June is Men's Health Month

Studies show that women live an average of five years longer than men do. That is partially due to the fact that men are less likely than women to take preventative health measures, seek medical attention when necessary, and be properly diagnosed for conditions such as depression. Instead of seeking regular medical attention, history has shown that guys tend to ignore problems and hope they will go away.

During the month of June, Mile Bluff Medical Center in Mauston is joining healthcare organizations across the country in celebrating Men’s Health Month. The focal point of the month is Men’s Health Week which is recognized the week leading up to Father’s Day, June 13 through 19. During this time, Mile Bluff wants to encourage all men to seek out proper preventative care and to receive routine health screenings.

Though it is Men’s Health Month, it’s not just for the guys. Married men tend to rely on their wives for emotional support, and for making medical appointments. Ladies can encourage men in their lives to seek regular medical attention, rather than putting it off until health issues arise.

Education is a great starting point if you want to improve your health or the health of a loved one. Take time to find out about disease prevention, learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of potential illnesses, and understand when to seek help. One preventative measure that you can take is to make smart lifestyle decisions.

Regardless of age, there are some basic steps that men should take each year to be more proactive in the course of their healthcare treatment.

Annual screenings recommended for all men:

  • Physical exam - includes height, weight and blood pressure
  • Dental check
  • Basic lab screenings - complete blood profile, urine analysis, basic metabolic profile and cholesterol screenings

As men get older, there are more tests and preventative measures they are encouraged to take as well. In addition to screenings, men up to age 50 should be conducting testicular self-exams every one to two months. It is also recommended that men between the ages of 40 and 50 complete a comprehensive metabolic profile as well as prostate screenings. Men over 50 should have regular colorectal cancer screenings, periodic vision and hearing tests, annual fecal occult blood tests, and regular abdominal aortic aneurysm screenings (for smokers).

While it is important to understand what preventative measures to take, it is also crucial to know how to identify potentially serious problems.

Symptoms that should not be ignored:

  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits - can be an indication of prostate or bladder problems
  • Blood in the urine - common indicator of kidney issues
  • Unusual or frequent urination - could be a symptom of an enlarged prostate
  • Impotence or erectile dysfunction - usually caused by an underlying health problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Depression

It can be difficult to know when to seek help, but if you notice any of these symptoms - or anything else that does not seem ‘normal’ - contact your healthcare provider right away.

Mile Bluff Medical Center and its outreach facilities provide the following resources and services to help men stay healthy:

  • Healthcare providers for routine exams
  • Registered dietitians for consultation on nutrition
  • Physical and occupational therapy for prevention and treatment of injuries
  • Cardiac rehabilitation services for heart health
  • Tobacco cessation programs
  • Diabetes education
  • Wellness/exercise programs
  • Sleep medicine

Education is the key to prevention. More than half of premature deaths among men are preventable, along with about 60 percent of chronic diseases, and most injuries and accidents. Getting regular checkups and age-appropriate screenings are confirmed ways to improve health and reduce premature death and disability.

Take charge of your preventative care by talking to your primary care provider. If you do not currently have a provider, call one of Mile Bluff's clinics to make an appointment with one of our providers.