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welcome to the Kings podcast season two

my name is Danielle and I’m here with my

co-host smasa today’s episode is

dedicated to Men’s Health month and

we’re here today with Dr Aly razik hi do

please can you introduce yourself for

the viewers I’m Dr Ali razak I’m a

consultant in Family Medicine uh and

medical director based at Kings College

Hospital marinaa Medical Center in Dubai

Marina it’s man’s health month this

month um commonly known as November will

you be growing the mustache out a bit

longer this month or what’s your plans

yeah it’s a very good question uh I am

considering it uh obviously I’ve got my

my beard already that I’m supporting but

uh I think for movember I might just

have to uh grow the the mo as it’s

commonly known as but uh but let’s see

let’s see how long you can get it by the

end of the month absolutely so because

it’s men’s health month let’s get right

into it men seek out help much less than

women do is this something that you see

in your practice so so to answer that

question absolutely yes um we know from

many many studies that that men are much

less likely in fact half as likely to go

and see a doctor for a medical condition

than than women there are a number of

reasons for for this Behavior now um one

of the main reasons is really it comes

down to these kind of Notions of

masculinity so men typically have this

sort of M show bravado uh kind of

approach to most things in life uh and

this translates into Healthcare as well

you know they’ll they’ll want to not see

a doctor because they may think of it as

a sign of weakness um they may just want

to deal with the problem themselves um a

lot of men also have a fear of of the

underlying diagnosis so at least 20% of

men actually avoid seeing their doctor

because they’re worried that there is

actually something quite seriously wrong

with them which doesn’t actually make

much sense if people do feel that there

is something wrong the worst thing that

they can do is actually to to not do

anything about it it and then you’ve

also got men who um well men generally

don’t like to be examined particularly

when it comes to sort of intimate

private examinations um there is

certainly a reluctance when it comes to

this and again it goes back to sort of

Notions of masculinity drawing on from

that um as Healthcare Providers what can

we do to encourage men to seek that help

especially in terms of prevention having

uh events like this talking about the

issues that specifically affect men so

for example for for member it’s all

about raising awareness of men’s phys

physical and mental health when it comes

to physical health it’s about talking

about conditions like you know prostate

cancer testicular cancer uh men’s mental

health as well um but really it’s about

all of us you know even our loved ones

uh uh you know wives girlfriends uh

daughters if you are concerned about

your man then then do um speak to speak

to uh speak to him to encourage him to

do that because evidence does show that

you know nagging uh somebody to to

actually go and see their doctor does

actually work so there is there is some

some evidence that shows that that’s the

case but it’s again it’s all about you

know normalizing and and uh talking

about these issues that affect men

specifically in the more natural way so

that there’s less stigma when it comes

to seeing seeing a doctor and getting

those things checked out for men okay so

nagging is is good I remember that yeah

yeah giving you permission to your your

husbands so men are more likely to

suffer from physical health problems

such as diabetes and stroke and prostate

cancer compared to women so

why do we think that that is so there’s

definitely physiological differences

between men and women so when it comes

to the biggest Killers uh uh or or the

highest causes of mortality for men

which is cardiovascular disease you know

we know that for example women um you

know estrogen is a protective Factor

against cardiovascular disease in

premenopausal populations after the

menopause then the risk starts to

increase for for women as well so that

that kind of protective um effect starts

to become downplayed but actually you

know that that doesn’t explain really

the differences between the two Sexes

there are several major risk factors

associated with things like

cardiovascular disease so they include

things like you know having high blood

pressure having high cholesterol uh

diabetes uh a poor lifestyle uh which

may include you know La lack of activity

stress and smoking and these things tend

to be a lot more prevalent in men uh

than they are in women for a lot of

these different reasons you know they

combin together to form a perfect storm

where you know men become much more at

risk of developing these sorts of things

than the female counterparts

unfortunately that’s really interesting

um a thing that we see quite a lot about

and we were quite Keen to ask you is

especially on social media we see a lot

of this kind of talk about testosterone

or trt and um people like Joe Rogan have

obviously gone publicly and kind of

promoted it or whatnot how do we

encourage people to check their

testosterone levels and how do we let

men know that they can overdo it or

underdo it or what’s the general

consensus of it so you know testosterone

is a very important hormone it’s the

it’s the main m masculine hormone and

it’s responsible for men you know having

the masculine traits like having

increased muscle mass um having

increased uh sort of libido being

ambitious um you know being full of

energy um facial hair body hair all

these sorts of things so um when it

comes to sort of uh when to tell men to

to to to get their testosterone levels

checked well typically after the age of

about 30 men’s testosterone levels start

