Men are known for being strong and silent. While these qualities may bring comfort for others, they don’t work when it comes to maintaining your health. Guys face unique healthcare challenges throughout your lifetime. In honor of Men’s Month, we’d like to share some important info and helpful tips to help you keep you safe, healthy, and feeling your best at any age.
Top causes of death
What was your guess for a leading cause of death among U.S. men? The options were heart diseases, unintentional injury, and cancer. If you picked any one of them, you’re absolutely right! The top 10 causes are:1
- Heart disease
- Unintentional injuries
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Liver disease and cirrhosis
- Kidney disease
Exams and screenings
The best way to combat these illnesses and incidents is to get annual physicals and screenings. The types of exams change over the years, so here’s a guideline for the types you should get based on age (Your primary care physician [PCP] can determine the timing for each exam):
Top screenings and exams for men
|All ages||Ages 18-392||Ages 40-643||Ages 65+4|
7 health and safety tips
As we mentioned, guys have unique health and wellness needs, which means unique—and maybe a little surprising—tips, tools, and tactics to stay well:
- Alcohol and tobacco use: In the U.S., alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects about 16 million people—almost ⅔ are men (9.8 million). Since alcohol affects everyone differently, it’s difficult to set hard rules about the proper number of adult beverages you should consume. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that men have no more than four drinks on any day or 14 drinks per week. The term “drinks” includes beer, wine, and spirits.
- Bone health: To combat osteoporosis (bone disease), be sure to include weight-bearing activities in your daily routine, especially as you mature. These activities include any form of walking (hiking, dancing), climbing stairs, strength-building using resistance bands, any type of weight lifting, and even yoga.
- Depression: Stressful experiences such as changes or loss of jobs, relationships, and even your health can bring about mood changes such as depression. This can be short-term or chronic. If you feel as though a cloud is hanging over you, or you’ve lost interest in activities that you used to enjoy, and especially if you have thought about suicide, tell your PCP immediately. Your doctor can work with you to help bring back “the old you.” Note: If you or anyone you know is in a crisis, please call 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 now.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED): Don’t think it’s “just you.” Medications for hypertension (high blood pressure) and mood conditions such as depression can cause ED. Mention your concerns to your PCP, and the two of you can work together to minimize this side effect.
- Personal safety: Since unintentional injuries are the third-leading cause of death for men in the U.S., check your home, office, and vehicles for malfunctioning, missing, or damaged safety mechanisms such as car seat belts and home smoke detectors. Keep power tools in proper working condition; replace worn parts—especially cutting tools with missing teeth—and always wear appropriate safety equipment such as goggles, gloves, ear protectors, helmets, and protective clothing and footwear. If you own or use firearms, please make sure they are cleaned, don’t contain ammunition when not in use, and are stored in a locked safe.
- Smoking: From traditional cigarettes to electronic nicotine delivery systems such as vaping pens like JUUL and other e-cigarettes, the American Lung Association has determined that smoking, including secondhand smoke, is harmful.5 Smoking and other forms of tobacco use contribute to heart disease and cancer—the top two threats to men’s health. If you smoke, please talk with your PCP about ways to help you quit.
- Skin cancer: In addition to making you look—and possibly feel—younger, consistent use of sunscreen will help protect you from skin cancer. When shopping for one, be sure to look for the words “broad spectrum” and a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more. If you’re going to be working out or playing water sports, opt for a waterproof formula and be sure to reapply it often. If you have sensitive skin, also consider an oil-free type, especially for your face. Sunscreen can also include mechanical sources such as hats and lightweight, long-sleeved clothing.
Visit with Teladoc
According to the American Heart Association, men put off seeing a doctor because they:6
- don’t have a PCP
- aren’t covered by health insurance
- are too busy
- don’t want to spend the money
- have a significant other who’s bugging them to see a doctor
Did you know that you can check off those first four reasons? Your Teladoc benefits include 24/7 access to a well-trained, highly experienced network of U.S.-licensed physicians who can diagnose and treat a wide variety of non-emergency conditions, including
- back pain
- digestive issues
- joint swelling
- upper respiratory infections
- and much more
Doctors are available by app, web, or phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, anywhere you are. When medically necessary, the doctor can also send a prescription to a pharmacy located near you. If you do have a PCP, you can share your Teladoc visit results with your doctor.
Quick tip: If you’re a fitness junkie or a gadget geek, be sure to sync your health devices such as Apple Health and the Kinsa™ smart thermometer to the Teladoc app.
1Centers for Disease Control
2NIH: Health screenings for men ages 18 to 39
3NIH: Health screenings for men ages 40 to 64
4NIH: Health screenings for men over age 65
5American Lung Association
6American Heart Association
This portion of the Teladoc website occasionally offers health, fitness, and nutritional information and is provided for educational purposes only. You cannot rely on any information provided here as a substitute for or replacement of professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Teladoc cannot assure that the information contained on this site always includes the most recent findings or developments with respect to the particular subject matter covered.
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