Hold Onto Your Health: 5 Things Men Can do to help their bodies

As we begin this June, we turn our attention to men as we look at their health. This June 6 start Men’s Health Week and what is needed to help them live healthier and happier lives. Before we get into this list, we do want to give a special shout out to women. It would be easy to look at this list as there is nothing here for you. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It is a fact that women live longer than men. This stems from the fact that women often go to the doctor, ask lots of questions, and make informed decisions when it comes to their health. As you look over this list, we ask that you would help encourage the men around you to pursue their health and help them take these steps to a healthier lifestyle.

Make that appointment even if you feel great

One of the most significant issues the men face is that they may know that they are facing health issues, but do not seek out health experts. Here is an age guide of what you should be asking about based upon your life stage:

  • For men in their 30s

    • Complete physical every two years
    • Get blood pressure checked every year
    • Cancer screenings for thyroid, testicles, lymph nodes, mouth and skin every three years
    • Cholesterol test for total LDL, HDL (the good kind) every three years
    • Testicular self-exam every month
  • For men in their 40s

    • Get blood pressure checked every year
    • Cancer screenings for thyroid, testicles, lymph nodes, mouth and skin every three years
    • Cholesterol test for total LDL, HDL (the good kind) every three years
    • Testicular self-exam every month
    • Complete physical every two years
    • Baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal exam (DRE)
    • Stool test (for colon and rectal cancers) every year
  • For men in their 50s 

    • Get blood pressure checked every year
      • Cancer screenings for thyroid, testicles, lymph nodes, mouth and skin every three years
    • Cholesterol test for total LDL, HDL (the good kind) every three years
    • Testicular self-exam every month
    • A sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy (for colon cancers) every three to four years or as recommended by your healthcare provider
    • PSA and DRE exam every year (https://observer.com/2015/06/men-need-to-know-more-about-their-health/)

Get Moving

One of the most significant ways to help your health is to engage in 30 minutes of cardio exercise a day. Studies have shown that it can significantly improve your heart health as well as lower your stress levels. If you are having a hard time finding 30 minutes a day, any amount of exercise is helpful. You could also use this time to engage with your family by playing a sport together or going on a walk together.

Stop Smoking

This single step has one of the greatest benefits to your health. When you smoke, you are in taking over 4,000 harmful chemicals that are known to cause cancer in your body. By quitting smoking, you are giving your lungs a chance they need to heal and to function correctly. The health of your lungs goes up significantly in just two weeks after you stop smoking.

Hormone changes are not only for women

While many are familiar with menopause for women, men also have changes to their hormones while they age. Testosterone levels tend to drop as men age. If you want to get an idea of where your levels are at, it is good to test them in the morning before 9 am. That will give you a good idea if your levels or high or low. If you start to gain weight, especially around your middle, this can change your testosterone levels as well. Keeping a trim waist helps keep your levels healthy.

Mental Health Matters

In many ways, your attitude about aging and your mental health has just as much effect on you as your physical condition. Pay attention if you are utilizing any unhealthy coping mechanisms or substances to help you get through a day or to deal with stress. If you find yourself in a negative place, please reach out for help. There are more options available to help men find the right work/life balance and be happier each day.

The Mighty Mind: Suffering From Mental Health Awareness Month

suffering from mental health

The Mighty Mind: Suffering From Mental Health Awareness Month

We talk a lot about our physical health, but you may not know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As a society, we spend a lot of time dedicated to our health. This comes in the form of education, access to doctor care, sharing about eating for health or promoting physical exercise. But what has not always been prevalent is talking about Mental Health. In fact, speaking about mental health and receiving care for mental health held a stigma for a long time and in specific communities still does. It is critical to raise awareness so that these individuals can receive the care that they so desperately need.

Continue reading “The Mighty Mind: Suffering From Mental Health Awareness Month”

How Your Coverage Can Help With Mental Health 

how your coverage can help with mental health

How Your Coverage Can Help With Mental Health

Mental Health is getting a lot more attention by our society than before.

In previous generations, if someone was having a hard time with something, they were encouraged to ignore it or think about something else. If you’ve ever struggled with mental health, then you know that it is not as simple as that. But we see a change in the way that people are responding to not only their own but others mental health needs. One of the most significant shifts came when Mental Health Parity Acts were passed. This is a law that states that health care plans cannot limit the care provided for mental health over physical health care.

In the state of California, we have the California Mental Health Parity Act which states that “Health care service plans or insurance plans must cover care for persons with “severe mental illnesses” as they do for other people with other health conditions or illnesses.” (source)

But this act does also enumerate a few key issues that are important to know. First that this act only applies to health care services that are state regulated. They also define what illnesses are considered severe and fall under this law. This list usually includes Major depression, Panic disorder,  Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder;  Obsessive-compulsive disorder; Anorexia, Bulimia, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective disorder, Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Children’s severe emotional disturbances.  Under this law, you have the right to get diagnosed, change your doctor, get your medical records, the right to keep those records private and to get a second opinion.

When it comes to mental health, it is essential to reach out for help.
Precisely what is offered in your health insurance for mental health changes between different the plans. If you have questions about what is covered by your health insurance, please feel free to reach out to your provider or us. We want to ensure that you get all of your physical and mental health insurance questions answered.

Talking About Mental Health?

Talking about mental health

Talking About Mental Health?

Our society is quick to talk about how we need to take good care of our physical health. It has not always done the same service to mental health. Mental health encompasses your physiological, emotional, and social well being. Mental health has historically had a stigma in our society. People didn’t know much about it, didn’t talk about it or looked down on people who had a mental illness. However, things are beginning to change. In this blog, we wanted to cover what some of the potential signs are if you or someone you love are experiencing mental health problems.
Mood Changes 

These are rapid shifts in how you feel throughout the day. You may be fine one minute and actively experience an opposite emotion the next.

Drop in Functioning and Withdrawal

This includes a drop in functioning at work, school, sports, social activities or anything that you consistently were able to maintain a certain level of performance in and no longer can. It could also be a loss of interest in something that you used to be passionate about or even a loss of interest in others. Can also be perceived as apathy and having no desire to do anything.

Increased Sensitivity 

You may experience a heightened sensitivity to individual sounds, smells, touch and may desire to avoid certain stimulating situations.

Problems Thinking

These could be having difficulty concentrating or remembering things. But this could also be having illogical thought processes that don’t have a base in reality.

Nervousness

Becoming more suspicious or fearing the motives of others; that they are “out to get you.” Could also show a fear to leave the house or other comfortable places.

Sleep and Appetite changes

Drastic changes to the times that you usually sleep or the length of your sleep each evening or a severe change in your desire for food.

These are just a few of the symptoms that could expose a person is suffering from mental health problems. And if they are only exhibiting one or two of these, there is usually nothing to be concerned about. However, if there are multiple of these symptoms present, it may be a good time to see a doctor.