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International Men’s Health Week is June 14-20


It takes place during the week ending on Father’s Day. It is a time designed to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. A time to encourage regular self exams and screening.


Now I’m not sure about your father, brother, or husband, but all mine seem to keep finding reasons to put off getting things that relate to their body checked out. Now if it was a motorized vehicle, well that is a different story.


Research indicates that men go to the doctor less often than women, and are more likely to have a serious condition when they do go. Out of the 15 leading causes of death, men lead women in all of them except Alzheimer’s disease (which many men don't live long enough to develop). Although the gender gap is closing, men still die five years earlier than their wives, on average. The top threats to men are commonly known and are often preventable.


Cardiovascular Disease

Heart disease and stroke are the first and second leading causes of death worldwide in men. Also known as atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, occurs when cholesterol plaques gradually block the arteries in the heart and brain. If a plaque becomes unstable, a blood clot forms, blocking the artery and causing a heart attack or stroke. What you can do to reduce your risk include:


  • Get your cholesterol checked, beginning at age 25 and every five years.

  • Control your blood pressure and cholesterol, if they're high.

  • If you smoke, stop.

  • Increase your physical activity level to 30 minutes per day, most days of the week.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables and less saturated or trans fats.


Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a terrible disease. It spreads early, usually before it grows large enough to cause symptoms or even show up on an X-ray. By the time it's found, lung cancer is often advanced and difficult to cure. Tobacco smoke causes 90% of all lung cancers. So, if you haven’t kicked it yet, it is time to quit! Quitting smoking at any age reduces the risk for lung cancer.


Prostate Cancer

This one is for “men only”, since women don’t have prostates. While one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, only one in 35 will die from it. When detected early, when it's still confined to the prostate gland, the greater the chance for successful treatment. You can reduce your risk of prostate cancer if you:

  • Choose a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals.

  • Exercise most days of the week. If you're new to exercise, start slow and work your way up to more exercise time each day.

  • Maintain a healthy weight

Diabetes

When you’re healthy, your pancreas (an organ behind your stomach) releases insulin to help your body store and use sugar from the food you eat. Diabetes happens when either your pancreas doesn’t make any insulin, makes very little insulin, or your body doesn’t respond to the way it should to insulin. Diabetes usually begins silently, without symptoms. Over years, blood sugar levels creep higher, eventually spilling into the urine. Excess glucose acts like a slow poison on blood vessels and nerves everywhere in the body. Heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations can result if this illness is not detected or controlled.

Obesity and an inactive lifestyle are two of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes.

So as part of your Father’s Day celebrations, invite your male loved ones to make an appointment with their doctor and get checked out. Make June the month when you actively change your eating and exercise habits. Happy Father’s Day – we love you!


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