June is Men’s Health Month, a time dedicated towards raising awareness about the medical conditions that most commonly impact men and a time to encourage the men in your life to commit to getting regular health checkups and undergoing all age-appropriate screenings so they can maintain optimal health and live long, happy lives!
While it may be difficult to get them to admit it, the reality is that men are particularly susceptible to a number of different health conditions ranging from heart issues to prostate problems. They also, unfortunately, are statistically less likely to visit a doctor for their medical issues than their female counterparts, and as a result have higher mortality rates for a number of diseases that – if caught early – are largely preventable.
Today we want to walk through some of the most common health issues that affect men and the important role your primary care provider can play in the diagnosis and prevention of these diseases.
Top Men’s Health Issues
#1: Heart Disease
Affecting nearly one out of every fifteen men in the United States, various forms of heart disease are responsible for a quarter of all male deaths. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms of heart disease are silent – so many men never realize that a storm is brewing or may find it easy to brush off any symptoms. One of the easiest ways to determine your risk for heart disease is to have regular health checkups with your doctor so they can track your blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels, and identify any abnormalities or changes as soon as they start to appear.
If you have high cholesterol or a family history of heart disease, our doctors are here to provide lifestyle and dietary recommendations or prescribe any medications necessary to keep you happy and healthy for years to come!
Strokes occur when the blood supply is abruptly cut off to any part of the brain. This can happen for a myriad of reasons, but the main cause is usually an artery that’s been clogged by either a clot or dislodged plaque. Although men are less likely to die from a stroke than women are, they do have higher incidence rates of other conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure that can increase their overall risk of experiencing a stroke at some point during their lifetime.
If you have a history of clotting issues or strokes in your family, make sure you’re familiar with common stroke symptoms and seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following: drooping in one side of the face or body, slurred or nonsensical speech, and weakness in the limbs.
#3: Depression and Suicide
Mental health is something that doesn’t get nearly as much focus as physical health, but it’s an equally important part of the overall health equation and something that claims the lives of millions of men each year. In fact, research shows that the suicide rate among American men is about four times higher than among women, something many attribute as the result of the unrealistic expectations placed on men in our society (although depressive disorders can also run in the family).
The reality is that men and women are equally in need of emotional support and assistance in order to stay happy and mentally healthy, but men are less likely to seek that help. Here at Optimum Direct Care we understand the pressure many men feel to appear strong and unwavering or to maintain the illusion that they don’t “need” help, but we want you to remember that our office is a safe space where you can let your guard down and get the help that you need.
#4: Lung Cancer
While lung cancer affects both men and women at increasingly similar rates, it’s one of the five most common diseases that American men face, and for that reason alone it deserves to be addressed. Although men are more likely to be heavy smokers, something which directly impacts their likelihood of developing lung cancer, it’s important to remember that the disease is indiscriminate – even men who have no history of smoking may be diagnosed with lung cancer at some point during their lives.
One of the best lines of defense against lung cancer is to eliminate smoking from your life, make sure you’re undergoing regular lung cancer screening once it becomes age-appropriate, and notify your doctor if you start to experience any classic symptoms of lung cancer, such as: chest pain, coughing up blood, unexplained weight loss, wheezing, persistent cough, and shortness of breath.
#5: Prostate Cancer
Affecting only those with prostate glands, prostate cancer can range in severity from non-invasive to serious and life-threatening since, depending on the type of cancerous mass, your risk for metastasis can vary greatly. For this reason, it’s imperative that men who are over the age of forty (or those with a strong family history of prostate cancer) get regular prostate exams.
Prostate cancer is usually slow-growing and has many signs and symptoms, such as: trouble urinating, blood in the urine or semen, erectile dysfunction, and unexplained weight loss. If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, even if you don’t think that they’re serious, please come see our doctors! Many people brush off symptoms that aren’t painful or don’t seriously impact their quality of life just because they don’t want to make the time for a doctor’s visit, and in doing so they put themselves at greater risk of developing a more serious issue or letting something go undiagnosed.
Men’s Health: Preventative Medicine In Orlando
Having a dedicated direct primary care physician that knows your unique medical history and is familiar with your specific risk factors for various conditions is critical in ensuring that any medical issues are identified and treated as quickly as possible. That’s a huge reason why we opted for a Direct Primary Care model that’s centered around a close doctor/patient relationship, one in which patients have unlimited access to their physician and our services!
Whether you’re looking for someone who specializes in men’s health, are in need of a physician for the entire family, or want a doctor who can help with disease prevention, chronic disease management, and a comprehensive suite of other services, our team is highly trained and here to address all your healthcare needs. Schedule a free meet-up with us today!