Shedding light on importance of Men’s Health Month


In the world of healthcare, we know that men are less likely to be seen by a healthcare provider than women. This holds true even if men are being impacted by the life-threatening condition referred to as the “man-flu.” It’s really difficult to articulate the serious nature of man-flu. As a male that has personally suffered from this condition, it can be touch and go. It is the perceived weakness. Incapacitating lethargy. Severe inability to do anything for oneself because the will to push-on is absent. Also, for those that might not know, the man-flu is a fictitious condition where a man has an ailment, like a common cold, and can barely proceed with activities of daily living because they are overwhelmed with a perceived debilitating illness.

While I attempted to inject some humor into the discussion of the “man-flu,” what’s not humorous is that men’s health seems to be a joke at times. As a female develops from her adolescence into her adulthood it is understood she should participate in an annual exam for her health. But where is a man’s annual exam? Where is the expectation that as a young man develops, he is expected to continue to see a primary care provider regularly for preventive care? Over time this expectation has slowly changed and it is now supported that men should see a healthcare provider regularly. Data still suggests however we aren’t quite where we need to be. A study conducted by the Veterans Affairs office suggests that only 75% of men that participated in the study reported seeing a provider in the previous two years as compared to 91% of women. This isn’t even being seen regularly by a provider, but being seen in the last two years.

Talk about a great alarm. Men should cultivate the same care and attention for their health as women. Study after study identifies a disparity in health and where men suffer higher risks of mortality and morbidity. Some of this can be attributed to gender norms and the need for men to be masculine, minus during a bout of man-flu. I am telling you when you have the man-flu all bets are off about how masculine one can be. It can be really bad. However, I digress, the ever-present gender disparity only means a lack of preventive care that can lead to the progression of chronic illness or conditions that could be more easily treated if identified earlier.

June is national Men’s Health Month and we are here to bring awareness to some crucial men’s health topics. Stay healthy and catch problems early with regular lab tests. Get the Man Panel done ­— a comprehensive set of tests that screens for common health issues affecting men. Know your numbers and take action to maintain or improve your health. Schedule your appointment today! Stressful days don’t have to lead to unhappy lives. Anxiety and depression can be overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Remember to take care of yourself and seek help when you need it. There’s no shame in asking for support, and it’s okay to not be okay. Alcohol and tobacco use can increase your risk, but did you know that certain foods can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer? Incorporate foods like tomatoes, broccoli, and fish into your diet for a healthier prostate. Tired of feeling like a walking zombie? Time to wake up and smell the coffee ... or better yet, prioritize your sleep health! Say no to sleepless nights, groggy mornings, and walking into walls! Embrace healthy sleep habits like a boss ­— cut out caffeine before bedtime, create a calm bedtime routine, and get those ZZZs in check!

Now when it comes to the man-flu. My only recommendation is to hold on tight. Because that ride is typically one for the ages. The true severity of that “illness” might not even be measurable. Men, you know what I am talking about. “Healthy men, strong men: Let’s take charge of our health!” This men’s health awareness message is brought to you by your local Purdue Extension partner, your education partner for life.


Article brought to you by the Purdue Extension Men’s Health Team. Contact: Monica Nagele at with questions.