June is Men's Health Awareness Month

It’s no secret that men don’t typically like going to the doctor, but since June is Men’s Health month, Dr. Amar Ambardekar with Aurora Health Care joined us live on the CBS 58 News at Four to tell us some of the important tests and screenings men should know about. Here are just a few of the things our interview covered, along with some other important information. 

Why is Men’s Health Awareness Month such an important topic in the U.S.?

Generally speaking, men tend to put off regular visits with physicians until they really need it, and don’t have the same frequency of visits as women. Men sometimes tend to be stubborn vs. really leveraging the benefits of a doctor.

How are men doing generally speaking with their health?

I’d say there is room for improvement. According to the CDC, roughly two-thirds of men in the U.S. are obese or overweight. We know that obesity can lead to number of health factors. Obese individuals are twice as likely to suffer from kidney stones. Obesity can also lead to increase chances of prostate cancer, diabetes and low testosterone levels.

What are some other common men’s health ailments you see?

Heart disease and cancer are probably the biggest concerns, especially prostate and testicular cancers, yet diabetes is a rising concern. It’s estimated that 1/3 of people with diabetes don’t know it.

What can men do this month to be safe and healthy?

The biggest thing is regular screenings and check-ups. Simply by having a regular annual physical with your doctor, which is covered under most insurances at no costs, your doctor can make sure you have the rights tests when you need them?

What are some tests and screenings that you recommend for all men?

There are a number of important screenings, but a few that come to mind we always screen for:

·         Cholesterol screening

Men 35 or older should have blood cholesterol checked regularly with a blood test. High cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and poor circulation.

·         High blood pressure screening

Men should have blood pressure checked at least every two years. High blood pressure can cause stroke, heart attack, kidney and eye problems, and heart failure.

·         Diabetes screening

Men who have high blood pressure or take medicine for high blood pressure should ask their health care provider about having a diabetes test. Diabetes can cause problems with the heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves and other body parts.

Are there any age requirements for these types of tests?

For some tests, yes. At age 50, men should be screened for colon cancer if they have a family history of colorectal cancer. If you’ve been a smoker, regular lung cancer screenings are also common, especially as you age. Men ages 55 to 80 should be screened annually. And if you’re not sure, your physician will know what’s best based on your family history.

What other things should men know about their health?

Three things come to mind. First, make sure you’re up-to-date on all your vaccines. These help you stay healthy.

Second, eat well. A proper diet of good, healthy food is so important to our overall health.

Third, exercise is also vital. You should get 30 minutes a day five days a week to keep you heart healthy. Men usually put this off, but it’s really important to try to at least get out for a walk a few days a week.

What’s the one thing you want men watching to know this Men’s Health Month?

I’d say the biggest thing is to know that you can take control of your health, and by a few simple steps – eating well, exercise and regular visits with your doctor, you’ll feel great, have energy and be on the path towards a healthier life.

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