Berny Unruh: Concerns with men’s health

Berny Unruh
Berny Unruh

When is the last time the man in your household had a medical check-up? Men visit their physicians less often than women, and tend to wait longer before having problems treated. What these facts suggest is that men don't pay attention to, or take care of, their health as well as women.

We will be celebrating Father’s Day soon and someone conveniently decided June is also Men’s Health month! Even though Father’s Day is a week away let’s take a look at some of the facts behind men's health:

*cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death;

*high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels affect cardiovascular health;

*diabetes incidence is on the rise-- many don't realize they have the condition;

*an enlarged prostate will affect more than 50% of all men after 60 years of age;

 *early prostate cancer has no symptoms and often goes undetected;

The biggest concern is that too many men are conditioned to ignore their health and to avoid going to the doctor. Men are 25% less likely to visit a doctor than are women.  

While the statistics on men and their health seem to be staggering, the good news is that the primary conditions affecting men’s health are treatable if detected early and may be preventable with simple lifestyle changes.  Here are some tips for the men among us:

*Have regular check-ups.  Men see their doctors around 20% less often than women and tend to wait longer before having health problems treated.  As a result, men’s quality of life is often lower than that of women as they age.

*Keep an eye on blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.  Have these health indicators checked regularly.

*Make the necessary lifestyle changes-- such as increased exercise, improved nutrition, reduced smoking and alcohol consumption-- to prevent many unnecessary and disabling illnesses.

Many of the most common male illnesses are preventable and treatable.  Encourage the men you care about to take care of themselves now in order to live a long and healthy life.

A good publication to help understand those health numbers is: https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF3263.pdf

Berny Unruh is the Family and Community Wellness Agent for the Cottonwood Extension District.  She can be reached at 785-628-9430 or at bunruh@ksu.edu