Real Men Take Care of Their Health

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Men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The most common health issues experienced by men include heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Some of the symptoms men should not ignore include:

Chest pain – a symptom of a heart attack that can also indicate other problems.

Shortness of breath – could signal heart disease or lung disease.

Fatigue – can result from physical exertion, lack of sleep or stress, or more serious physical health conditions.

Blood in urine – may be a sign of bladder, prostate or kidney problems.

Excessive thirst – can be a prominent symptom of diabetes.

Vision problems –can indicate glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration.

Prevention is a very important aspect of care. Here are a few of the ways you can live a healthier life and avoid life-threatening complications.

Get enough sleep

Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep. Lack of sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Also, poor sleep is responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents.

Toss out the tobacco

It’s never too late to quit. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. It improves your health and lowers your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related illnesses. Also avoid secondhand smoke. Inhaling other people’s smoke causes health problems similar to those that smokers have. Babies and kids are still growing, so the poisons in secondhand smoke hurt them more than adults.

Move more

Adults need at least 2 ½ hours of moderate aerobic activity every week, and muscle strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) on two or more days a week. You don’t have to do it all at once. Spread your activity out during the week, and break it into smaller amounts of time during the day.

Eat healthy

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals that help protect you from chronic disease. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.

See your doctor

Men should establish a relationship with a primary care provider and visit them regularly, even if they feel healthy. Those visits should include risk assessments for future medical problems, screenings for cancer, and conversations about healthy diet and lifestyle choices. In addition, you should “know your numbers”, this includes your blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol and blood glucose and have them checked regularly.

It is important to get regular check-ups every year or when your doctor tells you. Visit www.parklandhospital.com to find a Parkland clinic close to you.

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