Movember: It’s All About Men’s Health!
As fall ramps up and the winter approaches, the smell of pumpkin pie often invades the air, spiced cider can be found at fall fairs, and thick frothy mustaches and beards begin to appear more than ever. Just as the trees are shedding their full appearance with the leaves falling, men’s faces around the world are just the opposite and becoming thick with facial hair. The month of November has now been adopted as a men’s health awareness month, and growing a beard or mustache is one way you can show your support.
So just what is Movember? Seven Nightly News aired a story in 1999, including a group of young men in Adelaide, Australia who coined the term “Movember” and the idea of growing mustaches through the month of November for charity. [Click to Tweet] (1) Leave it to the Australians to come up with such an idea. The story goes that a few buddies were sitting around at the pub and somehow triggered the idea to have a mustache-growing contest to help raise awareness for men’s health. It started with just 30 participants the first year and raised $0, and since then has grown as an international phenomenon raising millions of dollar annually to support a variety of men’s health research and charities. “No Shave November” or “Noshember” has been another popular spin-off that holds the underlying cause for greater awareness of men’s health. There have been many foundations that have sprouted from the original movement, so if you decide to take part and give to the cause, make sure that you research to who you are donating and what the money goes towards.
Men’s health is a blanket statement that embodies more than just prostate health. The official Movember movement supports four key men’s health topics: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, and physical inactivity. (2) It is absolutely amazing to see the depth of involvement the Movember movement has created on an international scale. From University support all the way down to individualized awareness, the movement’s goal is simply to create healthier men.
As a healthcare professional and a male, the topic has a special place in my heart. Although it is not often, nothing makes me more excited than the like-minded patients who come in for consultation on preventive treatment. Like any good doctor, I take a good case history and then make a best recommendation on a patient specific care plan. Movember empowers the movement for men to take more initiative in understanding what they can do to promote a healthier lifestyle with less potential complications. Nothing is a guarantee in healthcare, but it can give one piece of mind when working towards a health goal.
One of the most important tests a male can have done is a Lipoprotein analysis. This test gives men an idea whether they are at a higher risk for a cardiovascular disease. [Click to Tweet] Heart Disease was the number one cause of death in the CDC’s 2013 mortality statistics in the United States.(3) The lipoprotein analysis far surpasses the lipid panel which is often run by primary care providers as “routine” blood markers. According to the research, lipoprotein analysis is much more reliable in predicting whether or not you are at risk for cardiovascular disease. So next time you healthcare provider wants to check your cholesterol, ask them if they have heard of a lipoprotein analysis. If they have not, then I would consider finding a doctor, who is more current with their method of helping treat you,
Another panel that is critical for men’s preventative health is a steroid hormone panel. Our clinic utilizes testing from Diagnostechs Laboratory to check for free fraction hormones. It is important to check more than just testosterone in men. The panel our clinic often runs gives a complete breakdown of the hormones that are available at the cellular level to see if your hormonal chemistry is in balance. If you have any question in you mind that your hormones are out of balance don’t hesitate to contact me for more advice.
So as you are out and about during the fall season and you see a thick and frothy mustache or beard, let it be a reminder to observe men’s health. If you are still unsure where to get started to be a healthier you, stop in to you local functional medicine doctor and ask them how to take the next step.
In the meantime, show your support. Put away the razor and let it grow!
Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
November 25, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians