cause of the mental

ill health.

Whether that's low mood, anxiety, having paranoid thoughts,

whatever that might be. Body dysmorphia disorder, for example.

And if it's caused,

if erectile dysfunction is caused by cardiovascular or neurological conditions,

then it means treating that. So most of the time, yes, there is a cure for it,

but it depends on what's causing it.

How is erectile dysfunction treated?

Erectile dysfunction is treated depending on the cause of it in the first place.

So most of the time it's caused by mental ill health. That can be anxiety,

depression, body dysmorphia, just to name a few.

And if that's the cause,

then the treatment is the treatment for

those disorders or conditions.

If it's caused by a cardiovascular problem or a neurological problem,

then again, depending on that, then the treatment is offered.

So I know that sounds like there's not really a clear answer,

but it kind of depends on what the cause is.

And if you're not able to work out what the cause is, and I,

I totally understand that, then see a doctor or clinician,

they can help you work that out and then they'll be able to sort out the cause

and then the treatment for it.

Can erectile dysfunction cause infertility?

So erectile dysfunction can cause infertility in the terms

of the fact that if you're not able to stay aroused,

then you will not be able to ejaculate, which is necessary to have children.

So in pure physical mechanics, yes it can do,

but it does not mean that you are infertile.

I know that sounds really confusing, right? But essentially,

fertility is actually determined on how well your

sperm that are produced in your testicles, how well they're functioning.

So actually the chances are that you are absolutely fine from a fertility


but obviously erectile dysfunction prevents you having sex to the level and

the consistency that you'd want to then, in which case, yes, you're,

it may impact whether you can have children or not from a physical mechanics

perspective, but it doesn't mean that you are infertile.

How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed?

Erectile dysfunction is actually what we call in medicine, a clinical diagnosis.

And so what that means is that we talk to you,

we explore what it is that you are having from a symptoms point of view,

and then we put that together with our knowledge of what we know

about erectile dysfunction,

and then we can decide at that point whether you have erectile dysfunction or

not. So again, there's no particular test,

like a blood test or a scan to diagnose erectile dysfunction.

It's very much us working together with you as doctors and

clinicians to work out whether we think you have it from what you are saying or


Does a healthy lifestyle help with erectile dysfunction?

A healthier lifestyle would definitely help with erectile dysfunction.

And I think what's really important here is to say a healthier lifestyle

includes not just your physical health, but also your mental health.

Your mental health is incredibly important for your performance down south,

and I think it will help if you feel well within

yourself, both up top to help you down below.

So you can do lots of things to prevent erectile dysfunction.

And they're things like taking care of your mental health,

whether that be exercising, talking to friends, socialising,

journalling, debriefing with a work colleague, whatever it might be.

Do it work out, what is your safe space, what provides you with that release,

and that will help.

And then there are some physical things you can do as well because some erectile

dysfunction is caused by other things like cardiovascular problems.

So you can stay healthy weight, you can manage your blood pressure,

which may mean eating well and healthily,

and you can do other things like reducing the amount you smoke or don't smoke,

or don't take up smoking.

And the same with drinking and reduce it or don't take it up if you're able to.

So those things will help as well.

Is testicular cancer and prostate cancer the same thing?

So testicles and prostate are two different parts of your body.

The testicles sit within the scrotum, which is the sack

essentially under your penis,

and the prostate is a gland that sits in between your male genitalia and your


So they're two different parts of the body and have two different purposes.

So unfortunately they're different. They're different.

So you can get cancer in both.

And so it is important that you self-examine as a man your testicles.

So when you're in the shower, feel them, make sure they feel nice and smooth.

Any abnormal lumps or bumps, go see a doctor straight away.

And that's really important. And from a prostate perspective,

you can't necessarily feel it yourself,

but if your symptoms in terms of your urine flow,

or if you notice any blood in your urine,

then those are definitely signs you need to see someone quickly.

Is there treatment available for hair loss?

So there is treatment available for hair loss. Again, it depends on the cause.

So if it's for example,

iron deficiency and they've done a blood test and worked that out,

then you can have iron supplements. But again,

that's a rarer cause of hair loss.

In most men is ordinarily male pattern hair loss,

and that's a receding frontline and a thinning on the crown and then that

sometimes can get worse. It affects the whole head. Very occasionally

there are some autoimmune conditions,

which basically means the body attacking itself and they're things like alopecia

and that's when people get a lot of hair loss or patchy hair loss.

So the treatment depends on the cause

For alopecia is likely you'll need to see a dermatologist because the treatments

are specific for that.

