Lions offer health MOT

Men – particularly in middle age – are notoriously careless with their health, often reluctant to consult their GP for various reasons. An often-month-long wait for a doctor’s appointment scarcely helps.

Bridgnorth Lions Club has recognised this and provided a more informal middle ground for men looking to give themselves a health MOT.

In recent years, the club has offered a PSA blood test for Prostate Cancer. Last September, it widened the screening to add tests for Diabetes and Cholesterol to the PSA check.

Now in June, the Lions are holding a comprehensive Health Check Event – for  men and women – with six tests for a range of possible, often hidden, conditions. Venue is The Castle Hall, West Castle Street, Bridgnorth, on Wednesday June 5, 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

It will comprise the following blood tests.

  1. High Cholesterol does not usually cause any symptoms and can only be detected by a blood test. Too much Cholesterol in your blood can block your blood vessels, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
  2. A bHbAlc blood test is recommended if you are overweight or have a family history of diabetes. Symptoms are increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision and fatigue.
  3. It affects more women than men and symptoms include unexpected weight change, a sluggish metabolism, tiredness, poor concentration, mood swings, feeling cold and heart palpitations.
  4. Iron Count. Iron is an essential mineral that helps the body produce red blood cells. Iron deficiency can cause a lack of energy, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and headaches.
  5. Vitamin D. A low Vitamin D level may require supplements to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
  6. Vitamin B12. Performs several important functions in the body including keeping the nervous system healthy. It can be associated with pernicious anaemia, a vegetarian diet, and some stomach medicines and is more common in older people.  Any deficiency will need to be monitored by a doctor as a full diagnosis can be complex.

Lions spokesman Peter Parker explains: “The reason we are holding this Health Check Event is because, when we offered a Cholesterol and Diabetes test to all the men who turned up for our annual PSA Test Event last September, so many opted to take them.

“What was even more surprising were the results! From the 343 men who had a Cholesterol check 217 (63 per cent) had a high (red) reading.  As for the Diabetes test results, these too were staggering. Of 181 men tested, 32 were diagnosed with having Diabetes.”

 

The Lions have worked for many years now with the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust who have recently been awarded with the Kings Award for Voluntary Service.

“They monitor all the tests that we hold, organise the booking website and send out all the results.  Up to last year they concentrated solely on PSA testing.  However, in conjunction with Bridgnorth Lions Club, they looked at increasing the tests being offered, hence the reason for us holding a Diabetes and Cholesterol Test last year.  The success of our event prompted them to look at other tests that could be done.  In every case a blood sample is taken and whilst doing this why not offer the recipient a range of additional tests at the same time!”

In addition to the range of tests Bridgnorth Lions Club has been chosen to assist in the Manchester University iHelp Study.  This aims to recruit volunteers who are motivated to change and improve their lifestyles.  Each participant will be given a free FitBit watch (accelerometer) which is linked to the trial to enable their lifestyle to be monitored.  Representatives from Manchester University will be on hand to take a further blood sample which will be analysed with the results going into their Genetic Trial database.  Booking on to the free of charge trial can be done when booking the other blood tests.

Each test costs £20 (except the iHelp Trial which is free of charge) and all involve taking a blood sample or samples depending on what tests are chosen.

“We emphasise that anyone who has any concerns about their health should consult their GP as a first port of call,” Peter adds.

  • Each test has to be booked through the org.ukwebsite. Full details can be found on the Bridgnorth Lions website: bridgnorthlions.org.uk where there is a link to the mypsatests booking site.

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