Episode 0: Prologue to Men’s Health


Episode Summary:

Men have a higher risk of death at all ages than women, does this mean you? Could be? Guys often tend not to take very good care of themselves, because they’re busy taking care of everything else. Plugin here to a wealth of information from experts in men’s health, available at your fingertips. Let the Original Guide to Men’s Health help you beat the statistics and live a long healthy life.

Episode Guests:

Kathleen A O’Connor Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, author of the Health Initiatives in Men Study.

Kevin Loughlin, M.D., Senior Surgeon The Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA Emeritus Professor of Surgery, Urology, The Harvard Medical School.

Board Members of the Washington State Urology Society:

Una Lee, M.D. Staff Urologist Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA, Jeffrey Evans, M.D., Urologist with Frankel, Reed and Evans, Burien WA, Ken Berger, M.D., staff Urologist Lourdes Medical Center, Pasco, WA, Scott Van Appledorn, M.D. staff Urologist Evergreen Hospital and Medical Center, Kirkland WA, Mihai Alexianu, M.D., Urologist with Spokane Urology.

During This Episode We Discuss:

  • Stories and experiences of why living healthier and taking care of yourself make sense.
  • Most of us realize that good performance comes from good maintenance. Your body is not different. If you take care of your car and maintain it, why not do the same for your body?
  • For men of all ages, knowledge about your health and how to stay healthy is true empowerment.
  • Listen and learn about health maintenance and prevention strategies, covering many health conditions and issues.
  • Follow episodes with renowned experts who review timely and important information on relevant topics, so that you can embark on a journey towards better health!

Quotes (Tweetables):

“One of my biggest frustrations is when men come to see me too late.”

Scott VanAppledorn, M.D.

“ When I council my male patients on health issues, I like to tell them that promoting their overall health promotes their urinary health, sexual health, fertility, prostate health, bladder health.”

“Good sleep, good nutrition, exercise, and stress management are really key factors that promote men’s health.”

Una Lee, M.D.

Recommended Resources:

Episode Transcript: 

Dr. Pelman (00:06):

A baseball game, a day in a park with friends and family, fishing in a remote stream, work. travels providing for loved ones or heading out for adventures, whatever you do, whatever you enjoy, you need your health. The Original Guide to Men’s Health is presented by the Washington State Urology Society to help take you through the steps necessary to get the most out of life. If you have invested in a retirement plan for your future, why not invest in your body? After all, it makes better sense to retire healthy and enjoy your future. These podcasts are a guide for how to take care of yourself. If you take care of your car and maintain it, why not do the same for your personal machine, your body? If you know you should but haven’t yet, the information in these podcasts contains some easy recommendations for where, when and how to get started. Follow the podcast as we explore men’s health with renowned experts and embark on a journey towards better health. In this episode, you will hear two interviews. The first being with Dr. Aaron Spitz and the second being with doctors, Larry Goldenberg and Dr. Martin Miner. All of these esteemed doctors will talk about the importance of men’s health. We hope that you enjoy the first episode of our podcast.

Dr. Pelman (01:48):

It’s my pleasure to welcome Dr. Aaron Spitz, the author of The Penis Book. Dr. Spitz is on voluntary faculty at the University of California Irvine- Department of Urology. He is in a very busy practice in Laguna Beach where he specializes in men’s sexual health and fertility. He represents the American Urological Association at the American Medical Association meetings as a delegate for the American Urological Association and is well-versed in health policy. But more importantly, Dr. Spitz is an expert in men’s health, particularly with issues regarding fertility, testosterone replacement therapy, and sexual function. As the author of The Penis Book*, he has tried to enlighten the public regarding issues that many men have concerns about, but don’t like to discuss, enlighten us about what he thinks male health represents. Dr. Spitz, thank you for joining us.

*The Penis Book: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-penis-book-aaron-spitz-md/1128322694 

Dr. Spitz (02:44):

Oh, it’s my pleasure, Richard. On the question of what male health represents, I mean, at its most basic form, it’s all of the health conditions that may be unique to men as opposed to women. Certainly many of the health issues that people face affect both men and women, but some are definitely unique to men. And those typically involve the male reproductive organs*, which includes the prostate, the testicles and the penis, and other effects from those organs throughout the body such as the effects of testosterone** on the body, and the effects of the prostate on the urinary tract and on the kidneys. So these are some of the aspects that are so particularly obvious to men’s health that are physical, but there are also aspects of men’s health that involve well-being and address the particular challenges and stresses and responsibilities that men in our society face. And so I think men’s health can be a very comprehensive issue as well. 

