13:34 PM

Men’s Health – Helpful Ways to Live a Healthy and Productive Life

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By Caleb Bettenhausen, Physician Assistant, Holy Rosary Healthcare 

For men living in Montana, many of us (medical professionals included) tend to put off going to our primary care provider. We see it as taking time away from our jobs and families, and at times, we hesitate to have a provider tell us we are not invincible. But a quick annual visit with your provider can help ensure you can provide for your family and allow you to spend more quality time with your loved ones. 

This Men's Health Month, I wanted to share some interesting statistics and tips to help you stay healthy. Did you know that statistically, men's life span is roughly five years shorter than women? Two areas where men are specifically impacted are heart disease and colon cancer. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men. And the risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 for men. The good news is that there are things you can do to stay on top of your health in these areas. 

To keep your heart healthy, the best advice is to live a healthy lifestyle and control your blood pressure. This can be done through changes in diet and staying active, limiting your alcohol consumption, and in some cases taking medications. It is also important to have regular checkups with your provider. Often signs and symptoms of heart disease are silent, and we are unaware of them. Discussing with your provider about changes in your health can help identify issues early. 

With the increase in younger patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer, the new guidance for colon cancer screening is starting at age 45. You should talk with your doctor about your options for screening, including a colonoscopy. 

It is much easier to prevent a health concern from arising than to address it once it is present, and there are many additional topics important to Men's Health. This is why it is important to find a provider you can connect with and discuss all your options to live a healthy and productive life.