Let’s face it: Dudes don’t always go to the doctor like they should. Though the woman – or women – in your life may encourage it, most men don’t take time to pay their physicians a regular visit. But do you really know what you’re missing when you skip that checkup? There are several age-related screening tests that men need to maintain good health. Whether you’re a baby boomer, a weekend warrior, a dad or just a regular gent, UAB News has info you can use to achieve your best health going forward.
|Kidney stones form when calcium, oxalate, and other substances build up in the urine. When stones exceed five millimeters in size, they can get stuck between the kidneys and bladder, bringing intense pain. (UAB Magazine)
The pain caused by kidney stones has been described as “the closest thing a man will come to experiencing childbirth,” so while it might seem fitting that more men than women get them, awareness can help both sexes avoid the pain.
“While research shows that the gender gap is decreasing, and that in teens more females than males develop kidney stones, for adults, men as a general rule get them more often than women,” said Dean Assimos, M.D., chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Urology. “But we should all build our awareness and take preventive steps.”
Symptoms that could indicate someone has a kidney stone include:
- Intense abdominal pain, which can radiate to the genital area
- Urge to frequently urinate
- Fever and chills
- Blood in the urine
New Year’s resolutions that crowd gyms every January suggest people may know the benefits of regular exercise to physical and mental health. Exercise can boost focus and energy as well as improve appearance and even sex life, but sports injuries seen by University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) doctors suggest many – particularly men 40 years and older – do not know how to safely maximize the benefits of a new fitness regimen.
Slow and low is the mantra of Marcas Bamman, Ph.D., a professor in the UAB Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology and the director of the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine.
“If you haven’t been exercising for a while, you need to start slow and develop a fitness base,” said Bamman. “Doing too much too fast is a recipe for injury.”
For patients and study subjects undergoing strength training in the Center for Exercise Medicine, Bamman increases the number of repetitions and the amount of weight over about three weeks under strict supervision. He advises those working out on their own plan on using three-to-six weeks to reach full intensity.
Experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) say a man’s tendency to wait until the onset of sickness to see his doctor is a major detriment to health because key screenings are missed.
One-third of men in the United States over the age of 20 are considered to be obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, nearly one-third of U.S. men have high blood pressure (hypertension).
According to UAB Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Stephen Russell, M.D., the simple act of seeing a physician is a critical to men’s health.
“Generally, I see men putting off the doctor visits and oftentimes ignoring symptoms,” Russell said. “Getting a yearly physical gives your doctor the opportunity to do necessary screenings and to potentially identify problems that put you at risk for things like obesity and hypertension.”
Russell says it is best to start young when it comes to seeing a primary care doctor. Children generally see their pediatrician each year, and adults should do the same.
“We think it’s important for all people in their twenties to establish relationships with a primary care physician, because that’s when we can get baseline health information, discuss family health history, talk about lifestyle changes and evaluate for obesity-related illnesses,” Russell said.