June is Men’s Health Awareness Month, so in honor of this annual initiative we wanted to showcase some helpful information and reminders related to men’s health before the month ends. We will discuss some interesting facts, suggestions on how to practice healthy decision making in your day-to-day life and ways to raise awareness for men’s health.

Things to Know about Men’s Health

According to an article featured on Everyday Health, Salvatore J. Giorgianni Jr.,PharmD, a senior science adviser to Men’s Health Network (MHN) states, “When you look at the top 10 leading causes of death and stratify by gender, men lead in 9 of the 10 categories.” Given that substantial knowledge, there is no doubt that bringing awareness to men’s health concerns needs to continue to be a priority.

The key is not to let complacency and avoidance of annual check-ups place a barrier between you and your health. By maintaining annual exams that include a review of current concerns, routine blood work and management of ongoing health needs, you will stay ahead of any potential life-threatening health concerns like cardiovascular disease. Your doctor can help monitor your weight, blood pressure, and the level of cholesterol in your blood. Excess weight, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in men in the United States.

Men’s Mental Health - Silence Isn’t the Answer

Although mental health has become a growing concern for men and women in recent years, men continue to battle the pressures of society when it comes to “speaking up” and managing their mental health. The prevalence of mental health issues in men tends to be slightly lower than those in women, but men are more likely to die from suicide. Dr. Giorgianni, as quoe above, states, “Even before the difficult scenario of COVID-19, men’s suicide rates were four times higher than women's. The CDC believes a large reason for this is the increase in substance abuse across the board. Even more difficult to take is that the shift has moved from older men to middle-aged men. There is a tremendous fear among men’s health experts that this will be exacerbated for quite some time. There are too many men dying from conditions that are manageable but by and large preventable.” 

Unfortunately, there continues to be a stigma associated with mental health support which makes things even more difficult for those who are suffering in silence. Men have to learn that it is not “weak” or “unmanly” to seek help for your mental health. Luckily, at our practice specifically, we have a fantastic team that helps to manage our patients mental health needs. If you or someone you know may be suffering from mental health concerns, reach out to us to schedule an appointment.

Stay Active & Practice Good Nutritional Habits

Maintaining a balanced diet and staying active can help you lower your risk for things like cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes. As mentioned above, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, so making heart healthy decisions like eating right and exercising can only help! Not only can it help keep your heart strong, it will improve your mental health as well. 

When it comes to a balanced and healthy diet, avoid the processed stuff. Stick to the natural foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean cuts of meat like skinless chicken breast or ground meat.

Being active doesn’t mean you have to go to the local gym to get in a training session. You could bike, walk or play a game of tennis with your friends. The key is to do a healthy mix of aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening activities. Use it as an excuse to try something new.

Don’t Forget About Your Prostate

The second leading cancer diagnosis for men is prostate cancer, as reported by the American Cancer Society. If you have trouble urinating, develop pain when you urinate, or notice blood in your urine, it may be a sign of prostate problems. Don’t hesitate to bring these concerns up to your doctor so that, if necessary, tests are run to assess the underlying issues that may be causing the symptoms you’re experiencing.

The key is to stay in control of your mental and physical health by maintaining proactive healthcare and treatment. Schedule your annual exams, speak up when something doesn’t seem right (physically or mentally) and don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion on an ache or pain you may typically push off as nothing.