*Male reproductive organs: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9117-male-reproductive-system#:~:text=The%20male%20reproductive%20system%20is,function%2C%20as%20well%20as%20urination

**Testosterone: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/l/low-testosterone#:~:text=Testosterone%20is%20the%20male%20sex,deeper%20voice%2C%20and%20muscle%20strength

Dr. Pelman (03:53):

So if you had a message for our audiences to what you would like to see men do to participate in their healthcare, what would it be?

Dr. Spitz (04:01):

Well the single biggest thing would be to pay attention to their health care because so many men are pulled in so many different directions, with so many responsibilities, that the last person they actually take responsibility for is themselves in a personal way. They’re taking care of families; they’re taking care of occupations; they’re in charge of other people’s well-being in many cases; but they neglect their own. And so often the case is that when I see a guy in my office, it’s because he was dragged in there by a significant other. And I’d like to see men bring themselves into the office because they’re concerned about their own health and not have to be dragged in reluctantly.

Dr. Pelman (04:47):

It’s said that men’s health is family health, and that men need to be able to be healthy to provide. I think part of your motivation for authoring a book was to provide education to the population that needs to receive the care so that we have educated consumers. They can read. They can know what they should be doing when they come to see the physician, what concerns they might have. Was that part of your motivation for writing the book?

Dr. Spitz (05:14):

Yes, that was definitely a part of my motivation. I wrote this book with the mindset that if I could go on a retreat with my patient, spend two or three days and give them everything I know about their condition in a way that they could definitely understand and apply. That’s what’s in this book. So when I see a patient, I typically have about 15 minutes with them. I still do my very best to impart on them the essential information they’re going to need to know to understand their condition and to begin therapy if they need therapy, or be reassured if they need reassurance. But 15 minutes is a very short window. And a book like this allows somebody to really dig in and understand the why, and the how, and the what to do. And the other motivation I had in writing this book is there’s a lot of misinformation out there. And there’s a lot of anxiety and fear and concern about conditions that really are normal, or that can be straightforwardly managed. And this book is intended to reach those people who wouldn’t have come in in the first place, but would have continued to be under a cloud of confusion. And this book is for them as well.

Dr. Pelman (06:35):

I think one of the common themes that we continue to see is that men are driven by particular issues. If they have chest pain, they may finally show up to the emergency room. They may have blood in the stool and finally show up for colon screening, but we would like to have men enter before anything happens. And we would like to educate them regarding preventative measures. I think we have seen men enter the healthcare market because of erectile dysfunction, and it’s been a great draw. And as we realize that erectile dysfunction is tied to a lot of other issues that men may be suffering from, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac disease, I think it is important for us to enlighten men that the penis is part of the body and that there are links to potential other issues that may be more important to address immediately. When you see a man who just comes in because of erectile dysfunction*, do you take the approach to educate him about the other systemic implications?

*Erectile dysfunction: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes/syc-20355776 

Dr. Spitz (07:35):

Yes. When men come in, they often say, “I don’t know what’s happening,” or, “I don’t know why this is going on.” But then they described difficulty getting erections or keeping erections, And they’re confused. I look at these guys and in many cases, it’s very obvious why they’re having problems with erections because I can look at them and see that their general health is poor. But they don’t understand that there’s a link between their general health and their erections. The erection really is a window into one’s total health because so many different processes have to be working properly in a coordinated matter for that erection to occur. You have to have a healthy cardiovascular system. Your blood vessels have to be open and healthy. Your heart has to be pumping strong. And then you have to have a working neurological system. Your nerves have to be intact.

Dr. Spitz (08:34):

All the pathways have to be uninterrupted and conducting properly. Your brain has to be in good health because much of what happens, how it starts in the brain. And you have to be free of a variety of toxins and medication  because there are many medications and toxins that impair your erections. So many men come into my office with other medical conditions that require medications, and both the conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and the medications for some of those conditions, such as certain blood pressure medications, are impairing their ability to have the erection. So global health  is reflected by erectile function. And once I explained to my patient the reason you’re having trouble with your erections is because of this condition or that medication. Or this exposure affecting your cardiovascular health, your neurological health, and also your hormonal health, testosterone, is a big factor. Once I explained that to the patient, then they understand what’s going on. And then when I get into what can we do about it, there’s some engagement there.

Dr. Pelman (09:55):

When you see a man who comes in who perhaps has a simple issue of perhaps a kidney stone, he’s young, he’s 30, do you provide him with some insight into what things he should be doing for general health? Assuming he was in the emergency room, he has an established primary care, you’re his first contact with the medical system and he’s got his first kidney stone.

