Men’s health is one of the many causes promoted during the month of June. Even though it is late in the month, it is not too late for you men to make that dreaded call to the doctor for either your annual wellness visit or to check on symptoms that may be of concern to you. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has listed the leading causes of death in men in the United States by age group and race. Heart disease ranks first followed by cancer and unintentional injuries (accidents). Many of these deaths could have been prevented if the causes had been treated.1

The National Institutes of Health’s publication Senior Health states that men should consider their relationship with their doctor as a partnership in that you work together as a team. The publication suggests that before your visit you should first list your symptoms including what the symptom is, when it started, how often it happens, anything that makes it better or worse and anything it prevents you from doing. Next, list all medications you are taking including vitamins, supplements and other over-the-counter medications such as allergy pills, pain medications and eye drops. Also include any medications you are allergic to and the symptoms they cause, changes in your life including divorce, death of a family member, change in income or work, what your sex life is like and if you smoke or drink alcohol. If you have seen any other medical professional since your last visit, bring that information also.2

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has issued Recommended Screenings for Men over 50 in its article Men Stay Healthy at 50+. Such screenings are for an abdominal aortic aneurism if you have been a smoker, lung, and colon cancer. Since your emotional health is as important as your physical health, you should also be screened for signs of depression. Among other important screenings are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and vision disorders. You should also ask about any other conditions you are concerned about. 3

The Mayo Clinic Staff has suggestions for taking charge of your health. They include not smoking or using other tobacco products, limiting exposure to air pollution and chemicals, eating a healthy diet including vegetables, fruit and whole grains, losing excess pounds, including physical activity in your daily routine, limiting your use of alcohol, and managing stress. The Mayo Clinic staff also suggest following road safety rules such as wearing your seat belt, follow the speed limit, and don’t drive when tired or using drugs or alcohol.
We at Home Assist Senior Care hope that these suggestions encourage you to take control of your health in the ways suggested. If you have questions, call us and we can help you find other sources of information to answer your questions. In the meantime, men, please make that doctor’s appointment. Realize that your health affects your family as well as you.