The Importance of Men’s Health with Dr. Serge Thys

Men’s Health Month is a month dedicated to providing education and resources to men and boys as it relates to their health. Celebrated every June, Men’s Health Month brings awareness to preventable health problems and encourages men to schedule an annual visit with a doctor.

According to a recent study by the Cleveland Clinic, 61% of men don’t see a doctor unless they are seriously ill. “Early screenings for life threatening diseases will prevent you from having to see a doctor on a regular basis,” said Dr. Serge Thys, staff physician at FoundCare. “Men tend to avoid going to the doctor until they are either in unbearable pain or realize they aren’t getting better on their own. We need to change that.”  Dr. Thys continued. Annual screenings are an important part of preventing and reducing many health concerns and skipping these visits could lead to a reduced life expectancy; almost 4 ½ years earlier than woman as reported by the World Health Organization.

Why do men live shorter lives than women? “There’s a lot of contributing factors that we have to look at when determining why men live shorter lives. However, the leading cause of death in men is heart disease and cancer. Two diseases we know are treatable if detected early by a doctor,” Dr. Thys said.

In addition to scheduling an annual physical with a doctor, Dr. Thys also recommends taking a look at your lifestyle. “The common lifestyle habits that contribute to poor health are alcohol use, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and smoking,” said Dr. Thys. “Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly will definitely help prevent life-threatening diseases more common in men.” Dr. Thys continued. “If you really want to take charge of your health, I would recommend quitting bad habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol in excessive amounts, especially if you do both.”

In addition to the chronic diseases caused by excessive alcohol consumption, abusing alcohol can also put individuals at greater risk for suicide. Depression and suicide are ranked as a leading cause of death among men. The World Health Organization reports that suicide represents half of all male violent deaths worldwide which could directly correlate with the fact that men are less likely to seek mental health treatment than women. “What we have to do is start changing the way men associate asking for help as a weakness,” said Dr. Thys. “I believe the strongest people are the ones who can admit they need help and take the steps necessary to find it.”

Are you ready to take charge of your health? Schedule a visit with FoundCare to learn how you can reduce your risk of common health conditions facing men. Call 561-432-5849.

Dr. Serge Thys joined FoundCare in 2015. He is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician and has hospital affiliations with JFK Medical Center. Dr. Thys is fluent in English and Creole.