This month is dedicated to men’s health. In our practice we see young men ages 13 and up. Maybe because of our society press on men to ‘buck up’ and ‘take it on the chin’, men are more reluctant to get preventative health care services.
Heart disease is still the number one killer of adult men. Most of the serious consequences are very preventable with simple life style changes. We have found that controlling cholesterol levels is a way to reduce heart attacks and strokes. But most men are unaware of their cholesterol reading.
Your total cholesterol should be lower than 200 and the studies are showing the lower the better. One way to improve your cholesterol is to decrease the amount of red meat that you eat. If you eat beef three times a week, cut it back to three times a month. Another food to be careful of is soft cheese.
One way of countering the bad effects of diet is to increase exercise. Increased exercise will raise the level of your ‘good’ cholesterol or HDL (high density lipid). The exercise needs to be aerobic for 30 minutes a day 5x a week.
Many men coming into the practice are asking about their PSA or blood prostate levels. Studies have shown us that many men were being subjected to unnecessary prostate biopsy because of this screening. So now our protocol is to screen only if over the age of 60 if there is an enlarged prostate and in younger men only if there are symptoms. Symptoms of enlarged prostrate are frequent urination and specifically frequent episodes in the night time hours. If you are awakened four or five times every night to urinate, you should check with us.
So this post is for all the men in our practice..and maybe to the women who encourage them – make an appointment this month to get your annual physical done. Preventative health care is more beneficial than just waiting to see what happens.
See you before July?
Annandale Women and Family Center
2839 Duke Street Alexandria, Virginia 22314
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