June is Men’s Health Month

Men's Health MonthJune is Men’s Health Month

Twenty eight years of treating patients has convinced me that men often need to be reminded to “keep tabs” on their own health. I am not sure if it falls under the “men don’t like to ask for directions” category, but it does seem that scheduling regular doctor checkups just doesn’t come naturally for many of my male patients—including my own husband. Maybe that’s why this month has been chosen by the medical community to remind men to keep an eye on their wellness.

So what are some of the annual medical visits that need to be pursued? Let’s break it down by age.

Under Fifty:

  1. General physical with primary care physician. This examination should include the following special tests in addition to the actual physical exam: blood pressure, heart rate, body weight/BMI calculation, full panel of blood work (including an A1C Test), and an EKG.
  2. Dental checkup/ cleaning. Interestingly, gum disease significantly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease—so it’s best to keep an eye on your mouth.
  3. Ophthalmologist. Make sure your vision is still 20-20 and that your eyes are free from disease.

50+ (in addition to the above):

  1. Gastroenterologist. “Celebrate” your 50th birthday by scheduling a colonoscopy! It’s what the American Medical Association recommends. (Colon cancer is often discovered in its advanced stages because the employment of this test has been neglected at its proper time.)
  2. Urologist. Two reasons: For prostate examination and testosterone level measurement (via blood work). Prostate cancer is typically indiscernible (by you) until it is truly advanced. Early detection is a life-saver! Also, men’s testosterone levels can fall dramatically causing a decrease in mental focus, weakness of muscles, hair loss, even agitated or depressed mood swings.
  3. Cardiologist. Now is a great time to make sure your ticker is strong and that all your heart’s blood supply and electrical systems are unimpeded.
  4. Dermatologist. After five decades in the sun, you’d be wise to have a full body check to ensure there are no precancerous or cancerous growths on your “birthday suit”.

Men—love yourself (and your lady) by keeping close tabs on your health. It is by far better to discover that something is “off” earlier in the game.

Ladies—care for your man by loving reminding him (again and again, if need be) to schedule these necessary medical visits, or just go ahead and make the appointments for him. You may just be saving his life!

To return to previous Monday Morning Health Tips, click here.