Men’s Health Month June 2022
Katz’z Korner, May 2022
MSN, PMH FNP-BC
Shawnee Family Health Center in Adams County.
Men’s Health Month
So, men, how is your prostate? Here are some preventative measures to help keep the prostate healthy. Most of the recommended preventive activities will help prevent other illnesses, ladies.
· Eating a well-balanced diet low in saturated fats and high in vegetables and fiber. Aim for 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
· Maintain a healthy weight, and know your BMI. You can calculate your BMI using your height and weight online using a BMI calculator. The following from the National Institute of Health is easy to use: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm or ask your health care provider.
· Get regular exercise, and stay active. Walk at least 30 minutes daily or do other activities that increase your heart rate. Adams county has many beautiful walking paths. Have you been to our lake in West Union?
· Don’t start smoking, and stop if you do. Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen in your body, and every cell needs oxygen to function correctly. Less oxygen equals poor performance in every organ, not just your lungs.
· Do have your Vitamin D levels checked. Ten minutes of daily sun exposure without sunscreen is the recommendation. Your health care provider may recommend supplements if needed.
· Staying sexually active helps to keep the prostate healthy. (With or without a partner).
Prostatitis, an infection of the prostate, can happen at any age. Symptoms of prostatitis may include fever, pain with urination, increased frequency of urination, and difficulty initiating, or there may be blood in the urine. Report these symptoms to your health care provider. Antibiotics are usually given as treatment.
Eating your Medicine
Specific foods to promote prostate health, according to the Harvard School of Medicine:
Cooked tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene. The body more readily absorbs lycopene from foods such as cooked tomato sauce versus raw tomatoes. Lycopene is highest in the skin of the tomato. Lycopene has been shown to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Broccoli, Cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables contain a compound called sulforaphane. Studies have shown this compound to be protective against cancer.
Whole grain bread and pasta.
Choose healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Avoid saturated fats and partially hydrogenated fats.
The addition of soy and green tea can help to lower PSA. The PSA is the prostate-specific antigen that can be isolated and measured in your blood. Your health care provider can use this number when estimating your risk for cancer.
Foods to avoid include red meat, alcohol, fried foods, and overly processed foods like hot dogs or lunch meat.
Men’s Mental Health
I want to discuss a problem I see in practice specific to men’s mental health. Some medications used to treat mental health, such as depression or bipolar disorder, may result in sexual dysfunction. Please do not stop taking your mental health medication before talking with your health care provider. There are ways to manage this problem. Also, PLEASE, Never take a pill without knowing what it is and its risks. The “little blue pill” can have serious cardiac side effects such as severe hypotension that could lead to a heart attack, stroke, or death.
On a Lighter Note:
I USED TO HAVE A DATING SERVICE FOR CHICKENS, BUT I COULDN’T MAKE HENS MEET.
An excited man told his doctor, “YOU HAVE TO HELP ME! I THINK I AM SHRINKING!” The Dr. responded, “Settle down; you will just have to learn to be a little patient.”