For male pattern hair loss,

there are some gels or foam foams that you can use that sometimes

prevent it getting worse

and if it's for a cosmetic reason and it's affecting your confidence,

then sometimes people choose to get hair transplants as well.

Is hair loss genetic?

There is a genetic component to hair loss in men and that

is there is an old wives tale that it follows your mum's side,

and I'm not sure how accurate that is. Having said that,

my uncles are bald and I think I'm going a bit,

so maybe there's some truth in that, I don't know. But

I think what's true is that there is an element of genetic

input to it

but I guess it doesn't really matter because it is treatable.

But some people choose to just be at peace with it and let it be and

embrace it, but it's totally unique to the individual.

I think there's no right or wrong there.

What are the emotional effects of hair loss?

I think hair loss can affect someone's confidence. We,

in the modern day society associate having a full head of hair

with being youthful and I think that's probably not necessarily

correct. I think hair loss can affect anyone at any point.

So it is, it's really common.

It can affect people's mental health but my advice to you is if it's

affecting you and causing you mental health, then that needs to be addressed.

And then there are treatments available for it.

Speak to a doctor and then you can manage it according to how you think is right

for you.

What lifestyle factors can cause hair loss?

So actually things like excessive washing

can make hair loss more rapid. Equally, again,

things like smoking, alcohol,

excess weight can make hair loss more rapid as well.

But sometimes it is just one of those things that whether you are the healthiest

person in the world, you might still lose your hair as a man.

And I think that's really unsettling to hear and I totally get it.

And I think my advice in these situations would be think about how much it

affects you and then there is no right or wrong. So for you,

it might not be a bother at all. You might think,

I don't mind and just embrace it. But it might equally bother you a lot.

So if you choose to wear a cap or if you choose to have some treatment for it,

or if you choose to have a hair transplant, I think that's totally,

totally reasonable. But it's your choice.

I think that's what you should remember.

What exercises can improve erectile dysfunction?

So exercises help in terms of physical

exercise will help your general health,

and that will minimise your risk of getting cardiovascular disease,

which is one of the causes of erectile dysfunction. So from that perspective,


but there are no exercises that would be localised to your down south region to

help with that, unfortunately.

Is hair loss common?

Hair loss in men is really common,

and I think if as you get older you probably will experience some

sort of hair loss in some shape or form, and if you don't,

you're just incredibly lucky. For women, it slightly different. It depends.

Sometimes it worsens post pregnancy.

Sometimes it can be because of vitamin in deficiencies and

it is slightly different case for women, but for men, it is very, very common.

What is Telogen Effluvium?

So telogen effluvium is the medical word for describing

hair loss or patchy hair loss, for example.

That is usually temporary and it often happens after

a period of stress or emotional or emotional

insult, for example, is what we call it. But that basically means it can be,

you could have been through a really emotional event in your life,

whether that be a bereavement, splitting up from a partner, work stress,

whatever it might be.

You might just be exhausted and sometimes you can suddenly notice some hair's

gone, and that is what Telogen effluvium is.

The thing you should be really reassured about is that in most cases,

it comes back. So you're all good.

What is Male Pattern Baldness?

So male pattern baldness is a type of hair loss that affects men

Classically, it starts at the front hairline,

and sometimes that can start to thin out and then go backwards,

but it can also start or be at the same time on the crown at the back of your

head, and that can start to thin, and then it just comes out as a circle,

and then eventually, if it progresses,

it can sometimes mean that the two areas meet and there's a lot of hair loss,

and sometimes men are left with just hair around the sides. It is very,

very common, is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about.

It is one of those things that happens to men as they get older,

and sometimes men can get it from as young as 20, even younger in some cases.

There's an old wives tale that the men who have no hair on their head are more

fertile. Again, I'm not sure how much that's true,

but maybe it's a nice thing to think about.

What is diabetes?

So diabetes is essentially abnormal sugar control within your blood,

and that doesn't necessarily mean sugar just on a day-to-day basis. For example,

I've eaten a chocolate bar. What's my sugar level in my blood right now? No,

that's not what I mean. What diabetes is,

is that when you've had long periods of having

abnormal amounts of sugar and then your body doesn't respond to that in the way

it should, that's when it's a problem and that's what diabetes is.

What is Alopecia Areata?

So alopecia areata is something

We call it an autoimmune condition,

and that's basically when unfortunately the body

recognises its own self in areas as foreign,

and so it starts to attack it.

