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    He is Loved

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | June 11th, 2023

    He is Loved

    Did you know?

    • Men in the U.S. are expected to live nearly six years less than women.
    • Non-Hispanic Black and American Indian/Alaska Native men have a lower life expectancy than non-Hispanic white men.
    • 63% of men of color report not getting regular health screenings.
    • Men have a higher death rate of leading causes of death, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and suicide.
    • Men are more likely to have lower health literacy levels than women, meaning they may need help finding, understanding, and using information and services required to make informed decisions about their health.

    This is why June is Men’s Health Month, and June 12th to June 18th is Men’s Health Week. It is usually the week before Father’s Day and ends on Father’s Day, with the Friday before Father’s Day (June 16th) as Wear Blue Day for Men’s Health. The purpose of the month, the week, and the day is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

    These men are our fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, uncles, cousins, and all male figures that hold our affection. We can change the stats when it comes to men’s health. We want our loved ones to remain healthy. Here are some suggestions:

    • Encourage him to get his check-ups – You might have to be the one to schedule and take him to his appointments. He needs to know his numbers – Blood pressure, hemoglobin A1C (screening test for diabetes), and lipid panel (cholesterol). Depending on his age, he will need to be screened for sexually transmitted infections, depression, and prostate and colorectal cancer.
    • Encourage him to be active – He needs to move. Tell him that exercise will improve his physical, mental, and sexual health. He should get at least 30 minutes a day. However, something is better than nothing. You can exercise with him. I love my 3-mile walks with my husband.
    • Encourage him to eat healthily daily with every meal – He needs to eat various fruits and vegetables. He can try a green salad instead of fries. He can drink water instead of soda or juice. Remind him alcohol is full of calories and he should learn to limit the amount. All the fruits I want my husband to eat are within eyesight in the fruit basket. Any fruits that need to be cut up, I cut it up. I want to make it easy for him to get all the fruits he needs. Some stores sell fruits already cut up.
    • Encourage him to learn about his family history. By knowing his family history, he can know what diseases he is at risk of getting and can then work towards decreasing the risk. My father and his father died at a very young age due to complications of diabetes. My brothers and my son are aware of their family history.
    • Encourage him to get his vaccines. It never made sense to me when the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was only given to girls. HPV does not discriminate – women and men are at risk. Boys and girls need to get vaccinated. We have a vaccine that can prevent cancer-related to HPV. Yes, men cannot get cervical cancer, but they can get throat and anal cancer related to HPV. Please make sure he gets his vaccines. Make sure he is up to date with all his vaccines. When you are getting your vaccine, make sure he is getting his vaccine.
    • Remind him it takes two to get pregnant. If he is not ready to be a father, he must use condoms. Condoms work if they are used properly all the time. The other added benefit of a condom is to protect against sexually transmitted infections.
    • Encourage him to talk. He needs to know it is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength to know when to ask for help. Check-in with him and take time to listen.
    • Encourage him to quit smoking. There is help out there. He can call 1-800-QUIT-LINE.
    • Encourage him to get enough sleepSleep is essential for our physical and mental health.
    • Encourage him to be with other men. I know I love my occasional ladies’ night, so I will not be depriving my husband of his occasional men’s night. Loneliness is not good for your health.

    Let us make an extra effort this week to show the men in our lives they are loved.

    One Response to “He is Loved”

    1. Linda K. Jackson says:

      For some reason this didn’t make it to my mailbox yesterday! I’m glad that it’s a blog, and I can find your messages anytime. I’m fortunate that my husband is very proactive with his health, and that behavior has fared very well with him (finding cancer at a very early stage, and it was stopped in its track)!

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    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.

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