June Is Men’s Health Month

by | Jun 6, 2023 | Uncategorized

True story: A male patient once told me that he sat at home for over 24 hours with intense chest pain before he decided to come to the hospital. He just thought it was a pulled muscle or indigestion and would go away. Yeah, no, he was having a heart attack. He was lucky to be alive. And I’ve heard similar stories from several people. Men. When it comes to their health, it seems like a good percentage of men just shrug it off. Overall, compared to women, men seem to be much less interested when it comes to their physical health. Maybe it’s a macho thing. Maybe it’s because women receive more medical care early on in their lives related to pregnancies, and therefore build up a more trusting relationship with medicine. I can’t quite figure it out. I’ll tell you, though, I wish I had a dollar for every time a male patient, who was hospitalized, said to me, ‘I’ve never seen a doctor. I’ve been perfectly healthy.’ During the month of June, we call attention to the health of MEN. If you haven’t been to see a primary care physician in a few years now is a good time to get checked out. Your doctor will order some standard bloodwork and, depending on your age, may recommend other screening tests like a colonoscopy or prostate exam. Here’s the reality. Diseases can silently build up in the body for a long time before you start to notice symptoms. And, unfortunately, for some people it can be too late to do anything. That’s why they call it preventative health screening. The goal is to catch any diseases as early as possible and begin treatment. If you escaped your 20’s, 30’s, and even 40’s without a major health event consider yourself lucky. You’ve either live a healthy lifestyle, or your bad lifestyle hasn’t caught up to you yet. I will tell you that if you’re not eating healthy, exercising, and managing your stress it will catch up to you! Men, now is the time to make that drastic lifestyle change. We have to take time to focus on ourselves and stop disregarding our bodies and minds. Wonder why you’re tired all of the time? Some basic bloodwork might show you have low levels of hemoglobin (anemia), and therefore less oxygen available to create energy. Wonder why you feel your heart beating irregularly? Maybe your electrolytes, like potassium and magnesium, are imbalanced and causing heart arrhythmias. Wonder why you have difficulty urinating and emptying your bladder? Maybe there’s something going on with the prostate gland and a specific lab test can detect abnormalities. Many disease processes can be identified early on with just basic bloodwork. A couple of suggestions to consider: incorporate more fruits and vegetables and cut back on the meat and dairy. Reduce the amount of time you spend sitting. Walk more. Walking could be the best long-term form of fitness. Manage your mental stress through meditation, massage, being in nature, and spending time with loved ones. If you smoke, quit. If you drink alcohol, minimize your consumption. Finally, tap into your creativity and express your inner self. Decide now is the time to: put paint on that canvas, hike up that mountain at sunset for a breathtaking photograph, prepare that 5-course dinner for that special someone, or sit down and chip away at your novel. Make the month of June all about you, dude! Stay safe and be well,