We don't know why this happens and so

unfortunately it means that we need to think of different new ways of treating

it in the future. At first,

it can give you patchy hair loss and then eventually,

sometimes that patchy hair loss can expand and cause a lot of your hair

to go.

It can happen in different phases at different rates and it can be really,

really scary.

So I think if you think you're getting really abnormal patches of hair loss,

go and see someone and they'll probably get you to see a dermatologist who

should be able to advise you a bit more, bit more detail.

What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?


so type one diabetes is actually something that

you have when you're a lot younger.

It affects you normally people notice it in their teens or when they could

be even younger than that, but generally around their teens.

And Type two diabetes is something that develops over a much longer period,

and it often happens in individuals that are perhaps a little bit

overweight or have high blood pressure have a poor

dietary lifestyle. Eating the wrong foods, for example.

Perhaps too much types of carbohydrates or processed foods can make you

more at risk of getting diabetes.

And your body doesn't know how to respond in type two diabetes to sustain

periods of high sugar,

and therefore it secretes an abnormal amount of a hormone called

insulin from your pancreas.

And your pancreas is an organ in your body that tries to desperately control the

amount of sugar that's within your blood.

Type one diabetes is slightly different in terms of the fact that people can be,

have no insulin, for example, or their pancreas doesn't produce any,

and so therefore they have to take insulin via injections from a lot younger


So they're two different types that affect different types of people at

different stages in their life. But essentially, if you have any symptoms,

for example,

sweatiness, peeing more often then those are things that you should definitely

see a doctor about to get a blood test that can work out whether you have either

type of diabetes.

Is diabetes genetic?

So it isn't inheritable, meaning that if your dad or mum have it,

you're definitely going to get it. But there is something,

what we call a genetic tendency in type two diabetes,

meaning that if you have a strong family history of it,

you are more likely to get it.

But that doesn't mean that you are going to, so whatever it is,

even if your mum or your dad or your grandfather, your grandmother, have it,

you can still do the right things to prevent getting type two diabetes.

And that's by keeping your blood pressure within control,

staying fit and healthy, not smoking, drinking minimal amounts,

and having good mental health.

Can I drink fizzy drinks if I am diabetic?

I think you can,

but I don't like to give answers that are really yes or no in these situations.

I think what's key here is that whatever you do, it should be in moderation.

So anything too much of anything is bad. Even if,

dare I say, even too much exercise can sometimes be bad.

So what I mean by that is if you have fizzy drink,

try a low calorie one if you can.

Or if you really want a fizzy drink,

just try it as a treat or a special occasion, not too often.

So yes, you can, but in moderation is probably what I would say.

How is diabetes treated?

So it depends on the type of diabetes you have,

but largely the aim and diabetic treatment is to manage

your blood sugar levels on a chronic basis.

So what we used to do is look a little bit about what your blood sugar level is

right here, right now,

but we've learned that that's not necessarily the right way of managing


So we do a blood test that looks at how your diabetic control or your blood

sugar level has been over the last few months.

And our aim as doctors is to make that reading an

acceptable level. And so we can do that in numerous ways. In fact,

the very first way that we'd love to manage it is by not giving you any

treatment at all and saying,

do exercise and keep healthy and reduce a bit of weight and stop smoking.

And those things in itself can sometimes be enough to stop diabetes

progressing. And in some cases I have seen in a very,

very small amount of cases,

people take that so seriously that they've managed to reverse their diabetes and

that would be amazing. If that doesn't happen,

then don't worry. It can be treated with a form of tablet medication.

And if that doesn't work, the next option is injections.

But hopefully we don't have to go down that route.

Can diabetes be cured?

So again, it depends on the type of diabetes you have.

Most people have type two diabetes,

and if you catch it early enough actually it can be reversed.

And by that I mean if you really work at your blood pressure control

and your weight and your exercise and your diet, you can actually reverse it.

And I have seen a very few, albeit a handful of people who have done it

if that doesn't work, then it can still be managed and controlled.

So don't despair. So there is a solution for it in one way or another.

Can diabetics still eat foods containing sugar?

Diabetics should have a balanced

dietary intake. So you can have foods that have sugar. Absolutely.

But like I say to most of these types of treatment plans is that the best way to

do this is to have everything in moderation.

Too much or too little of anything can be dangerous.

So equally not having enough sugar in your blood bloodstream can be dangerous


So the key is that blood sugar levels need to be kept at a certain level,

not too high, not too low.

So it's important that you have meals that give you protein,

sugars, carbohydrates, a mixture of all of these things.

