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    Being Selfish for Our Men

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | June 11th, 2017

    Being Selfish for Our Men

    A few weeks ago, my husband texted me ‘just wanted to thank you for inspiring me to walk’. Little does he know that the major reason that I am on him about exercising is selfish. He has the role of husband, father, uncle, son, nephew, cousin and friend and I want him healthy to perform all his duties.

    Ladies, let us be selfish for the men in our lives. Monday, June 12, 2017 marks the beginning of Men’s Health Week with the Friday before Father’s Day, Wear Blue Day. The CDC asks us to encourage our men and boys in our lives to make health a priority. We know in most households, it is the woman who makes the health decisions in the family. As I mentioned last year, most men seek care when they are having symptoms rather than to come for preventative care. The life expectancy of men in general is 5 years less than women. You can make a difference.

    Consider the following:

    1. Ask the men in your life whether they know their numbers – Blood pressure, hemoglobin A1C (tells us about diabetes), cholesterol, weight and height (to calculate their BMI) – By knowing these numbers, we can catch diseases before they cause harm.
    2. Encourage our men to know their status especially when it comes to HIV. People can live a relatively healthy and productive live with HIV if caught early and taking medication daily.
    3. Make sure that our men are up to date with their vaccinations. One vaccine that comes to mind is the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. It is not only for girls. Boys need to get vaccinated. Ideally, the best time would be at ages 11 – 12, however we can give the vaccine up to age 26. We actually can prevent oral cancer among other cancers
    4. Encourage our men to schedule their annual preventative visit. This visit will include screening for testicular, prostate and colon cancer.
    5. Encourage our men to exercise regularly. This may mean that you have to exercise with them.
    6. Encourage our men to eat healthy which would include fruits and vegetables. I know if I want my husband to eat any fruit other than a banana, I have to wash and cut them.
    7. Encourage our men to get enough sleep – at least 7 – 9 hours.
    8. Encourage our men to quit smoking and limit the use of alcohol. The quit line for tobacco – 1-800-QUIT-NOW
    9. Break the silence of erectile dysfunction (ED) – some men are embarrassed to have this conversation but sometimes it may suggest other medical issues or can result from medication they are currently taking – encourage them to seek help.
    10. Encourage our men to take time to relax – they also need ‘me’ time away from the video game or the sports channel.

    The list can go on and on but we to start somewhere.

    Please extend an early Happy Father’s Day greeting to the men in your lives.

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