5 Must-Know Tips for Men's Health Week

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You may not know it, but June is Men's Health Month and a good time to focus on fitness and overall well-being inside and out. Even though you may be exercising and eating right, you may be doing other things that steer your health off track. Here are the top 5 health mistakes men make.

  1. Skipping doctor visits

Many health problems can be avoided if caught early. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, more than half of all men haven't seen a physician in the last 12 months. Ditch the excuses, and see your family medicine physician at least once a year.

  1. Ignoring the snoring

Excessive snoring does more than keep you and your partner awake at night, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious health problem that can interrupt your breathing 30 times or more per hour while you sleep. If left untreated, it increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

  1. Not talking about Erectile Dysfunction

The reasons for erectile dysfunction have nothing to do with manliness. ED is often caused by decreased blood flow to the nerve and blood vessels that get a man ready for sexual activity. Other causes include diabetes, hormonal imbalance, stress, and certain medications. Many men suffer with ED as they age, but the good news is there's help available. Your family physician can perform the necessary tests and prescribe the best treatment for you.

  1. Underestimating how often you 'go'

Maybe you got up to use the restroom several times last night because you drank too many fluids close to bedtime. But if you routinely go more than eight times a day or more than twice a night, there could be other reasons. Frequent urination could be a sign of diabetes, an enlarged prostate, or an overactive bladder. Some medications also cause frequent urination, but it's best to get it checked out.

  1. Denying depression

Depression affects men from all ages and backgrounds. Common symptoms include sadness, difficulty sleeping, irritability, risky behavior, and loss of energy, interests and appetite. Many men avoid seeking help because they feel they should be able to just 'get over it.' Depression is not a sign of weakness and may in fact be related to other health conditions. Your family physician can help screen for depression and other causes. Treatment usually includes counseling and/or medication.

"Good health is not an accident," says Brian D. Jones, MD, a family medical specialist on the medical staff at Methodist Charlton Medical Center. "Most of us enjoy good health, high energy levels and physical fitness in our youth. As we get older, we have to maintain our health to continue enjoying active, fulfilling lifestyles. Your family physician is an excellent partner to help you stay in good shape and enjoy life."

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