Fats and a balanced meal regularly is the key.

Does regular exercise help with my diabetes?

Absolutely regular exercise will help in managing your diabetes.

In some cases, if diabetes is catched at the pre-diabetic stage,

which is just the little bit before someone develops diabetes,

actually diabetes in that instance can be reversed with exercise and healthy

diets and a good kind of holistic health pattern.

So absolutely it can be, and not only for diabetes,

but exercise can help with pretty much every physical and

mental condition that there is.

So it is perhaps the best type of treatment for whatever

you're suffering from.

How important is choosing a good diet for managing diabetes?

So diet is really important for diabetes.

Essentially what diabetes is,

the abnormal, or should we say,

reduced production of hormones that are able to manage high blood sugar

levels that have been there for some time.

So if you can help your body adjust by managing it with a more

balanced diet, your body is able to regulate the amount of insulin,

which is the hormone that needs to be produced to reduce blood sugar,

and it can manage its secretion on a day-to-day basis.

So it's really important that you manage your diet. It will really help.

Should I donate my organs?

I think that's a really interesting question.

I think it depends on how you feel about it. My view is,

I think if you are comfortable with it and you don't mind the idea,

I think you should definitely do it. It's good for society,

it's good for that person who might be lucky enough and fortunate enough to

inherit your organ if something were to happen to you at any point in your life.

Personally, I've been the benefactor of that. I,

I've actually had a heart condition myself.

It was diagnosed many years ago,

actually when I was at medical school by my flatmate when he was listening to my

heart when we were practicing for our exams.

And he heard something a little bit abnormal in one of the valves in my heart.

And I got it checked out, thankfully.

And the doctor said to me which is really weird,

being a doctor myself and being on the receiving end of these things,

he said to me at some point, we're going to have to fix this Aaron.

And actually last year,

that time came and I had an operation and that operation was

open heart surgery. I got sliced open from top to bottom,

and the way in which they fixed my heart was to switch a couple of

valves round. And in the vacant position of where one lap valve was taken out,

they put a donor valve. And that donor,

I don't know who that person is

and I can only be really eternally grateful for their decision

to donate their valve upon their passing.

And it's given me life.

And I don't think there's anything more powerful than that.

And I certainly will be donating my organs or whichever organs

are good enough to give to someone else when that time comes for me.

But I think it's really important to underscore that by saying it's a personal

decision for you. There is no right or wrong

but what I can say is that whoever did it for me, I'm very grateful for.

How can I support someone who is diabetic?

So support can come in various ways.

I think that can be mental and personal support,

encouraging them to do exercise, encouraging them to drink in moderation,

to not smoke, to be a running buddy with them, for example,

to give them that bit of motivation. That can be support

if you know that your friend or your partner or whoever it is that you're trying

to support. Isn't that great with taking their medications.

It can be supporting them in their reminders and their prompts but I

think the key is to provide physical, mental emotional,

and partnering support on a day-to-day basis and try and do a

bit of all of those things.

What is considered premature ejaculation?

So premature ejaculation is essentially when you

ejaculate either when by yourself or with your partner earlier

than you normally do.

So there is some school of thought that there is a certain

timeframe that is considered normal.

But what I would prefer to say here is actually what is it that's normal for

you? What is your normal kind of duration of time,

whether that be by yourself or with your partner? And has that changed?

And if that has changed how much by?

And if it feels different to you,

then I think it's fair enough to take it to your doctor or your clinician and

discuss it with them and talk about why that might be the case.

Is Viagra safe?

Viagra is safe.

It's a medication that is used to help maintain or get an

erection for sexual function. What I would say, however,

is that you should consult a clinician before you take

it because sometimes Viagra can have other effects

on the cardiovascular system and so it's important that you discuss it with

someone before you take it just in case you have something that's bespoke or

particular to you.

That might mean that you should just think twice before you take it.

Are orgasms and ejaculation different?

So ejaculation is the physical release of

seminal fluid or semen through your male genitalia

when you climax.

And an orgasm essentially is the pleasure that you receive

when that happens.

Is a curved penis normal?

I think penises can come in many different shapes and sizes.

There is no normal, so it's a bit like a fingerprint.

It's going to be really unique to you.

So it is entirely normal to have one that leans one way and

someone else might have it lean the other way,

or to have curves in places that others may not,

and for it to be different colour, skin on one side to another,

all these things are completely normal,

and I think just be proud in the fact that yours is the way that yours is.

What is HIV?

