Sky Lakes Medical Center | Live Smart | Summer 2021
SkyLakes.org | LIVE smart 5 c Could you be doing more to take care of your health? If you’re like most men, the answer is probably yes. On average, men are more likely than women to make some unhealthy choices in their daily lives and to avoid seeing a doctor even when they should see one. Don’t be too hard on yourself if that describes you. Just know that it’s not too late to start taking care of your health, even if it’s been a while since you’ve seen a doctor or perused a produce aisle. What’s in it for you? For starters, feeling great and living your best. In the big picture, it’s also about having more years to spend in better health with the people and activities you enjoy. Start with a primary care provider If you don’t already have one, schedule an appointment with a primary care provider. That’s a doctor or other medical provider you see (usually once a year) for checkups and other preventive care. Preventive care includes things like physical exams and recommended vaccinations and health screenings. Checkups and screenings can help prevent some health problems from ever starting. And they can help your provider find some health problems early, when they’re often easier to treat. 541-274-8400 or Cascades East Family Medicine Clinic at 541-274-6733 . Get ahead of health risks There are many things men, working with their primary care provider, can do to help guard against a variety of major health risks, including these: ▸ High blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Even if you feel fine, you could have these conditions—major causes of heart disease, stroke and other complications. Having your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels checked (ask your provider how often) can reveal these hidden hazards. To help ward off these and other health risks: »» Get regular exercise. You can start with little steps, like taking short walks throughout the day. »» Eat a variety of healthy foods. These include fruits, vegetables and whole grains; fat-free or low-fat dairy products; and lean protein, such as poultry and beans. Use unsaturated oils, such as canola or olive, for cooking. Cut back on salt (sodium), added sugars, and saturated and trans fats. ▸ Colorectal cancer. Depending on your age and risk factors, it may be time to get checked. Screening can help prevent colorectal cancer by finding the colon and rectal polyps, which can be removed, that may lead to the disease. ▸ Lung cancer. If you smoke, ask your provider to help you quit. You may also need a lung cancer screening test if you’re at least 55 years old and have a history of heavy smoking. ▸ Prostate cancer. Talk to your provider about the pros and cons of being screened for prostate cancer if you’re middle-aged. Most prostate cancers grow slowly, but some may spread if left untreated. ▸ Obesity. Unwanted pounds can lead to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Ask your provider what’s a healthy weight for you. Eating right and staying active can help you manage your weight. Every choice adds up. How about a side of veggies or salad instead of fries with your burger? Choose a piece of fruit instead of cake for dessert. ▸ Depression. Tell your provider if you often feel sad or hopeless or have lost interest in things you once enjoyed. There are effective treatments for depression. Sources: American Academy of Family Physicians; HealthInAging.org; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services EASIER THAN EVER You can see a provider online. Learn how at SkyLakes.org/Televisits .