Get Healthy Carson City: Men! Get it checked!
Carson City Health and Human Services
This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday’s health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
June is Men’s Health Month! Carson City Health and Human Services and groups across the country are joining Men’s Health Network to celebrate. The purpose of this celebration is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems. It’s also to promote early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
“Men notice when their car does not perform properly, but they do not always listen when their body tells them it is time to see a doctor,” said Dr. Salvatore Giorgianni, science adviser to Men’s Health Network.
This needs to change! Did you know:
• Men are less likely to have health insurance and are dying almost five years sooner than women. Women are 100 percent more likely than men to visit the doctor for yearly check-ups.
• 1 in 2 men are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime compared with 1 in 3 women. Prostate cancer is the No. 1 cancer among men in the U.S. (National Cancer Institute)
• More than 60 percent of American men are overweight or obese.
• Depression in men is often undiagnosed contributing to the fact men are four times as likely to commit suicide.
• Men have hearing loss two times the rate of women.
All right, so is it all bad news? Of course not! Regular checkups and health screenings can improve men’s health and extend men’s life.
Regular checkups mean seeing a doctor at least once a year. Regular screenings including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and prostate health are all positive steps to better health. Have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year. By making prevention a priority, many health conditions can be avoided or found early. If you don’t have health insurance and this keeps you from seeing a doctor, CCHHS has a staff member from the Division of Welfare and Supportive services available to talk with you. Stop by and see if you qualify for Medicaid or other health coverage.
The only truly effective way to lose weight permanently is to reduce the number of calories you eat and get more exercise. Consider saying “no” to super-sizing and “yes” to a healthy breakfast. Add at least one fruit and vegetable to every meal. One pound of fat is about 3,500 calories. So if every day you can cut 250 calories out of your diet (the equivalent of one candy bar) and burn another 250 (by doing as little as 20 to 30 minutes of walking), you’ll lose a pound a week. Keep that up for six months and you’ll have lost 25 pounds. Better yet, you’ll be building a pattern of healthy habits.
Emotional health is as important as physical health. Stress is an unavoidable fact of life. Take a look at how you’re dealing with your stress. Consider exercise, meditation or talking it out with a friend to help you with stress. Discussing personal health issues with those close to you is a step toward health. Support groups can help if substance use becomes an addiction. Find a counselor or employee assistance program when stress interferes with your enjoyment of life and family. For the rest of us, it can mean starting a general health conversation with the men in your life!
Mark your calendar for Friday as Wear Blue Day. This day is to highlight the importance of men having regular health check-ups, learning about testicular and prostate cancer, and the overall importance of men’s health. Whether it’s you, your friend, a brother, dad, boyfriend, spouse or boss — show them you care about all men and their health by wearing blue.
For resources and information about Carson City Health and Human Services programs and services, check out our website at http://www.gethealthycarsoncity.org, “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cchhs, follow us on Twitter at @CCHealthEd, call us at 775-887-2190 or visit us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.