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. And as it says in the name,

it is a virus and it is one that is sexually transmitted,

but can actually also be transmitted by blood to blood

transmission. So that can unfortunately be in contaminated blood through

needle stick injuries,

for example and other forms of transmission like that.

Does my sexual health affect overall health?

Sexual health, mental health,

physical health are all completely intertwined.

So your sexual health can affect your physical health,

it can affect your mental health or the other way around.

So what I would say here is that if you think that things are a bit

different to usual in the way that you are intimate with your partner or in the

way that you might receive pleasure or by yourself or with your partner,

whatever that might be,

or if you're feeling like you have symptoms that are just new or out of the

ordinary, that might be discharge,

frequent urination or the need to feel,

the need to urinate more frequently than usual or a bit of itchiness,

any of those things, lumps or bumps,

then go pop yourself down to sexual health clinic or see a provider that can

give sexual health advice. Do that quickly and then it can be seen to.

How do people get HIV?

Most commonly HIV is transmitted through sexual contact,

an exchange of bodily fluids. Very occasionally. I mean very, very occasionally.

It can be transmitted through contaminated needles when people share

needles or when there is a needle stick injury, for example.

And commonly the sexually transmitted infection of HIV is done

through unprotected sexually intercourse.

Or if there are issues with the barrier contraceptive method that people are

using, for example, a break in a condom.

What are the most common STI's?

The most common STIs are things like chlamydia or gonorrhea.

There are rarer ones but those are the ones that people most commonly get

routinely screened for.

How do I know if I have an STI?

The symptoms of an STI differ according to whether you are a man or woman.

Sometimes they don't have any symptoms at all, which is why routine screening,

especially if you're very sexually active, is really important.

What I would say is if you get any symptoms that are different to what you

normally experience,

then I would go to a sexual health physician and get that checked.

And even if you don't get any symptoms,

if you have recently had multiple partners or if you have a new

one and you want to just get a screen beforehand,

I would encourage you to get regular testing.

What is an STI?

An STI is a sexually transmitted infection.

So this essentially means an infection that is transmitted through having

sex. Again,

ordinarily this happens when sex is unprotected, and when I say unprotected,

I mean without a barrier method of contraception. So predominantly, I mean,

condoms here and there are lots of different types of sexually transmitted

infections. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes simplex virus,

which is herpes essentially, or HIV,

are the most common ones that people know about and get checked for.

Does a condom prevent an STI being passed on?

Using a condom will definitely reduce the risk of you getting a sexually

transmitted infection.

It acts as a barrier between the exchange of bodily fluids when you have sex,

and for the most part will prevent you getting a sexually transmitted infection.

Not always. Sometimes there can be breaks in the condom,

so there is always a little bit of a risk, but it does work very effectively.

What is a testicular self-examination?

A testicular self-examination is what you as a

man should be trying to do every few months when you are

in the shower or getting dry after a shower. And essentially what that is,

is using your hands to feel the

testicles within the sack and making sure that it feels nice and


If you notice any abnormalities a bit or an area that might be a bit harder than


an area that might be a bit more craggy or feel a bit firm or a lump that

moves about in either side.

And I think it's important to compare both testicles to each other.

If any of those things happen,

go and see your doctor straight away and you'll need an ultrasound scan and that

can very quickly determine what the cause of that is.

What is a genital wart?

A genital wart is a lump or a tiny little tag,

if you will. That can happen on your genital region,

and it can happen in men and women,

and it is caused by a virus.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

So prostate cancer can be diagnosed in a few ways.

I think the first thing is the screening,

screening step when the doctor will put their finger on your bottom and feel it.

But then also they'll do a PSA blood test and also take a history from you and

ask you what are the symptoms that you've been experiencing?

And together with those three things,

we can get a real good insight as to whether, does this feel right,

is this abnormal or not? And if they're thinking it's a bit more abnormal,

then they'll send you on to have a scan. And the scan,

it depends on how,

where you are and what type of worries they have about your particular case.

But there's different types of scans they can do afterwards.

So an ultrasound is an example. And then when they do that,

then they'll have a good look at the prostate and be able to tell you for sure

is this something,

is this a dangerous enlargement or is this a normal enlargement?

And I think that's a really key point because you can get normal enlargements of

the prostate. And as you get older, that will happen to a certain degree.

And if it's abnormal,

then the next step will be to think about how we manage this.

Do we manage it with medications or do we manage it with the surgical operation?

But the key here, the key to really be reassured about is if you catch it,

it usually is manageable if you catch it early enough.

