Men: Is the “Men’s Health Gap” Putting You at Risk?

Middle-aged coupleThe “men’s health gap” is a term for the significant difference in health between men and women. Despite improved health overall, men are still dying younger and performing more poorly on many health indicators than their women counterparts. According to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease (GBD), men typically live almost 6 years less than women in the United States. In Russia, the difference is 12 years. It is speculated that part of the reason men may die younger than women is because men are less likely than women to seek both preventative and immediate medical care. During National Men’s Health Week, the Surgical Specialists of Louisiana and Mississippi encourage all of our male patients to close the “men’s health gap” by making their health a priority, for themselves and also for their families.

How can you narrow the gap?

Have regular wellness checks. Regular screenings can help catch diseases early or even before an issue becomes a disease. The types of screenings you will require depend on your age and health, but it is recommended that you have an annual physical for preventative measures.

Lose excess weight. Obesity is a significant cause of disease in the United States. Achieving a healthy weight can reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and many other illnesses. If you have struggled with weight loss the Surgical Specialists can help. From our non-surgical MyWeight program to bariatric surgery, we will design an individualized plan to meet your needs.

Adopt a healthy diet. In addition to a healthy weight, following a healthy diet full of fresh, fiber-rich produce, lean protein, and whole grains can dramatically improve general health. People who follow a healthy diet reduce their risk of developing certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and even memory issues.

Exercise. The rule of thumb for exercise is 30 minutes of cardio a day for good heart health. Add in strength training to improve muscle tone and bone density.

Cut down on alcohol. According to the GDB study, men are nearly twice as likely to die from causes related to excess alcohol consumption. The American Heart Association recommends that men enjoy no more than 2 drinks a day. If you are a bariatric patient, we recommend that you abstain from alcoholic drinks during your rapid weight loss phase, or entirely.

Quit smoking. The CDC explains that smoking increases your risk of lung disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and multiple other seemingly unrelated illnesses. There are many programs designed to help smokers quit, including smokefree.gov.

While good health practices won’t decrease factors like job-related injuries, a healthy lifestyle may decrease your risk of developing certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Taking steps to improve your health may increase your lifespan and help bridge the “men’s health gap.”

If you are interested in learning more about surgical or medical weight loss please call us at 877-691-3001. Click here to register for one of our free weekly seminar where you can meet a surgeon and ask questions. Whether you need to lose 15, 50 or 150 pounds the Surgical Specialists of LA & MS is here to help!

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