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men's health tips | summa health system

Tips for men to stay healthy

Each day, men are confronted with myriad health concerns. Some of the biggest include cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

The worrisome part is that most men don’t experience symptoms until it is too late.

How can these concerns be reduced? A healthy diet and avoidance of unhealthy lifestyle choices are important, says Keaton M. Bullen, D.O., Summa Physicians Inc. – Internal Medicine.

Another way to stay healthy: Men should see a primary care physician (either family practice or internal medicine) at least once a year for a routine checkup and screening evaluation. (Research shows that nearly 45 percent of men between ages 18 and 50 do not have a primary care physician.)

Dr. Bullen has some suggestions that men can follow to stay healthy.

Avoid or quit cigarette smoking: It is estimated that cigarette smoking is responsible for one in every five deaths each year and, on average, smokers die about 10 years earlier than non-smokers based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking cessation is likely the single most important factor that would minimize a man’s risk of stroke, high blood pressure, COPD, and cancer and heart disease.

Routine screenings: Men should have their cholesterol checked at age 25 and at least every five years thereafter, depending on the results. They should also have their blood pressure checked at least every two years in a physician’s office and take appropriate measures to lower the rate, if elevated. At age 50 (45 for African-Americans), a man should undergo a colonoscopy.

On your own: Thirty minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least five days a week is recommended to lower the risk of heart disease. A well-balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fiber and fish, but low in saturated fat and sodium, will also contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. BullenThe importance of regularly seeing your primary care physician: For men who have no known chronic conditions, a periodic health evaluation may be the only opportunity to discuss preventive care and, hopefully, prevent disease. “Our job is to coordinate the care of a patient, acting as the mediator to help provide medical management in an organized fashion,” Dr. Bullen says. “Our goal is to keep you out of the hospital.”

To schedule an appointment a Summa Physicians Inc. doctor, call (800) 237-8662, ext. 234.