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is a growth of cells in an abnormal fashion

or an excessive fashion in one of your testicles, or sometimes both. Very rare,

but usually one or the other.

And it often presents with a mass or a lump that you feel in your

testicle that is abnormal to how it was before.

How is testicular cancer diagnosed?

The first thing that the doctor will do is talk to you and ask you what is it

that you felt, or have you felt anything?

Is there anything abnormal that you feel? Sometimes, and quite commonly,

there are no symptoms at all,

and it's only on examination that someone finds a lump.

That lump then needs to probably be scanned and they usually,

they do an ultrasound scan, which is like a jelly scan.

A bit like when pregnant ladies have their routine scan scans before they give

birth with jelly. And it's completely painless. So don't get worried,

and that scan will determine what the cause of that lump is.

Sometimes it's a cancer, sometimes it's not.

So there's many different causes of lumps, so don't get alarmed straight away.

Go and see your doctor, get it checked out.

Can testicular cancer be cured?

Reassuringly testicular cancer has very good success rates in treatment if

caught early enough. The key is if you feel something abnormal to you,

go and get it checked out. There's multiple treatments available,

one of which can be actually to remove the lump,

but do not fear people and men are perfectly functional with

just one testicle.

What do I do if an abnormality is noticed during a self-examination?

If you find an abnormality, when you self-examine,

essentially the most important thing is to get it seen to as quickly as you can.

So whoever your health provider is, go and see them ASAP,

and they will most likely if they also agree with you and fill the lump,

send you for a scan, and after that it can be worked out what's causing it,

and then it can be dealt with as soon as possible.

Is testicular cancer common?

Testicular cancer is quite common,

and actually it's one of those cancers that is equally as common,

if not sometimes in more cases in younger men as much as older men.

So I think it's really important that men of all ages regularly self-examine

in the shower when it's warm,

and so it's not so shriveled up if you will have a feel.

And if you can't feel anything, or if you're not sure,

get your partner to feel if you have one. It gives you that independent view.

Don't be shy, do it regularly. Just like we tell women to examine their breasts,

it's equally important that men examine their testicles.

How often should I examine my testicles?

I think that's a great question and I'm really pleased you are asking me because

the fact that you're asking me means that you are in tune and you really want to

make sure that you are on top of this. So, nice one.

I think the key here is to do it as frequently as you feel comfortable,

but on average, I would say probably once every six months,

if you are not comfortable checking it yourself,

maybe you have a partner that you'd feel comfortable checking it for you to get

that independent view.

I don't think it really matters as long as you're doing it regularly.

If you feel something, go and see a doctor,

and if they say it's nothing dangerous,

you might want to increase the free frequency of how often you monitor it after

that point. But what I would say is talk to urologist if you feel anything.

Urologist is a doctor that specialises in male genitalia and the organs in that

area, and they'll be able to advise you a little bit more.

What is the correct way to examine my testicles?


so there is no correct way because what I would say

is doing it in any way is better than not doing it at all. That's number one.

Number two is it would be ideal if you did it in a warm environment.

People often recommend the shower because it means that the testicles

aren't shriveled up and you are a little bit more

comfortable. It's warm, it's looser, and you'll get a good feel of it.

What I would then say is use one hand and hold the testicle in

between the two fingers, your index finger and your middle finger,

and your thumb and gently feel between the two,

and do that in a systematic way that you're feeling from the top to the bottom.

And then around the sides.

Think of it like a croc face and that you're covering each area when you feel

in between the two areas, or the fingers and the thumb,

you want to feel a nice, smooth contour. If it feels smooth,

all good. If something feels a bit unusual, a bit out of the ordinary,

a bit like a lump, then try and feel the character of that lump. For example,

is it hard? Is it soft? Is it mobile?

Is it on the testicle or is it separate to the testicle?

And then compare it to the other side.

But the key here is if you feel anything that isn't usual for you,

irrespective of whether you think it's a lump or not,

the safest thing to do is to get it checked out.

What does acne look like?

Acne can come in different shapes and forms, most commonly affecting the face,

the neck, sometimes the back as well.

It can happen in open or closed commo dunes.

Those are the names in the medical term, essentially,

meaning kind of like pores and sometimes acne can cause

scarring. So you can see craters in the skin.

They can have white or blackheads or red even,

and sometimes they can bleed and discharge puss. It's completely normal.

Don't be ashamed if you suffer from it.

I think everyone probably has at some point in their life.

The good thing to know is usually it's treatable and does go away.

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