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BryanLGH offers Tips for Men's Health Month

Michael Sayers, MD. Family Medicine of Lincoln
Michael Sayers, MD
Family Medicine of Lincoln
June is men's health month.  It is an opportunity to encourage men to take better care of themselves by seeing a doctor for regular checkups, and by doing so, ward off preventable illness.  However, that is easier said than done.  "A lot of men don't see a doctor unless their significant other tells them to," says Michael Sayers, MD, a family practice doctor with Family Medicine of Lincoln of the BryanLGH Physician Network. "Men are more likely to perform regular maintenance on their automobiles and lawn mowers than their own health."

Sayers acknowledges that men tend to ignore their health.  Too often, men favor "denial and avoidance" when it comes to their health care.  But it doesn't have to be that way.  Here are eight steps men can take to protect their health.

  1. Get to know a doctor. Don't wait until you are sick or injured. Find someone you are comfortable with so that if you have a health problem at some point, you have a doctor who knows you.

  2. Get screened. Screenings are a very important part of staying healthy. Most diseases are easier to treat if they are found early.  For example:
    • Blood pressure.  It doesn't typically cause symptoms, but it leads to heart disease - the leading cause of death in men. 
    • Cholesterol. Men 35 or older should have their cholesterol checked regularly.  
    • Colorectal cancer. Beginning at age 50, men should have a colonoscopy. If there is a family history of the disease, talk to your doctor about being screened earlier.
    • Prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of being screened.

      Men's Health

      "Men are more likely to perform regular maintenance on their automobiles and lawn mowers than their own health," says Sayers.

  3. Eat right. Make sure your diet is high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt and fats.

  4. Make time for exercise.

  5. Make sleep a priority. Shoot for seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep is associated with diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression, according to the Center for Disease Control.

  6. Be smoke-free. Quitting smoking at any age has immediate and long-term health benefits.

  7. Know your family history. Family history can influence your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Take the time to find out about your family's health history and share the results with your doctor.

  8. Open up about depression. Men should talk to a doctor if they are feeling unhappy with their personal or professional life. It's a tough thing to open up about, but depression is a very serious illness.

For more ideas on how you can improve your health, talk to your doctor.

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