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HEALTHBEAT 4: Raising awareness for men’s health during No-Shave November

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Dakota Dunes, S.D. (KTIV) -- Throughout November, you'll see men with a lot more facial hair. But, it’s not just for a break from the razor.

For many “No-Shave November” is a personal cause and a movement to address how men tend to put off doctor visits.

"If you have your health you have everything," said Dr. David Daniels, MercyOne Dakota Dunes Adult and Geriatric Medicine.

It seems like a simple task, but a trip to the doctor is something many men tend to put off.

"I think for several reasons," said Dr. Daniels. "One is fear. Fear of a diagnosis, fear of the unknown, and then a lot of it has to do with ego."

But, if you wait too long, Dr. Daniels said things can get overlooked or missed, leaving fewer options for treatment. Conditions like cardiovascular disease, mental health issues, or cancer.

"Know your numbers," said Dr. Daniels. "By knowing your numbers I mean what is your blood pressure? What's your blood sugar? What's your cholesterol? What's your BMI? That's a great start."

Another issue is low testosterone. It's something 1 in 20 men will experience in their lifetime.

"Testosterone in the body starts to decline in men after the age of 25 and then significantly after the age of 30," Lexi Chicoine, a nurse practitioner.

Low testosterone can lead to issues like fatigue, insomnia, poor muscle tone, anxiety or depression symptoms, or erectile or sexual dysfunction. But, talking about issues like this is something Chicoine said men put off.

"I think that comes from societal norms and ego, and toxic masculinity that has been pushed to men," said Chicoine. "But, this is something that happens to a lot of men and if you're feeling that way, it never hurts to get it checked out or talk to your doctor about it."

Chicoine said knowledge is power and that's why getting checked out is so important.

"Prostate cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death in men," said Chicoine. "Heart disease, the number 1 leading cause of death in men."

Those screenings can allow you to live the healthiest, best lifestyle you can.

Doctors recommend after the age of 30, men get a yearly physical.
and those over the age of 50 should get a prostate exam, a PSA blood draw, and a Colonoscopy.

Michaela Feldmann

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