June is Men's Health Month, notes Ogdensburg's Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center
OGDENSBURG - June is Men's Health Month, a time when organizations like Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center join in this annual observance to raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. The highlight of Men's Health Month is National Men's Health Week, a special awareness week passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on May 31, 1994, and is now recognized nationally. This year, National Men's Health Week starts on June 15 and ends on Father's Day, June 21.
According to menshealthmonth.org, that men, on average, die almost five years earlier than women. The reason? Men are more reluctant to go to the doctor. Studies show that women go to the doctor twice as much as men. Certain conditions, like heart disease, lung and skin cancers, Parkinson's, and HIV, are more prevalent in men, which should be kept an eye on through regular doctor appointments. This month allows us to encourage the males in our lives to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.It's essential to see a medical provider regularly and get in tune with your body. Even if you don't feel sick, seeing your doctor is a critical step in maintaining optimal health as you age. As we age, certain body systems and health screenings are vital for preventing or delaying the onset of chronic disease. Some of the general health screenings, depending on your age, can include a physical exam, blood pressure and cholesterol check, depression screening, various cancer screenings, diabetes testing, and testing for STIs. Your medical provider can also help keep you updated on recommended vaccines such as flu, shingles, pneumonia, diphtheria/tetanus, and many others.
According to the Healthy Aging Foundation, 40% of men said that when sick, they delay seeking medical care for a few days; and 17% percent said they would wait "at least a week." Don't wait. Prompt medical care can be the difference between life and death.
Another important person to your care team that is often forgotten is your pharmacist. It's important to take medications as directed, especially for seniors, to keep a complete list of medications and dosages handy. The older you get, it's common you may be on more daily prescriptions and medications. This is where your pharmacist can help explain your medications and the benefits, risks, and side effects of each medication you take.
In addition to regular medical care, healthy eating and being physically active on most days are also important. Older men have specific dietary needs. They need more calcium, vitamin D, fiber, and potassium. Eat a diet rich in whole foods and eliminate processed foods from your eating habits. Experts recommend limiting fat calories to 20 to 35 percent of your diet and suggest the following guidelines for daily calorie needs for men 50 and over:
Not active: 2,000
Moderately active: 2,200 to 2,400
Active: 2,400 to 2,800.
Additionally, it is recommended that all adult men try to incorporate a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity 5x a week into their daily schedule (physical limitations, permitting.)
According to skincancer.org, about 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have at least one skin cancer, and Caucasian men are particularly at risk. It's never too late to take steps to prevent further damage from the sun. Try to avoid the sun during peak hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., wear a hat and sunglasses, and liberally apply SPF 30 or greater sunscreen to all exposed skin.
Are you in need of a primary care provider? Our providers provide convenient care to all ages when you and your family need it. They are ready to take on new patients, catch up with returning patients, and are prepared to help you meet the unexpected illnesses and injuries you may encounter.
To learn more, visit our Facebook or our website at www.claxtonhepburn.org.