Men need preventive health care too
We all know the importance of annual checkups, screenings and preventive health care. Still, most men only seek medical attention when they are very sick or their spouse pressures them to go. Men should also take an active role in their health by being aware of preventable conditions and early detection screenings, and making healthy lifestyle choices.
Speak up, talk to your doctor
For cultural reasons, men tend not to be talkers at doctors’ visits. The reasons differ, from men thinking they should tolerate pain or not express worries, to simply being uncomfortable. Speak openly with your primary care provider(PCP). Your PCP is not just there to treat you when you are sick, but to partner with you to help prevent health issues.
Get prostate health checked. Prostate cancer is now the most common form of cancer in men. All men are at risk for prostate cancer and the risk increases with age. Early prostate cancer often has no warning signs. In the advanced stage, prostate cancer symptoms include:
Trouble having or keeping an erection
Blood in the urine
Slow or weakened urinary stream or the need to urinate more often
Pain in the pelvis, spine, hips or ribs
Other diseases can also cause these symptoms. It’s important to speak to your doctor to determine the exact cause of your symptoms and ways to lower your risks for prostate cancer and other diseases.
Get testosterone levels checked. This male hormone peaks during the teenage and young adult years. It naturally declines with age, but lower than normal levels can be connected to diabetes, heart disease and depression.
Dispel the gender myths
Depression. Are women more prone to depression and suicide? No, in fact, just the opposite is true.
It’s important for men to know the symptoms of depression including persistent feelings of sadness, difficulty sleeping and loss of interest in activities that once made you happy. Depression negatively affects physical health. Talk to your PCP if you think you might have depression.
Immune System. Think the male immune systemis stronger than the female? It’snot, which is why it is important for men to follow the basics:
Eat a healthy diet
Maintain a health yweight
Get physically active
Don’t wait until you are sick to visit your PCP. See your PCP annually to discuss any new symptoms or concerns, and have your cholesterol and testosterone levels, blood pressure and prostate health checked. Most of all, follow your PCP’s instructions and ask questions if their advice is unclear.
https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/data/men.htm accessed on April 10, 2018.
http://www.menshealthmonth.org/ accessed on April 10, 2018.