Last month, we looked at the most prevalent health risks that women in our country face and ways to help prevent those risks. This month, it’s time to turn our attention toward the guys. June is recognized as Men’s Health Month and celebrated by encouraging men of all ages to educate themselves about their health and partake in preventative health screenings.
“June serves as a pivotal reminder for men to take an active role in their health,” said Dr. Bryan Lowery, Village Health Partners. “When men can better understand the risks and diseases they are susceptible to, they can better create daily routines and habits to fight those health risks.”
The following diseases pose a threat to men’s health, yet have the ability to be prevented with proper care and preventative treatment:
Cardiovascular/Heart Disease – Heart disease is one of the leading killers in both men and women but is a disease that, with proper education and discipline, can be prevented. One of the biggest contributors to heart disease is smoking – so if you smoke, quitting immediately is crucial. If you’re not a smoker, never taking up the habit is best. Also, a well-balanced diet and physical activity are critical. Keeping the heart healthy with proper nutrients, along with maintaining heart strength with exercise helps keep it at top condition.
Prostate Cancer – Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer specific to men with nearly 200,000 estimated new cases this year alone. While there’s not a definitive way to prevent prostate cancer entirely, there are certainly steps you can take to give yourself the best chance of not developing the disease. Eating a low-fat diet and increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables and plant-based foods is recommended. Also, going to your doctor for regular check-ups allows you and your physician to stay ahead of anything developing without your knowledge. While it’s generally recommended to begin having your prostate checked around age 45, speak with you primary care physician about what age is best for you.
COPD – COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is mostly caused by smoking and will generally include bronchitis and emphysema. COPD causes shortness of breath and can limit one’s ability to stay active. Again, a major health concern for both men and women, it’s imperative to not smoke, as this is one of the greatest contributors to COPD. Also, maintaining regular activity and healthy diet should help you steer clear of this disease.
Depression – To some, depression may seem like a taboo topic, but severe depression and depressive disorders are widespread and affect over 6 million men in the United States and can often lead to suicidal thoughts. If you currently suffer from depression or know someone who may, the first best step is to call a professional and seek help. It’s also very helpful to be open with family and friends for additional support. From an individual standpoint, it can be very helpful to get regular exercise, which helps with the release of endorphins, stimulating the mind and feel-good receptors.
Liver Disease – The liver is a vital organ that allows your body to digest food, absorb important nutrients for the body to use and – most importantly – rid the body of toxic substances. Yet, there are various diseases and cancers that can attack the liver and have devastating effects on the body. Alcohol and tobacco use/abuse dramatically increase your chances of developing liver diseases, so refraining from smoking, chewing tobacco or alcohol
At Methodist McKinney Hospital, we’re always concerned about your health, regardless if you’re male or female. If ever you need immediate care, our emergency department is always ready for you. For any questions about your health, feel free to call us at 972-569-2700.