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Optimizing Men's Health: The Role of Functional Medicine

In a fast-paced world where the demands of work, family, and personal pursuits often take precedence, it's crucial for men to prioritize their health. Achieving and maintaining optimal health isn't just about looking good; it's about feeling good, both physically and mentally. In this blog, we'll delve into various aspects of men's health, providing valuable insights, tips, and advice for a healthier and more fulfilling life.


Preventive Screenings & Health

Smokers: Adults aged 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years are recommended a low dose CT annually. 

Colon: Starting at age 45, but depending on your history, you may qualify for FIT or FOBT annually instead. 

Prostate: Roughly starting around 40-50 depending on your risks.Diabetes: Starting at age 35

Lipids: Screening is advised for men aged 20-35 with conditions such as diabetes, a family history of cardiovascular disease before age 50 in male relatives or age 60 in female relatives, family history indicating familial hyperlipidemia, and multiple risk factors for coronary heart disease like tobacco use and hypertension.


There can be more screening tests depending on you and your personal/family history. Have you had your screenings done?


Heart Health:

Men face a higher likelihood of experiencing cardiovascular disease compared to women, and there are several contributing factors. Estrogen, which has protective effects on blood vessels, is more prevalent in women. Additionally, differences in the ability to cope with and recognize stress, as well as patterns of alcohol and smoking consumption, play a role. Men often exhibit dietary preferences with higher red meat consumption, and they may be more prone to writing off symptoms. Importantly, women tend to be more proactive in managing their health, actively seeking preventive measures.


When was the last time you checked your lipid levels and/or genetic predispositions to building plaques?


Sexual Health

Erectile dysfunction stands out as a prevalent indicator that something may be amiss. Beyond potentially pointing to cardiometabolic issues, it can induce feelings of shame, isolation, reluctance towards sexual intimacy, diminished self-esteem, and strain on relationships. Engaging in an open conversation with your healthcare provider is essential, as it may signify systemic issues (like hypertension!), and the repercussions on mental health can be detrimental.


Testosterone:

The synthesis of testosterone (T) experiences a gradual decline as men age, typically starting around 35–40 years. During this phase, there is a noticeable annual average decrease of approximately 1.6% in testosterone levels.

A study conducted as part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), involving 696 men aged over 20 years, revealed significant variations in testosterone levels linked to levels of physical activity. Men who reported dedicating three or more hours per week to physical activity exhibited notably higher testosterone levels compared to their less active counterparts. The researchers established a clear correlation between physical activity and testosterone levels by analyzing individuals with higher levels of activity. This connection between physical activity and testosterone is linked to health benefits, as testosterone positively influences the cardiovascular system by reducing the production of proinflammatory factors and promoting vascular endothelial regeneration.


Biohacking:

Are you familiar with cold water plunges, NAD+ therapy, intermittent fasting, microbiome optimization, wearable devices, and other health strategies? 


Engaging your integrative healthcare provider in discussions about these topics is a practical approach to tailoring a plan that suits your lifestyle, genetics, and individual health requirements, guiding you towards optimal well-being.


By taking steps to improve physical fitness, nourish the body, and nurture mental well-being, men can pave the way to a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life. Remember, a proactive approach to health today can lead to a more vibrant tomorrow.

Taking control of your health now can lead to a future of well-informed decisions and a healthier, more confident you. Don't delay—schedule your screenings today!


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