Taking Care of Dad's Health
June is recognized worldwide as Men’s Health Month. And appropriately, Father’s Day is next Sunday. During Men’s Health Month, there is heightened awareness of certain preventable men’s health issues. It is a time to encourage early screening, detection and treatment of certain condition and chronic illnesses in men.
Men die five years earlier than women and are more likely to skip their annual physicals than women. And unfortunately, almost one-quarter of men will die from heart disease and almost one-quarter will die from some type of cancer; many of those deaths could have been prevented with lifestyle changes and/or earlier detection and treatment.
We need to remind men of those important health maintenance appointments to catch health issues, illnesses and chronic diseases as early as possible. So here we go with health tip reminders for men:
Assess at least yearly or as recommended by your health care provider for cardiovascular disease risks:
- Blood cholesterol and triglycerides
- Blood pressure
- Excess body weight
Assess at least yearly or as recommended for pre-diabetes and diabetes risks:
- Fasting blood glucose – should be less than 100
- A1C 3-month check – should be 5.6 or less
- Excess body weight
Assess at least yearly or as recommended for cancer risks:
- Alcohol intake
- Excess weight
- Screenings such as colonoscopy and prostate
We should also address the issue that depression is a problem for men. So be on the lookout for signs of depression: sadness, grumpiness, hopelessness, and a decrease in energy.
Other health reminders for men to maintain good health:
- 7-9 hours of sleep
- ·no smoking
- moderate alcohol intake
- engage in regular exercise with at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or walking each week
- incorporate stress management strategies
- get to and maintain a good weight
- make healthful food choices
- more fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, legumes and nuts
- less ultra-processed foods, sweets, processed red meat
Also, remind the men in your life to keep up with those regular doctor, dentist and eye appointments as well as recommended screenings such as a colonoscopy. It is always better to catch health issues at the outset and not when things have advanced or progressed.
__About the AuthorRita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.