June is National Men’s Health Month. Life is busy, but making healthy choices and proactive decisions should be a priority. Men are notorious for not taking their health seriously enough, but focusing on diet and exercise is important for disease prevention. Even for young men, providing education on health lifestyle choices at an early age can help prepare them for vibrant and healthy life.
Here are some easy ways for guys to assess your general health:
- Set some goals: What do you want to accomplish short term and long term?
- Assess your current diet: What do you currently eat? What could be eliminated?
- Assess your gut health: How do you feel after eating certain foods? Do you have indigestion, bloating, or gas? Regular bowel movements?
- Schedule your screenings: Don’t delay your preventative disease screenings.
- Get educated: Understand your body and how to make good choices.
While a basic assessment is a good starting point, you’ll probably want to make some changes. Most men aren’t thinking about their stress levels or how to get better sleep. Using regenerative medicine to identify some of the key areas in your life that need adjusting, we are able to see a clear picture of what might be the cause of some lingering issues.
And let’s face it, most of us have room for improvements, such as making better nutrition choices (less beer, more water) or getting more exercise (less channel surfing, more outdoor activity). There are many ways to start small and work towards reaching your health and fitness goals with regenerative medicine in Springfield Missouri.
Make Some Winning Nutritional Choices
Limit your intake of refined sugars. These are found in our favorite sweet treats. These sugars can increase your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately, they are also linked to depression, dementia and liver cancer. If you crave a sweet treat every so often, turn your fridge into a healthy concession stand worth visiting filled with fruits and vegetables.
Nuts are a great snack for those go-to moments of need and honey is a natural sweetener for that extra kick of sweetness. Lastly, cut the white flour and simple carbohydrates by limiting your breads and pastas. Your gut will thank you for slowing your intake of gluten and your metabolism will appreciate not having a surplus of carbohydrates to burn off or more than likely store as fat.
Sleep: It’s Connected To Everything
By regulating your sleep patterns, you’re able to give your body the daily recovery, reset and recharge you need. Start with getting ready to sleep. That may sound like a strange task, but odds are you can’t just snap your finger and fall instantly asleep.
There tends to be a winding down period before bed. First, try cutting out that late night snack. Next, reduce your exposure to blue light before bed. Think about your TV or your phone/tablet.
If you need to take a few minutes to breathe deep, or meditate/reflect on your day, do this right before bedtime. Make sure your sleeping quarters are cold and completely dark to ensure you are getting deep sleep. This is a great way to help your body and your brain prepare for a good night’s rest.
We assess our regenerative medicine patients’ DHEA and Cortisol levels at every lab draw. The relationship between the two can give us a lot of insight on a person’s symptoms and health concerns. In many ways, cortisol and DHEA have opposing effects.
When your body has enough of each hormone, they will balance each other out. But if the cortisol-DHEA ratio is not healthy, you may experience symptoms such as poor metabolism function leading to weight gain, fatigue, memory problems and weakened immune system. Effective sleep is one way to regulate your cortisol leading to the balance of Cortisol and DHEA. It’s all connected.
Testosterone: It’s About More Than Sex Drive
Assessing and addressing low testosterone in men goes way beyond the bedroom. Some of the first signs of low testosterone can be weight gain, increased fatigue, mood changes, poor motivation, and even memory problems. Let’s revisit DHEA (this is why sleep is so important). Produced naturally by the adrenal glands, DHEA is converted by the body into testosterone and other sex hormones. So, when you sleep better, you regulate your cortisol levels which balance your DHEA levels that are converted into testosterone.
While the goal is for men to produce the appropriate amount of testosterone naturally, we can use a bioidentical form to help boost testosterone production. This injection can be administered weekly. We also know there are some other ways to naturally increase testosterone production such as supplementing zinc, lifting weights, intermittent fasting and reducing carbs and sugar.
Recognizing Mood Disorders: Discovering The Trigger
On average, one in eight men will have depression and one in five men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives. While men are less likely to experience anxiety and depression than women, they are less likely to talk about it. This increases the risk of their anxiety or depression going unrecognized and untreated.
When using a regenerative medicine approach, we are always looking for the underlying cause of symptoms, such as mood swings or depression. We will check vitamin levels such as B12 and vitamin D. B12 plays a vital role in producing and metabolizing serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. Therefore, a vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to decreased serotonin production, which may cause a depressed mood.
We may also suggest assessing your inflammation markers and food allergy testing as a means of symptoms investigation. Research has shown that gastrointestinal inflammation, one of the most frequent symptoms of food intolerance, is often found in those showing signs of depression. The relationship between gut health and depression is bi-directional though. This means that if you’re feeling depressed, your digestive system is likely to suffer. Likewise, if you’re suffering from digestive problems, the chance of experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety increases!
Begin A Daily Vitamin Routine
Taking good quality vitamins and supplements is a great way to kick start your wellness journey. We generally recommend the following:
Multivitamin supplement: Mitocore
Omega 3 (Fish Oil): Orthomega
You can find all of these nutritional supplements in our office or order online through our website.
Men: Make Your Health A Priority
Too often men put off making healthy changes until it’s too late, or until the lab report comes back with borderline results. By being proactive in choices and changes, you’re able to be better prepared for life, whatever may come your way. Start treating every month like it’s Men’s Health Month.
If you’re ready to make positive changes or investigate some lingering symptoms, schedule an appointment with Kare Health & Wellness. Our Functional Medicine providers will help uncover the root of your symptoms and make recommendations to get back to living a life full of energy and opportunities.