It starts early! Findings suggest that females at all ages are healthier than males. It is vital to recognize that many of the major health risks that boys and men face today can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis. This is a man’s issue, but women also need to take an active role. We know the importance of routine exams, of managing stress, depression and alcohol use. We also know how our cultural male code has impacted men’s health; men view health differently than women. Not surprising then, that men lead women in the 15 top causes of death with the exception of Alzheimer’s disease and that fact is because women live, on average, six years longer than men.
Fact is, Type 2 diabetes in men has increased at an astonishing rate during the past 15 years. Why? There needs to be more reliability on healthy food choices, healthy weight, daily exercise and proper medication use even when men are claiming to be fine. Proper sleep affects mood and concentration, and is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Insomnia in men varies significantly from the causes of insomnia in women and needs to be checked out. Sleep apnea in men can be the result of low levels of testosterone, manifesting as loud snoring or complete cessation of breathing which leads to awakening and poor sleep. For “sound” sleep, a man should make an appointment with a healthcare provider.
Knowing risk factors for coronary heart disease, such as high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol levels, diabetes mellitus, family history of premature heart disease, and smoking should lead to risk assessment and early screening for men. This is what can save men’s lives. Half of all men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.
Women surpass men in asking for help with their health. Experts believe that a contributing factor for boys and men being less aggressive in their own health is because they have been raised in a culture “to be emotionally restrained, keeping things close to the vest, being in control, independent, competitive and to endure.” The majority of men only seek medical counsel when under duress from a family member or when their condition has deteriorated to a severe state. There is a need to encourage and educate the men in our lives to take steps for better health, so women need to remain vanguards for the men.
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