Men's Health Month

According to the United States Census Bureau, men under 40 years old often skip seeing their doctor regularly, more than older men and women. Additionally, serious medical conditions can be prevented with routine physicals, for men over 40 years old. McLaren Northern Michigan continues its ongoing commitment to raising awareness about men’s health in the month of June. The month of June marks the start of Men’s Health Month, which encourages men and boys to take control of their health.

To stay healthy, McLaren Northern Michigan encourages men, and all individuals, to have routine physicals and seek care with preventative health practices.

“Seeking preventative care before you are feeling ill is critical in maintain a healthy life,” stated Jay Anderson, DO, physician with McLaren Northern Michigan Internal Medicine. For Men’s Health Awareness Month, recognized every June, Dr. Anderson shares health tips to keep the important men in our life healthy.

Blood pressure screening. High blood pressure (BP) greatly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. A blood pressure of 120/80 or less is considered good. If blood pressure is high, it can be controlled through lifestyle changes and medicine.

Blood test for cholesterol. Every four to six years, men should be screened for good and bad cholesterol, or based on a doctor’s recommendation. Keeping bad cholesterol or LDL level below 130mg/dl and good cholesterol above 60mg/dl can help reduce chance of heart disease and stroke.

Blood glucose screening tests sugar levels for diabetes. This test should be done every three years after the age of 45. A doctor will determine whether a Fasting Plasma Glucose test should be performed, which requires a fast for eight hours prior to blood being drawn, or a A-1 blood draw which can be done any time, without fasting.

Testicular assessments should be done annually or at any well-visit exam. In addition, men are encouraged to do a monthly self-exam.

Colonoscopies should begin after the age of 50 and be done every ten years, unless there is a family history of colon cancer or polyps. These tests look for colon cancer, and rectal abnormalities.

Skin exams should be performed by a doctor at an annual visit for any suspicious moles, spots or marks. Self-exams should be performed regularly.

Eye exam once in 20s, and two times in 30s. If glasses or contacts are worn, see eye doctor as recommended. After the age of 45, a doctor should test for glaucoma.

Immunizations. A flu shot should be done annually and may need Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pneumococcal and Meningococcal vaccines. If older than 40, a Shingles vaccine may be needed.

These preventative health practices result in early detection and treatment of disease that can keep men healthy and ultimately save lives.

McLaren Northern Michigan has various specialists that provide men with specific health care needs. To schedule an annual physical, or sign with a physician at McLaren Northern Michigan visit,