to decline by about 1% every year um it

could be at a faster rate depending on

on sort of other comorbidities as well

so really if if you’re a man above 30

who is starting to notice that some of

the things associated with um you know

having low testosterone are what you

feel so if you feel very fatigued if you

feel that your libido is not where it

used to be if you just feel that your

motivation and and um you know your

energy levels are quite low then then

certainly at that point you should be

considering um you know having your your

your blood’s checked including your

testosterone levels um now you know what

what is the risk associated with with

treating low testosterone well you know

if if it’s if it’s done in a in a proper

way if if people come and see their

doctor whether it’s a family medicine

doctor if they find that they have low

testosterone and they end up seeing uh

get referred to some someone like an

endocrinologist a hormone specialist you

know that if it’s done in the proper way

where they’re given the right amount of

testosterone um then typically you know

a lot of the risks can be mitigated

however the risks really become more

apparent when people start to maybe you

know use uh steroids in a in a non sort

of structured way under the you know

without anyone giving them any clear

advice so so some of the risks

associated with that can be things like

having you know poor fertility so you if

you can imagine people who take

testosterone um injections what happens

with that is that um you know the body

or the brain senses that you’ve got very

high levels of testosterone and because

they’ve got very high levels then the

body starts to make much less

testosterone itself to the point where

it may start making no testosterone at

all and that will affect someone’s

fertility um it can also affect what

very high levels of testosterone can

increase the risk of cardiovascular risk

um having heart attacks having Strokes

having blood clots as well um acne um so

there are a number of and also

importantly for for older men so men who

may have prostatic problems so enlarge

prostate or even prostate cancer if they

take testosterone in a in a non sort of

medical way and non-monitored way it can

actually lead to the progression of

prostate cancer and and and prostate

disease as well so so the message really

is that if you’re concerned about low

testosterone then do see your doctor and

and get it checked in in a proper

structured medical way it’s so important

to talk about mental health and it’s

something that a lot of men don’t talk

about why do you think that is and also

what mental health issues do you see men

in Dubai coming to you with again it’s

it’s mental health is in men is

something that’s really not talked about

anywhere near as much as it should be um

so you know again it comes down to these

Notions of masculinity so so men may

think of mental health even more so than

physical health as as you know a taboo

subject or stigmatized thing and and if

you you know if you if you’re if you

have if you have a mood a mood issue if

you have you know if you feel depressed

or low this you know this is something

that that you should be ashamed of even

so you know there is a lot of this kind

of uh feeling around it when it comes to

mental health the types of conditions

that that affect men um from a mental

health point of view are things that we

see are you know depression low mood

anxiety stress

um sometimes also sort of you know

substance and alcohol uh abuse

potentially as well uh loneliness as

well all these things can contribute to

to people’s sort of declining mental

health um of course there are other sort

of more you know other conditions such

as bipolar effective disorder

schizophrenia but this tends to be seen

by by psychiatrist but certainly there’s

you know there’s evidence that shows

that at least one in five men at some

point in their lives will have some sort

of uh mental health uh type problem um

and the very sad statistic is that you

know that’s come from the member

Charities that of every minute of every

day some a man will take his own life uh

due to due to depression you know men

are three qus of of the account for

three quarters of suicides uh

unfortunately so it’s really important

that men you know understand that there

are very serious mental health issues

that can affect them and that they

should seek help when they do feel

things aren’t 100% absolutely do do you

think um relating that to kind of like

Dubai lifestyle do you think this kind

of um all work mentality or is kind of

lead into these factors of stress

depression loneliness or what do you

think that we can do as a society in

Dubai to kind of mitigate this a little

bit more Dubai is certainly a city where

people you know come here who are very

motivated and you know they want to work

hard and make the very best sort of

lives to themselves that they can and

there’s a lot of pressure to perform and

there’s a lot of pressure to to sort of

look at certain way way to you know have

the right sort of car and the right

clothes and be seen in the right places

so all these things will lead to you

know a lot of pressure on on people to

perform and and and to to have that kind

of lifestyle or to at least appear to

have that sort of Lifestyle so I think

it’s really important for for anybody

really to to kind of sometimes just take

a step back and you know if they’re

waking up and they’re working really

hard just to maintain appearances then

that’s not really a reason for them to

to sort of uh to do these things and if

they feel that things aren’t quite right

then you know that point they need to

really ask themselves that you know how

much is this sort of modern fast-paced

lifestyle affecting your mental health

