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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | June 12th, 2022


    ‘Him’ is our fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, cousins, and all male figures that hold our affection. June is Men’s Health Month, and from June 13th to June 19th, we will be celebrating 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 17th), Wear Blue Day for Men’s Health. The purpose of the month, the week, and the day are to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

    • On average, men live about five years less than women.
    • Men have a higher death rate for most leading causes of death including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and suicide.
    • 1 in 2 men will develop cancer.
    • Men make ½ as many physician visits for prevention as women.
    • Approximately 30,000 men in the U.S. die each year from prostate cancer.
    • Men are more likely to be uninsured than women.

    When we love him, we encourage him to do what it takes to keep healthy.  Here are some suggestions:

    1. 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 A1 C (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. When my brother visits, my girls are with him at the gym.
    • Encourage him to eat healthy every day with every meal – He needs to eat a variety of 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 cut up, I cut them up. I want to make it as easy as possible for him to get all the fruits he needs.
    • 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 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 needs to 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 the 1-800-QUIT-LINE.
    • Encourage him to get enough sleep.  Sleep is important for our physical and mental health.
    1. Encourage him to be with other men. 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.

    I love him, and I know you love him too. Let us make an extra effort this week to show him that we love him by doing all we can to keep him healthy. When we keep him healthy, we are keeping ourselves alive and healthy.

    2 Responses to “I LOVE HIM”

    1. Linda K Jackson says:

      Invaluable information! Fortunately, my husband has always taken charge of his health. By doing so, he was able to get prostate cancer detected at a very early stage. It wasn’t until then that he found out that his father had (early stage) prostate cancer because it wasn’t discussed in the family. Thank you sooo much for continuing to share your wisdom with us!!!!

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