What is National Men’s Health Awareness Month?
Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D
National Men’s Health Awareness Month is celebrated yearly to educate the public about common and often preventable health issues men face. As well as encourage their early detection and treatment among men and boys. The importance of this month can't be overstressed due to men's reluctant nature of seeking help. Read on to learn how you can get involved.
What is the Goal of Men’s Health Month?
On average, a man’s lifespan is five years shorter than a woman’s which could be due to their reluctance to seek medical help. This could explain why men suffer more preventable conditions than women. Therefore, Men’s Health Month seeks to heighten the awareness of preventable diseases and encourage their early detection and treatment among both men and boys.
The Facts: Men’s Health
- Men’s lifespan is shorter by five years on average than women
- Men suffer more preventable diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injury.
- Men have double the risk to die of a heart attack and are more likely to die of cancers.
- Men are about four times more likely to commit suicide. Women attempt it more, but men succeed more.
- Only one in three American men with anxiety or depression take their medications.
- Men are more likely to use illegal drugs and become alcohol dependent.
What are the reasons for the health disparity between men and women?
There is no one definite reason for the health disparity between men and women but some of the contributing factors are:
- Lack of healthcare coverage: a higher percentage of men do not have healthcare coverage. This may make them reluctant to visit doctors for preventive care.
- Dangerous occupation: men are generally more involved in dangerous occupations like mining and construction.
- Men are less likely to ask and seek help.
- Men trivialize symptoms and signs of health issues more than women
How do I get Involved during National Men’s Health Awareness Month?
You can be part of the solution that seeks to promote men's health during Men's Health Month by:
- Sharing educative content on social media using the hashtags: #MensHealthMonth and #ShowUsYourBlue
- Wearing blue
- Joining the health walk
- Participating in raising funds for education about health issues that affect men.
What are the Recommendations for Men to Live and Stay Healthy?
- Get vaccinated with the necessary vaccines to stay healthy and protect your immune system. Ask your primary care provider for more information.
- Get screened if you have certain risk factors. Your routine test may include diabetes, thyroid disease, liver issues, anemia, blood pressure, weight, sexually transmitted diseases, and cholesterol. Some screening may become necessary as you age, for instance, an annual prostate examination for 40 years and above.
- Manage your stress: lower your stress by keeping a better social network, seeking help when necessary, exercising regularly, etc.
- Don’t participate in activities that may put your health at risk. Your care provider may advise you to stop consuming alcohol and cease smoking. Smoking and drinking alcohol are risk factors for liver disease, cirrhosis, alcohol dependence, cancers, etc. Your doctor may prescribe you a nicotine patch or bupropion to enhance smoking cessation. Lastly, use seatbelts and wear helmets while riding.
- Watch your diet. Eat less processed foods or foods with high amounts of sodium (salt) which is a risk factor for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and breathing issues. Consume lean proteins and foods that provide good nutrition and many vitamins.
- Change your lifestyle: lifestyle modification can improve your erectile dysfunction, which is the main cause of male sexual problems. It can make your relationship suffer and cause you to feel insecure. If you want to know if erectile dysfunction medications like Viagra, Cialis, etc. are right for you, talk to your healthcare providers.
There are countless suggestions for leading a healthy life, but these are excellent places to start. Support men around you by showing them how they can enjoy lower costs on medications with a free rxless discount card. Many pharmacies, including CVS, Rite Aids, and Walgreens, accept the card.