and is it time for you to slow down and

and it’s really important as well with

you know when it comes to social media

as well to sort of take a break and and

a lot of these things don’t appear you

know the things that they appear they’re

not quite the same as reality um so so

people men in particular need to take

these things with with a pinch of salt

related to that on social media like you

were saying a lot of people do promote

this hyper productivity and uh wake up

at 5:00 a.m. and just on the go all the

time and how do you think that’s

negatively impacting men look I I think

there’s no harm in in in somebody

working as hard as they can to to you

know to be the very best version of

themselves that they can be by by

working hard you know as long as you

know waking up very early in the morning

is not necessarily a bad thing but you

know provided that person is getting

their adequate amount of sleep so

they’re getting their seven eight hours

of sleep you know they’re they’re

looking after their physical health

they’re looking after their mental

health so it’s all a careful Balancing

Act you know of course people will push

themselves extremely hard but as long as

they are they are looking at every

single aspect of their life and they’re

just not purely obsessed with you know

work and um and and sort of uh their

finances and and you know Keeping Up

Appearances as long as they they’re

doing the right things for their own

mental and physical health then then I’m

a supporter of that circling it back but

also linking it to the point about

social media um body dysmorphia in men

isn’t something that we’ talk about

either so we don’t really talk about

mental health in men as much as we

should and I don’t think we talk about

body dysmorphia in men as much as we

should either um but when you look at

social media men are kind of bombarded

by this imagery of the six-pack the

biceps this I don’t know sleeves this

really specific look how can self-esteem

be affected by this and is this an issue

that you hear men talk about quite a lot

or is it more just something that’s kind

of spoken about on like Tik Tok or

Instagram body dysmorphia syndrome or

disease in men is actually a very uh you

know uh prevalent condition in the last

25 years for example the it’s tripled in

incidents amongst men so it actually you

know a recent study shows that it

affects 43% of men um and that’s almost

as many as as as much as it affects um

women um so there’s definitely you know

an impact on this uh on men you know

when it comes to body dysmorphia it’s

basically where where where people may

become uh un you know unhealthy hey

obsessed or fixated with an aspect of

their physicality whether it’s their

face their nose their skin um their body

shape or muscles in an unnatural and an

unhealthy way you know you mentioned

this issue regarding sort of people

trying to look very fit and muscular um

there’s a very specific um subset of or

condition of called muscle dysmorphia or

bigorexia as they as it’s more commonly

known as um and it affects specifically

men who who actually work out um

obsessively uh and when you actually

look at these uh chaps they you know

they tend to be very muscular much more

muscular than the average person but in

their minds when they look in the mirror

you know they what they see is a small

skinny person or or an overweight person

um and although it might sound trivial

but this can really affect their their

mental uh Health in a big way and it can

lead to depression um you know being

housebound and all sorts of things like

this so it really is important that that

that people sort of take on board that

the images that they’re flashed in front

of them all the time through social

media and we live in a very visual age

at the moment unfortunately you know

although there may be some benefits to

that but also you know some of the

negative aspects you know manifes in

things like body dysmorphia syndrome and

you know all I’d say is you know looking

a certain way may not necessarily you

know accurately reflect somebody’s

actual underlying health so the most

important thing is to be healthy you

know both from a physical and mental

point of view you know and and not have

to conform to look to a specific way

just because it’s in fashion at the

moment thank you for talking to us so

far about the physical and mental health

of men we like to end the podcast with a

top secret though so with it being men’s

health month what’s your top secret for

men to look after their health I mean

what I would say is this that you know

be the very best version of yourself

that you can be but when you try and do

that make sure that you’re you know for

you to be able to do that you need to be

at your 100% when it comes to both your

physical and mental health so you know

don’t push yourself into the ground you

know don’t work yourself to the Bone but

if you’re going to work hard make sure

that you you’ve got you know that the

health capacity and and ability to do

that so you know it’s movember it’s

men’s sort of a health month you know

put yourself first get yourself checked

out you know you find out that

everything is okay that you’re healthy

that there’s nothing really on toward

and a lot of the conditions that can

affect men that cause them problems down

the line are things that are very

preventable that are very easily checked

for potentially you could save your life

by by get yourself checked out amazing

thank you very much Dr Alie thank you

thank you for having me thank you for

watching this episode of podcast Dr Ali

B up some really emotional and

insightful topics here at Kings Men’s

Health is really important to us and for

the duration of the month we will be

offering 10% off on all of our health

check packages


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