Dr. Spitz (10:18):

Yes. I’ll often ask my patients if they have any family history of prostate cancer because that’s something that’s really not affecting them at that age, but they know if they have family history of prostate cancer in their father or their uncle, that this is something that they may yet face because they’ve seen it firsthand in their own family. And that I think wakes them up to the idea that your health is going to change down the line. And maybe there’s some things to start thinking about now. Maybe there’s some things you could do to improve your chances if it were. And I’ll then explain to these young guys, whether it’s because of a question about prostate cancer history, or it may be a question about their sexual function because more and more, we’re seeing younger guys with some degree of erectile dysfunction.

Dr. Spitz (11:08):

It may just be temporary, maybe just be behavioral, but because our culture is so now tuned in to sexual function and that this is something that we can talk to our doctors about. Even the younger guys are tuned into that as well. But in either event, I use it as a starting point to talk about nutrition because nutrition is so important to so many aspects of our health, and it’s actually really important to our sexual function. And it also is important to our risk of developing cancer, in particular prostate cancer. And I point out to my patients that the best way to eat, to maintain their cardiovascular health, which is also their sexual erection health and also to prevent prostate cancer, is to eat lots of vegetables. To go to the produce section of the grocery store and to grab as much different kinds, shapes, sizes, colors, and textures of vegetables as they might enjoy.

Dr. Spitz (12:10):

And to make that the main dish, and to really cut back or eliminate processed sugars. And it really diminish the animal product portions. And if they can get on a pathway of really chowing down on those veggies, the younger, the better. They’re going to have really the best opportunity at preventative maintenance. Now, if they’re already suffering from a condition, particularly my patients that aren’t just 30, you know, my older patients, they can reverse some of their blood vessel disease. They can inhibit progression of prostate cancer, reduce prostate cancer risk even then. But diet is such a big, important part of one’s health and loading up on those veggies is key. Also exercise. Exercise coupled with diet is important, but exercise without a good diet may not be as protective as people think. And then finally sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep, we are learning, is increasingly important.

Dr. Spitz (13:13):

It’s always been important, but we’re just now realizing how important it is. Lack of sleep or interrupted sleep from conditions like sleep apnea for example, are linked to developing high blood pressure, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, low testosterone. I also caution my young men about taking testosterone supplements. Testosterone is a big ticket item on the media, and it’s really not very long before you are solicited to get on some kind of a T-boosting formula or get on T itself. And young, healthy guys are often under the misconception that if they take testosterone, they’ll go from good to better. And as we say in surgery, “Better is the enemy of good.” And in the case of testosterone, what they don’t realize is that if they go on testosterone, it shuts their own normal production of testosterone off, and it shuts off their sperm production. So it’s important not only to engage healthy practices, but it’s also important to avoid very treacherous practices that are commonly available and commonly offered such as testosterone in young healthy guys.

Dr. Pelman (14:25):

Well, you have set up future podcasts for us. We plan to have a dietician speak about the best diet. I generally encourage patients about the Mediterranean diet as being a leading diet. We’re going to have a sleep specialist talk about sleep apnea and its effects. And we will explore the other organ systems. Appreciate your time. Thank you. 

Dr. Spitz (14:46):

Oh, it’s my pleasure.



Dr. Pelman (15:02):

Let’s review men’s health. I’m fortunate enough to be sitting with Dr. Martin Miner and Dr. Larry Goldenberg. Dr. Miner is professor of family medicine with a call appointment to urology, and co-director of Men’s Health Center, Miriam hospital at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Dr. Larry Goldenberg is a professor of urological sciences, UBC, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. He’s chairman of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation*. I have known both Martin Miner and Larry Goldenberg for years, and have noted that they have been very early proponents of men’s health. So for a perspective on generally why should we be involved in men’s health, I’m going to first address Dr. Miner. Martin, give us a little background about why men’s health is important.

*Canadian Men’s Health Foundation: https://menshealthfoundation.ca/

Dr. Miner (15:56):

Well, the Commonwealth Study* was the first report released by the Commonwealth Fund on the discrepancy of men’s health care needs in the late 1990s in the U.S. And it showed that men on average live less than seven years than their female cohorts. They wait as long as possible to see the doctor for their more acute medical problems. They over twenty-five percent of men failed to have a primary care provider and get appropriate screenings. And it was believed that there are barriers to obtaining their healthcare needs for many men, especially those men who are minorities and have different sexual practices. So the concept of developing a field of men’s health and an area of medicine that was predominantly done by men was almost foreign in its concept. The growth of women’s health evolved because there was a dearth of women’s health care needs and assessments and therapies, and thereby men’s health was kind of neglected.

*Commonwealth study: https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2000/mar/out-touch-american-men-and-health-care-system#:~:text=New%20research%20based%20on%20a,to%20stay%20in%20good%20health.&text=One%20of%20four%20men%20reported,his%20health%2C%20the%20survey%20showed

Dr. Miner (17:31):

We always focused on pediatrics on children’s health; we focused on young adults. But we neglected the middle-aged and growing man who failed to get appropriate healthcare needs and whose family was quite dependent on him for both income and generational growth and nurturance. 

