“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” Mahatma Gandhi
Men’s Health concerns during the coming New Year goes beyond the one dominating the news for the last two years. No doubt a pandemic is super important news. Preventions and precautions are extremely relevant. It is not however the only elephant in the room. Before the onset of a worldwide health crisis, Men were already in one. They were suffering from neglect. Not the neglect of a partner, lover, or family, neglect of their own health.
For decades health insurance companies have increased their budgets for advertising the importance and availability of preventative care. They may truly be concerned, but let’s be realistic. They want those that they insure to take advantage of the benefits of preventative care because it saves them massive amounts of money.
Early Testing Saves Lives
Receiving an early diagnoses and beginning treatments as soon as possible can stop terminal diseases in their tracks. Without being totally callous and cynical, health insurance companies want to save money. If they are pushing for early testing and preventative care which costs them money today, they must know that they will save much more later. A real-world example of preventative care and testing that has saved billions of treatment dollars in lieu of upfront prevention and early testing dollars is decades of mammograms.
Change don’t come easy and although health insurance resisted approving the cost of mammograms for “healthy” women, they soon realized that the investment was worth it. The colonoscopy was next. After steady resistance, the health insurance companies accepted the fact that testing, early diagnoses, and treatment not only saved lives, it also saved them money.
The mammogram and colonoscopy supplied strong evidence over many years that testing, early detection and prevention was a life and money saver. Yet, it took the American Cancer Society and other healthcare organizations years to get the industry to approve early Low Dose (LD) CT Scans for lung cancer. Finally in 2013, the health insurance industry relented and began covering routine LDCT Scans for lung cancer.
In a Press Release On December 17, 2021, Mount Sinai unequivocally said that regular LDCT screenings saved lives and reduced lung cancer mortality rates. Emanuela Taioli, MD, PhD, Director of the Institute for Translational Epidemiology and Associate Director for Population Science at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai commented on the released quantitative results, “That means that we cannot only attribute CT screening to decreased mortality, but our findings reinforce the importance of screening in the early detection, intervention, and effective treatment of cancer.”
Cancer screening numbers show that more women than men get screened. This points to a preventative care problem among men, both physically and mentally.
Men’s Mental Health
Hard as it is to get men into a doctor’s office for treatment of an acute bruise, cut or active fever, flu or cold, it is even harder to get them there for preventative care. Worse is the number of men who are willing to seek mental health care, preventative and necessary.
Statistics vary by region and types of mental health treatment, but the averages are telling. It is thought that 14% of men in the US experience a mental health issue. Yet very few seek professional help. Mental health professionals believe that only 60% of men who should seek help are actively doing so, while almost 75% of women do so.
Healthcare professionals are aware of and worried that these pre-pandemic numbers have actually increased over the past two years.
Men Need to Help Their Health
Nature is a great healer. The fresh air, trees, and earthy aroma all touches a primal healing center in men as well as women. Exercising is medicine. Raising the heart rate, and expanding the lungs works to lower blood pressure, balance sugar and cholesterol levels and improve all organ functions. Eating a balanced diet and avoiding the vices of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs are all pivotal in enjoying a healthier lifestyle both physically and mentally.
Wearing new clothing, including underwear in exciting colors that are well fitted and flexible affects the body physically and opens a new mental outlook. There is a super difference in feeling when taking a walk in crunchy, ill-fitted, sweaty underwear and taking one in comfortably fitting, breathable, smooth, soft underwear perfectly cut for a man’s body parts. It’s not to say that well fitted, sexy underwear takes the place of seeking professional help, but changing your underwear can definitely change your outlook on life. Don’t believe it? TRY IT.