By Stephanie Simons,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire
This month we’re going to talk about men’s health. So much emphasis in lifestyle and health media is placed upon women, but it’s important to talk about men’s issues, too. June sees the United Kingdom celebrating Men’s Health Week from June 11-17 and the United States recognising Men’s Health Month. The goal of these events is to raise awareness of preventable health problems and to encourage earlier detection and treatment of them among men and boys.
The biggest killers of men in the United States today are heart disease and cancer, according to the Center for Disease Control. However, there are many things that can be done to reduce the risk of these diseases.
The first of which is to ensure a proper, well-rounded diet which contains a full spectrum of nutrition supplemented by an active lifestyle. This combination is the surest route to maintaining a healthy weight, which will greatly decrease the chance of heart disease. In addition to men requiring more calories than women – usually 2,500 calories a day to women’s 2,000 – men and women have slightly different needs when it comes to nutrition.
To ensure that your nutritional needs are met, we suggest taking a multivitamin specifically formulated for men, such as One-a-Day’s Men’s Health Formula or Centrum Men. These supplements will contain more zinc than a regular supplement, which aids in the production of testosterone in men. Many will also contain an antioxidant known as lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the chance of prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) has deemed prostate cancer the most common cancer in men, with one in nine being diagnosed with it in their lifetime.
Additionally, men may want to try Tonkat Ali Honey, Maca Powder Honey with Muira Puama or Yohimbe Bark Honey with Red Ginseng – these are honeys supplemented with herbs which enhance male performance and/or benefit the prostate.
Prostate cancer develops mainly in older men, particularly those of African-American descent. About 60 per cent of cases are diagnosed in men aged over the age of 65 and it is rare before age 40. The average age at the time of diagnosis is approximately 66.
In addition to ensuring that your diet is well rounded, ACS recommends that men eat at least two and a half cups of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day, keep physically active and stay at a healthy weight. This is, of course, a recipe for a healthy life, not just for cancer prevention.
In addition to ensuring that your body has everything it needs to work at its best, it’s important to take care of your external body, too. That’s why many skincare brands now carry products specially formulated for men. These products can include more masculine scents and even formulations: a man’s skin is estimated to be approximately 25 per cent thicker than that of a woman’s. Dove and Nivea both offer soaps specially formulated to clean and moisturise men’s skin and both brands, as well as Neutrogena offer daily moisturisers.
Men also have to consider sun protection, which can reduce the chance of skin cancer – a serious risk in sunny Bermuda. By investing in a daily moisturiser that contains sun protection, this will help to protect the skin. Alternatively, getting into the habit of applying sunblock as part of your morning routine – after washing your face – will also work and will help to keep your complexion youthful!
While it is good to observe awareness events such as Men’s Health Week or Month, the important thing is to take on this awareness all year round and to take care of yourself properly. If you have any questions or concerns about male health, please don’t hesitate to consult a pharmacist or a medical professional.
Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.