When it comes to motor vehicles, household structures, and lawn care, men typically lead the charge for routine maintenance. They realize that in these instances, a small amount of consistent effort helps avoid any larger issues from occurring. Sometimes I wonder why those who diligently perform oil changes and system checks on their vehicles don’t provide their bodies with the same level of upkeep. After all, routine maintenance is the key to keeping vehicles, and bodies, running better for longer.
In honor of Men’s Health Month, I’m covering eight men’s health concerns that, with a little elbow grease, can be prevented or alleviated.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder where pauses in breathing or shallow breathing occur during sleep. Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed, especially because its most obvious symptoms occur when an individual sleeps. Oftentimes, it’s a spouse or family member who first notices the signs of sleep apnea.
Although acid reflux is very common – nearly one-third of Americans suffer through it – acid reflux is also very treatable and preventable. Healthy eating and exercise are a great way to curb acid reflux symptoms. One important thing to understand is that there’s no need to suffer through the side-effects of acid reflux. Seek relief.
Lower Back Pain
Chronic back pain can interfere with nearly every instance of daily life. If you’ve ever experienced debilitating back pain, you know our backs play an important role in nearly everything we do. Lower back pain can be avoided or alleviated through core-strengthening exercises and using proper body mechanics.
Not everyone thinks about mental health the same way they think about physical health. Although social stigmas surrounding mental health may hinder someone’s willingness to seek treatment, recognizing and understanding the pattern of one’s own mental health can lead to a healthy body and a healthy mind.
Coronary Artery Disease
As the most common form of heart disease, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. CAD is caused by a build-up of cholesterol on the inner walls of the arteries. This build-up limits the amount of oxygen in the blood and can cause chest pain or a heart attack.
While not entirely preventable, diabetes is a highly manageable disease for most individuals. Diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to produce and/or use insulin. For those genetically predisposed to diabetes, knowing the causes can prevent or delay its onset as well as alleviate symptoms.
A stoke occurs when the blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off, depriving your brain cells of the oxygen and glucose they need. Knowing the early signs of a stroke are key to your safety. Pay attention for feelings of numbness on one side of your body, vision loss, speech loss, sudden headache, or loss of balance.
Cancer: Lung, Prostate, Colorectal, Testicular, Skin
The most common types of cancer for men are: lung, prostate, colorectal, testicular, and skin. While no definitive cure for cancer currently exists, there are many steps you can take to prevent or reduce it. Some common ways to reduce cancer risks are:
- Quit smoking
- Maintain healthy body weight
- Exercise regularly
- Drink only in moderation
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet
In fact, your risk for all eight of these health issues can be reduced by incorporating these activities into your daily life.
Prevent Men’s Health Concerns
Early detection followed by the necessary interventions are key to preventing or eliminating these common men’s health issues. I encourage you to be proactive about your health and the health of those around you, because we want our fathers, sons, uncles, and brothers all to keep their bodies running better for longer.