Top factors affecting men’s health

A top factor affecting men’s health is you! Men are far less likely than women to see a doctor for regular exams. Only 60% of men visit a doctor regularly, and only 40% go when something is seriously wrong, according to the Indiana University School of Medicine. We need men to understand how important it is to have regular checkups with a doctor. Meeting with a physician can detect an issue before it gets worse or potentially becomes life-threatening.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list heart disease as the leading cause of death in men in the United States, contributing to nearly 1 in every 4 male deaths. Symptoms may be “silent” and not diagnosed until signs or symptoms of a heart attack, heart failure or an arrhythmia occur. To reduce your chances of heart disease, it’s important to do the following:

  • Get your blood pressure checked regularly. This can be done at home or when you visit your physician.
  • Discuss cholesterol and triglyceride levels with your health care provider.
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake.
  • Lower your stress level.
  • Ask your doctor about being tested for diabetes. Diabetes can raise your risk of heart disease.

Prostate cancer is also a top cause of death in men in the U.S. A man is two to three times more likely to get prostate cancer if his father, brother or son has it. Talk to your doctor about having a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal examination (DRE) done to help screen for the cancer.

Mental health concerns in men

You’re not alone if you suffer from depression and have thoughts of suicide. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, more than 6 million men suffer from depression per year; more than 3 million men have panic disorder, agoraphobia or any other phobia; and of the 3.5 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with schizophrenia, 90% of those who are diagnosed by age 30 are men.

Common symptoms of mental disorders include:

  • Irritability or aggressiveness.
  • Noticeable changes in mood, energy level or appetite.
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • Misuse of alcohol, drugs or both.
  • Persistent sadness or feelings of hopelessness.
  • Thoughts or behaviors that interfere with work, family or social life.
  • Unusual thinking or behaviors that concern other people.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts.

Do your part in raising the bar for men to seek mental health treatment. Right now, only 25% of men talk to a mental health professional for treatment, and we want that number to be much higher. Your mental health needs can be taken care of, and HICS is here to help through our services.

4 ways to celebrate Men’s Health Month

Use this month as a time to put healthy practices into place so you can feel great all year long, both mentally and physically. It’s never too late to begin seeing the doctor regularly or incorporating exercise and healthy eating habits. Your friends and family can also join you in this.

Move forward with a healthier lifestyle with these tips:

  • Make a goal of trying to hit 2.5 hours of physical activity per week. This can be through walking, hiking, biking, lifting weights or playing your favorite game. Physical activity can improve your mental health and reduce your risk of disease.
  • Make prevention a priority. See your doctor for regular exams and health screenings to prevent issues from worsening if you have them. If you’re a specific age, regular prostate, colon and other exams are important.
  • Eat healthy by adding fruits and vegetables to your diet. Your heart, body and mind will thank you for the well-balanced diet.
  • Set an example for those in your family. If your spouse and children see your healthy habits, then they’ll want to follow.

Get the care you deserve

By this point, you’ve read all the reasons to live a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally, but will you do it? We hope so! Contact your primary health care professional or search around for one and get your regular exams scheduled. They can save your life and prevent things from getting worse.

HICS is here to support all members of the community in their journey to better mental health. Visit our website to learn more about our services and how we can help you feel better inside. Reach out at