Celebrated each June, Men’s Health Month raises awareness of important health screenings and education.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, on average, men die five years earlier than women. They die at higher rates from three leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer and accidents. Men are also less likely to go to the doctor for routine health checkups.
What are some general health and GI-related issues men should be aware of?
- Eating well. Focus on fruits and vegetables to eat more of a plant-based diet. Start by adding one fruit and vegetable to each meal.
- Staying active. Aim for moderate exercise, 30 minutes a day, five days a week. This equals 150 minutes of exercise each week. Regular physical activity can improve your brain health, help you maintain or lose weight, strengthen bones and muscles, and reduce the risk of disease.
- Hydration. Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated reduces your risk for a host of medical conditions, including kidney stones.
- Colorectal cancer screening. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the U.S. A colonoscopy is the only screening test that can detect and prevent colorectal cancer and is considered the gold standard by gastroenterologists. Talk to your doctor about screening. If you are 45 years old, it’s time for a colonoscopy. It could save your life.
- Liver disease. About 1 in 10 Americans (30 million) have some type of liver disease. Rising rates of obesity have led to this increase, especially as it relates to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (fatty liver). With this condition, excess fat builds up in the liver. It can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which causes inflammation of the liver and is expected to be the leading cause of liver transplant in the U.S. between 2020 – 2025. You can lower your risk of fatty liver disease by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, limiting sugar and eating a plant-based diet.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and esophageal cancer. GERD is a very common condition. Chronic GERD, when left untreated, causes scarring and inflammation of the esophagus. It can also increase your risk of esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the U.S., and it primarily affects white men over the age of 55. If you are experiencing chronic heartburn symptoms, you should be evaluated by a gastroenterologist.
South Denver GI is the region’s leader in comprehensive, compassionate GI care. We can help get you back to health – whether that’s a colonoscopy, management and treatment of liver disease or an evaluation of your heartburn symptoms. Call 303-788-8888 or Schedule an Appointment now.