The health care of dear Dad
Dad has his special day coming up this Sunday, Father’s Day. Maybe you have special meals or activities planned. This is also Men’s Health Week so we can spend a little time chatting about health issues related to men. Unfortunately, 24 percent of men will die from heart disease and 23 percent will die from some type of cancer. We need to take care of dad, and maybe remind him of his own self-care responsibilities. Sometimes dads do not remember to go to all of those important health maintenance appointments.
Heart disease is the number one killer of men. So as recommended by his family physician, dad needs to have his blood cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly. Of course, no smoking. And he’ll need to keep an eye on the waistline to stay lean as he ages.
Since it can strike at any time anywhere, you’ll want to know the symptoms of a heart attack. The typical symptoms include pain in jaw, neck, back; discomfort in chest, arms; and shortness of breath. If these are experienced, call 911 immediately- don’t delay.
Cancer, such as cancer of the colon, prostate, lung and skin, is the other disease that men are at risk for. Reducing cancer risk includes staying lean, not smoking, being stingy with alcohol, and avoiding processed meats such as bacon, sausage, or hotdogs.
It is also worth mentioning that depression is a problem for men, as well as women. So be on the lookout for signs of depression: sadness, grumpiness, hopelessness, and a decrease in energy and being tired all the time.
Now, other good health maintenance reminders for guys…
- 7-9 hours of sleep a night
- Stay active with at least 2½ hours of moderate intensity exercise or walking
- Manage stress
- get to and maintain a good weight
- Make healthy food choices - lots of plant foods – fruits, vegetables, whole-grains
About the Author
Rita 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.