The basics of good health are well known: eat a healthy diet, be physically active, don’t smoke, etc. Still, regular health checkups and screenings for men can fall low on the priority list. It’s certainly not enjoyable to think about potential health problems, but in many cases early detection is critical to the success of treatment for maladies common to men (prostate cancer, skin cancer, diabetes and heart problems).
“Many men view their bodies like a car,” says Mark Mengel, chair of the department of community and family medicine at St. Louis University School of Medicine. “They don’t think they need to do anything unless something goes wrong,” he says. “Men see any defect as a sign of weakness. They don’t want to acknowledge there’s anything physically wrong with them because it embarrasses them.”
The life expectancy for men is significantly shorter (nearly 5 years) than for women. Why? There are many contributing factors, but one possibility is that many women begin a routine of yearly checkups and screenings in their late teens. There is not a similar process for men, who often miss out on developing a regular checkup routine in their youth.
When it comes to men’s health, there is nothing manly about ignoring it. Waiting until there are noticeable problems is not a proactive way to manage your health. You owe it to yourself and those who love you to take good care of yourself. Here are some ways to take charge and maintain a healthy routine:
Have your cholesterol checked at least every five years starting at age 35. If you smoke, have diabetes or if heart disease runs in your family, start checking your cholesterol at age 20. Reliv can help. The lunasin in Reliv’s LunaRich products combats cholesterol in two ways:
- Selectively disrupts a step in the production of an enzyme key to cholesterol synthesis in the liver.
- Increases the number of receptors available in liver cells to clear LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream.
Have your blood pressure checked at least every two years by a healthcare professional.
Colorectal Cancer Tests
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that regular screenings for colorectal cancer begin at age 50. Consult your physician to determine what test to take and frequency of testing.
If you’ve got high blood pressure or cholesterol, a diabetes test is something you should talk about with your physician. It’s also a good idea to consider this test if you have a family history of diabetes.
Prostate Cancer Screenings
If you’re considering having a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test or digital rectal examination (DRE), have a chat with your physician about the possible benefits and harms of a prostate cancer screening. As with many conditions, early detection is the best indicator of a positive outcome.
A Special Note for the Support Crew
If you’re reading this because you’re concerned about the health of a man in your life, here are some pointers for inspiring good decisions on his part:
- Don’t nag. Gently suggest annual checkups, and remind him that you care about his health.
- Take action. Make an appointment for him and leave it on a sticky note. This way you’re not compelled to remind him constantly and if he chooses not to go he’ll have to be the one to cancel the appointment.
- Inspire responsibility. Offering to go with him can seem too much like mothering. Encourage him to take charge of his own health and remind him of all the ways his family depends on him.
- Be encouraging. Don’t start by telling him how unhealthy or out of shape he is; he likely already knows his health condition. Instead, let him know how glad you are that he’s taking steps to ensure that he’ll be around for a long time.
A Note from Dr. Carl: Being Proactive is the Key
The statistics on life expectancy for men are compelling: we live an average of 4.8 years less than women. Here’s the good news: recent scientific breakthroughs in the field of epigenetics have given both men and women hope that they can improve health outcomes through optimal genetic expression.
Lunasin is the first dietary ingredient identified to affect gene expression and promote optimal health at the epigenetic level. LunaRich X™ and LunaRich® soy powder (found in Reliv Now®, Reliv Now® for Kids, SoySentials®, ProVantage®, and GlucAffect®) maximize lunasin levels, providing a nutritional approach for you to take control of your good health. When you add LunaRich products to your health regimen, you’re helping your body switch on the healthy genes and switch off the unhealthy ones.
Lunasin has been clinically shown to promote cholesterol management, inflammation reduction, immunity and overall cellular health. Combined with a knowledge of family health history and regular routine of early screenings for potential problems, you’ve got a proactive approach to good health.
Take control and make LunaRich part of your daily healthy living strategy.
To your health,
Dr. Carl W. Hastings
Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer