Health in the Highlands
Your Appalachian Guide to Healthy Living
5 Reasons for Men to Establish Care with a Primary Care Physician
How Preventative Care Leads to a Better Life
As Men’s Health Month comes to an end, it is important to recap how men can take better care of their overall health. According to the CDC, 13.2 percent of men over the age of 18 are in fair or poor health. When men wait years to begin receiving their annual checkups, they risk losing the benefits of effective preventative care. This is particularly important because men face a unique set of challenges when it comes to their health that can be more frequent and more severe than women. Men’s chances for health risks also increase with age. Therefore, it is never a good idea to wait until the onset of symptoms to establish care with a primary care provider.
During a recent interview with WCYB, Dr. Garner shared today’s five key issues affecting men’s health:
1. Blood Pressure / Hypertension
Monitoring blood pressure is a key component of preventative medicine. Although it may seem like a pesky repetitive task, it allows doctors to identify whether a person is at risk for a heart attack, stroke or similar medical condition that may cause life-threatening health risks.
Eating a lot of fatty foods can be a significant contributor to high cholesterol levels,
which build deposits within a person’s arteries. Genetics can also be a significant contributing factor to cholesterol levels. A quick and easy blood test is a sure proof way to monitoring an individual’s cholesterol and helping to prevent heart disease and heart attacks.
Prostate cancer is the number one cancer found in men. According to the CDC, 13 out of 100 men receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer. As men continue to age, the likelihood of this diagnosis increases. According to the American Cancer Society, a prostate-specific antigen test may catch prostate cancer early by detecting levels in the blood.
4. Smoking & Alcohol Usage
Smoking and alcohol consumption have the potential to increase a person’s risk of getting cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, mouth, throat, liver, colon and breast cancer are among the most common cancers caused by tobacco and alcohol usage. For men who smoke tobacco or drink more than a moderate amount of alcohol, it is important to receive cancer screenings for early detection.
5. Diabetes & Obesity
Managing diabetes and obesity is a crucial aspect for a long and healthy life. Primary care doctors can assist men in monitoring their blood glucose levels along with creating a dietary and exercise plan that suits them best. Obesity is also cause for multiple risk factors including heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Receiving an annual checkup is paramount to creating a unique care plan to get back on track.
Preventative medicine is at the heart of ensuring a healthy lifestyle for men. It is key to healthy living. By completing the simple task of visiting a doctor, men improve their chances of staying healthy while providing their families with piece of mind knowing they’ve seen a physician.