For Men, Good Health Often Depends on Health Awareness and Early Screenings

By Hector Frisbie, PA-C – New West Physicians, part of Optum Colorado ~

Some of the statistics on men’s health are alarming. Life expectancy for men in the U.S. is 76.2 years; for women, it’s 81.2 years. More than 40%  of men 20 and over are obese and 13.2% of men over 18 are in fair or poor health. Men are less likely to seek help for mental health difficulties, with women seeking mental health support 1.6 times more than men in a 12-month period across the United States. Men are also 1.8 times more likely to take their own lives than women.

Regular physical activity can help control weight, reduce risks of developing heart disease and some cancers, and can improve overall mental health and mood. It’s also important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, include whole-grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein and limit foods and drinks higher in sugar, salt and saturated fat.

Other important reminders for men include managing any chronic health conditions and following treatment plans.  Work with a doctor to get a full understanding of the purpose and side effects of the prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and supplements that you may take. 

Be aware of warning signs of any mental health difficulties. If you have mild symptoms that last for less than two weeks, such as trouble sleeping or feeling down, self-care activities can be a good starting point to feel better. If symptoms are severe or worsening, talk to your health care provider. Symptoms may include:

  • Trouble sleeping or concentrating
  • Appetite changes that may result in unwarranted weight changes
  • Loss of interest in things that you usually find enjoyable

Inability to perform normal responsibilities and daily functions or struggling to get out of bed in the morning due to mood. 

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