Gain Mo-MEN-tum During Men’s Health Month 

Close up of 3 African-American men with black hair and brown eyes smiling, all representing a different generation

You don’t have to tell us, guys. Those in your life know that you’d do just about anything to avoid the doctor’s office.

Unfortunately, it often shows in men’s health conditions that could be detected early or entirely prevented. From that view, it means men are less likely than women to have preventive checkups across their life spans. The result? Shorter life spans.

Change It Up This Month

Men’s Health Month in June is a nudge to start – or increase – healthier habits. 

How to begin? Make an appointment with your family doctor for a regular checkup. Commit to a reasonable exercise program with a couple of friends or family members. And take a tip from the popular Mediterranean lifestyle to enjoy meals and companionship with those you love.

If you want to help others improve their health, support Men’s Health Month through activities such as health fairs, 5K runs/walks and media opportunities.

Guy (Health) Things

Why is it so important for men to pay attention to their everyday health? Men, in particular, are susceptible to the following:

Heart disease. This accounts for one of every four male deaths in the U.S. High blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease, is more prevalent in younger men than other genders. And about half of men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.

Certain cancers. Men age 50+ are at the highest risk of developing skin cancer due to more sun exposure and fewer visits to their doctors. And nearly 16 percent of men uses tobacco, making them prone to developing cancers of the lung, tongue and throat.

Alcohol-related disease. Of the 88,000 Americans who die in alcohol-related events each year, 62,000 are men. Because excessive alcohol use also is linked to unpredictable behavior, it factors into another risk – unintentional injuries. Men are more likely to be injured in auto and motorcycle accidents, in addition to home and social incidents.

Mental and emotional health conditions. Due to the pandemic and other factors, the U.S. is experiencing a nationwide mental health crisis. Men are less likely than women to seek help, regardless of severity.

Mental health services are covered in U-M’s Health Plans. MHealthy also offers numerous resources and programs for the U-M community. If it all seems too much, start small with a quick mental health screening. Don’t wait if you feel like you’re slipping; reach out today.

Prostate conditions. More than 32 million men have prostate conditions that affect their daily living, including cancer, enlarged prostate and prostatitis. Prostate screening is covered with no copay through U-M Health Plans as part of an annual exam.

Diabetes. Men are more likely than women to develop diabetes at lower weights because they usually carry excess pounds in their torso. Men also are slower to be diagnosed with prediabetes, a precursor to type-2 diabetes. Since uncontrolled diabetes puts men at risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, erectile dysfunction, and circulatory problems, early detection and treatment is crucial.

Take a 60-second quiz (with puppies!) to determine if you’re eligible for free Diabetes Prevention Programs through U-M Health Plans. 

Help from MHealthy

Not sure where to start? MHealthy’s health questionnaire takes a few minutes to complete and provides personalized recommendations tailored to your needs. MHealthy also offers a number of programs to boost your physical and mental health, whether it’s a virtual meditation or exercise class, tobacco cessation program or an ergonomic consultation to improve your comfort while working.

There’s an alcohol management program, as well, to help assess your habits, whether your goal is to reduce consumption or stop entirely.

More Resources

Attention to a healthy lifestyle begins by establishing a relationship with a family doctor. Check the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or the Physicians Health Plan provider directories to find one in your plan network.

Establishing a baseline will help you and your doctor set goals for a healthier lifestyle. Here’s a complete list of screenings for all ages covered through U-M’s Health Plans.

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