Physicians at National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) want men to know that the six most common health problems for men can be identified and treated early with great success. "Although many men procrastinate about seeing a medical professional for a check-up, a few simple tests can help them take better care of their health and keep them living a longer and better quality life," says Jeffrey Bergin, D.C., NUHS' former dean of clinics.
"The leading men's health issues are hypertension, heart health, diabetes, obesity, colon and prostate cancer," says Dr. Bergin. "A few simple tests will give men a good idea about their health risk in each of these areas."
The on-campus clinic at NUHS in Lombard offers affordable check-ups for men that include blood pressure checks, a cholesterol and lipid profile, blood glucose level check, body composition testing, fecal occult blood tests, and a prostate health assessment. By assessing a man's current health, NUHS physicians can pinpoint trouble areas and give him a course of action for treatment and lifestyle changes that will best address his specific health needs.
Hypertension and heart disease top the list of men's health concerns. "Many men have never had a complete lipid profile done to check not only their total cholesterol level, but the ratio of healthy HDL to more worrisome LDL in their blood," says Dr. Bergin. "We have equipment in our clinic that can give the patient a complete lipid profile in about five minutes."
High cholesterol coupled with high blood pressure can be a deadly combination that greatly increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. Yet both conditions respond rapidly to natural treatment and lifestyle changes.
Obesity and diabetes are complex disorders that are easily diagnosed and also respond well to diet and lifestyle changes. "Chiropractic medicine helps the obese or diabetic patient take charge of their own health through proper food and exercise and correct supplementation."
"Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the U.S.," says Dr. Bergin. "The best defense is early detection." NUHS recommends a yearly PSA test for all men over 50 for early detection of prostate cancer. The PSA test measures a substance produced by the prostate gland called prostate specific antigen (PSA). Elevated levels of PSA can be an indicator of prostate disease. The test is quick, virtually painless. At NUHS, male patients are also shown how to perform testicular self-exams.
"Colon and rectal cancer is another high incident cancer among men and most treatable when detected early," says Dr. Bergin. A simple fecal occult blood test can determine an abnormal presence of blood in the stool, which may be a warning sign that further testing is necessary.
By targeting the above 'big six" through a simple check-up, men can go a long way in protecting their health. "Education is the key for men's health," says Dr. Bergin. "But education begins by knowing where you're starting from - what's happening in your body right now."
Men who would like more information on health issues or who would like to schedule an appointment can contact the National University of Health Science Whole Health Center.