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Top Health Tips for Men

June is Men’s Health Awareness Month – a month dedicated to shifting the public’s attention toward common health concerns facing men. To raise awareness and promote men’s wellness within our own community, Dr. Andrius Kudirka, M.D., a primary care physician with Palos Medical Group, has put together tips for men to stay on top of their health.

Take Care of Your Mental Health – Men often don't recognize or admit they're depressed, and they are less likely than women to seek help. Your doctor will often screen for depression at your yearly physical.  Depression is treatable—treatment may include medications, counseling, exercise, or even meditation. 

Get Screened for Colon Cancer - Men under age 50 should be screened every five years if there is a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps. Between ages 50 to 75, men should be screened for colorectal cancer with either a stool test or a colonoscopy. 

Don’t Smoke – Cigarettes are bad, but cigars may be worse, with a higher level of cancer causing substances, more tar and a higher level of toxins. And chewing or smokeless tobacco is known to contain at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals and puts users at increased risk for cancer, including cancers of the mouth.

Drink in Moderation – Don’t consume more than 3 - 4 standard drinks (12 oz. beer or 5 oz. glass of wine) per day and 12 -14 drinks per week. Drinking too much can damage the liver and heart, disrupt sleep and contribute to depression.

Yearly Check-Ups – A routine examine is the best way to establish a relationship with your primary care provider and to receive preventative, evidence-based care.  Yearly physicals help keep patients on track for preventive services, but also can be a chance to bring up new health concerns or questions.

Healthy Waist – Too much belly fat can signal trouble, putting you at higher risk for developing diseases linked to obesity, such as: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, certain types of cancer and osteoporosis. Aim to keep your measurement under 40 inches. 

Eat More Plants – Increase your intake of high- fiber foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans) to help with blood pressure and high cholesterol and reduce your risk of certain cancers (colon and prostate).  Most patients should “strive for five” servings of fruits or vegetables per day. 

Cut Down on Red Meat – Consuming too much meat – specifically red meat– can increase the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. The saturated fat it contains can increase your LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Exercise – Find a workout you like and stick with it. The American Heart Association encourages men to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week.

Dr. Kudirka is currently accepting new patients at his office at 15300 West Avenue in Orland Park. To schedule an appointment, please contact Palos Medical Group at 708.590.5300.