June is Men’s Health Month — a month dedicated to raising awareness about health care for men and encouraging healthy habits for longer and happier lives. We want to help men take control of their health and encourage their loved ones to do the same. According to the National Institute of Health, more than one in three men are overweight, which increases the likelihood to develop chronic diseases.
The top five causes of death for men across all races and origins include heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases and stroke. Many of these conditions can be mitigated or pose a lower risk by taking preventive actions regarding men’s health. We’ve compiled four major aspects of health to consider when embracing Men’s Health Month this year.
- Take A Look At Your Diet
Excess weight, especially obesity, diminishes almost every aspect of health and increases the risk for deadly diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. By carrying some extra pounds, there is mechanical stress on the body and complex changes in hormone and metabolism levels. According to the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, more than one in three men are overweight and more than two in five adults have obesity. The good news is that losing as little as 5-10% of body weight offers meaningful health benefits to people who suffer from obesity. Men’s Health mentions four main components for maintaining a healthy diet for the long-term:
- A health-centered program based on your bodily needs.
- A consistency-focused, long-term mindset that allows for imperfection.
- An understanding of essential nutrition as it relates to the balance of macro and micronutrients.
- A wider view of how diet is one part of a large health picture that also includes sleep hygiene, self-care, emotional agility and physical activity.
Ensure a variety of healthy foods from all food groups, including starchy carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy and healthy fats, as they each offer different benefits to the body. Also, plan meals and snacks ahead of time to help avoid temptation or last-minute food decisions. See our week-by-week nutritional guide to learn more about proper nutrition and tips for successful meal planning.
- Manage Stress Levels
Stress tends to present itself differently in men and women for various reasons. It may be due to differences in biological factors, immunity, sex hormones or fight-or-flight responses. According to Very Well Health, this can cause:
- Greater risk for experiencing an increase in aggression, cardiovascular disease and decreased immune functioning.
- Stronger stress responses and higher amounts of cortisol production.
- Decreased levels of testosterone and increased cortisol levels, causing intensified feelings of pain and a higher presence of chronic pain.
It’s essential to avoid chronic stress as it can severely impact the immune system and lead to unhealthy behaviors. Physical symptoms may include pounding heart, high blood pressure, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, clenched jaws and teeth grinding, tightness in the throat, indigestion, stomach cramps, weight gain, etc. It’s just as crucial to recognize psychological symptoms early on to prevent escalation to chronic levels. Look out for sadness, depression, crying, withdrawal, insomnia, mood swings, increased or diminished sex drive, worry, restlessness, irritability, decreased productivity, feelings of insecurity, changes in eating, and increased use of alcohol, drugs or smoking.
If you feel like stress controls your life or have taken steps to eliminate your stress, but symptoms persist, it may be time to see your doctor. They can help evaluate your current situation, help you identify the root cause, and propose practical solutions to manage your symptoms appropriately. Check out our blog to learn more about ways to manage your stress and local resources effectively.
- Stay On Top Of Health Screenings
Typically, men are less likely to seek preventive screenings and checkups with their health care provider than women. By delaying or avoiding this kind of care, men could miss out on identifying any health concerns in the early stages. The Mayo Clinic recommends that men over the age of 50 have a yearly physical exam and that men younger than 50 have an exam every three to five years. It is recommended to speak with your doctor about the following screenings:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm: A one-time abdominal aortic aneurysm screening ultrasound is recommended for men between 65 and 75 who have smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime. This condition involves an enlarged area in the lower part of a major blood vessel that supplies blood to the entire body. If this supplier is ruptured, it can cause life-threatening bleeding.
- Blood pressure: Blood pressure is a good indication of your overall health. Higher numbers can lead to many other physical problems, especially heart problems. At a minimum, men should have their levels checked every two years.
- Cholesterol: High cholesterol can also lead to serious health risks if not managed properly. Starting at age 18, men should have a screening every five years. You may need more frequent testing if there is a family history of high cholesterol or heart attacks, if you smoke, have a poor diet, are overweight, have diabetes, are physically inactive or are older than 45.
- Diabetes: The American Diabetes Association recommends diabetes screenings for anyone over 45 or with a body mass index above 25. Staying aware of blood sugar levels can help keep an eye out for prediabetes symptoms with a better chance of management for Type 2 diabetes.
- Colon cancer: Men should be screened for colon cancer beginning at age 45 via a colonoscopy or other at-home tests may be available.
- Prostate cancer: Recommended age to begin screening varies, but is commonly recommended to start at age 50. Discuss with your health care provider the best time for you.
- Check Out Regenerative Medicine
If you are suffering from new or chronic medical issues, functional medicine may be able to help. Your body possesses incredible restorative powers but may have lost some function due to age, weight, environmental factors or imbalanced hormones. Regenerative medicine can help your body move, perform and regain the healing properties it once had. At KC Wellness, our focus is on using integrative medical treatments that restore overall health, energy and strength, including:
- BHRT for Men: Men of all ages can experience decreased testosterone levels. As they get older, they often hear that they should start expecting various symptoms, including lost strength, higher body fat, decreased energy and diminished libido. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) helps men regain and maintain natural, optimal testosterone levels. The therapy involves testosterone made from the same chemical structure found in hormones already present in the body. By reintroducing them into the body, they can improve overall health and energy. Click here to read about more ways to improve men’s overall health.
- E.D. Treatment: Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common sex-related issues men face. Approximately 30 million men experience it in the United States. The condition is characterized by the inability to develop or maintain erections during sexual activity. Many of the available treatments do not yield positive results without side effects. Our E.D. treatment involves a complete and comprehensive rejuvenation program to fully restore circulation and function with a blend of plasma, growth factors and other natural fluids with healing capabilities. Unlike other erectile dysfunction medications, this therapy treatment is tailor-made and budget-friendly to reverse the condition adversely affecting one’s intimate life.
- Medical weight loss: There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to weight loss. It’s a personal matter that requires an individualized plan to fit your needs and lifestyle. Medical weight loss can be an effective strategy through the help of a health care professional. Patients will learn techniques for goal setting, diet management, physical fitness, staying hydrated and improving sleeping patterns. The overall goal is to find the underlying cause of your weight gain and establish maintainable habits for the long run. Check out our guide on everything you need to know about medical weight loss.
Overall, men can improve their health and quality of life by making healthy food choices, staying active, managing stress levels, and scheduling regular checkups with their health care provider. At KC Wellness, we have helped many men regain control over their health by activating the body’s healing properties. Our team is compassionate and experienced in using non-invasive solutions to find and alleviate the root causes of pain or discomfort. Now it’s time for you to feel like the best version of yourself by bringing your vitality to the forefront.
Wear blue on the Friday before Father’s Day, June 14, to show your support for Men’s Health Month and give us a call at 816-214-5276 or contact us here to set up your next wellness visit.