Dr. Pelman (17:57):

Now, I’ll ask Dr. Goldenberg the same question about how did you happen to focus on men’s health? And what needs did you see that were unmet? 

Dr. Goldenberg (18:07):

Public health studies have shown that 70% of chronic illnesses in our populations can be prevented by upstream preventative care measures, such as changing your health behaviors. And many of the risk factors that are associated with chronic disease are predominant in men: smoking, lack of exercise, alcohol, lack of sleep, excess stress, and so on. So we, in Canada, we felt that we had an opportunity through a public health strategy to try to change the downstream health of men perhaps one at a time by encouraging them to change their lifestyle habits.

Dr. Goldenberg (18:48):

Our motto is “Don’t change much.” We encourage men to modify their behaviors and our, and we really are targeting the younger men because I think that’s where the opportunities are. Men in their thirties or forties who are too busy with their careers and families to pay attention to themselves, so encouraging them. So we see that as a predominant issue in men’s health in addition to all of the facts that Marty just stated. You know, the impact is not just physical on the man. It’s also mental and it has social impacts on our societies, on our communities. It has economic impacts on our communities, our governments. The expense that chronic illness represents is huge. And we’ve done economic studies showing that just minor modifications can have huge impacts on the dollars that are needed to be spent by our governments.

Dr. Goldenberg (19:44):

And the last point I’ll make is that men’s health really should be thought of as family health. In that it’s not just about men. We’re not in a competition. This isn’t a victim, a competitive victims discourse. It’s not about men versus women versus children versus minority health. I think it’s all important, but men fit into this puzzle and are very much part of what we need to address. So I think in 2018, it’s incumbent on us as healthcare providers to address this in the best way that we can.

Dr. Pelman (20:16):

And I see that you have a website that can be accessed?

Dr. Goldenberg (20:20)

Yeah. So our website is dontchangemuch.ca. And, currently, we have 70,000 subscribers who receive a weekly health message. We have almost 200,000 Instagram followers. And so the message is beginning to spread across the country and Canada. This is a national NGO.

Dr. Goldenberg (20:41):

It’s not about delivering health care to a man in a particular city or town. It’s about addressing preventative healthcare through awareness through education, both professional and the public education. I point out that our doctors are not well-trained in our medical schools on issues that are particularly in the men’s health domain. And that’s something that I think we need to address as well as we go forward. 

Dr. Pelman (21:11):

I saw this. You have an endorsement from the prime minister of Canada?

Dr. Goldenberg (21:15):

Yes. Yeah. We have an annual men’s health week in Canada and he did a little video clip for us to endorse what we’re doing. It had something like a million and a half  views. 

Dr. Pelman (21:29):

It’s wonderful to see a spokesman like Justin Trudeau endorsing men’s health. 

Dr. Goldenberg (21:33):

Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s important. And, you know, governments across the country are paying attention to it. British Columbia, our government has given us substantial dollars to help move our initiative forward. We have funding from the federal government, as well as now from the province of Ontario to expand our programs in Ontario. And we’re currently negotiating with Alberta and Nova Scotia. So I’m hoping that over the next few years, we will be a true national organization, well-funded to provide, and you know, it’s all about social media, getting the message out. These 30 year olds, they’re not listening to old guys like me. If I go to give a lecture they’re looking at their Twitter feeds and their Instagram accounts and so on. And that’s where the message has got to go. And it costs money, and you need a talented group of people to actually work on this. And, and so that’s what we’re focusing in Canada. 

Dr. Pelman (22:21):

And on the other end of the spectrum, Dr.Miner. You’re actually running a men’s health clinic where you’re actually seeing individual men. And tell me a little bit about that approach.

Dr. Miner (22:34):

Well that evolved from the release of Viagra, or sildenafil*, in the late nineties to treat erectile dysfunction. And it was clear that with this release of a medication for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, that men were coming into our offices. I’m a primary, I was a primary care physician at that time, a family doctor. And I was seeing men for the first time who were interested in treatment, but not necessarily in the advancement of their health or in the discussion of their lifestyle needs and overall health. But it became a moment, what I call a teachable moment, for men that you could educate them regarding the cause of their rectal dysfunction, which is always a bit psychological. There’s always an issue of performance, but there’s also the cause of vasculogenic or erectile dysfunction due to impaired or less vascular flow into the penis. And that happens for various reasons, but many of them are traditional heart or cardiovascular risk factors including elevated blood pressure, obesity, disrupted sleep as Larry spoke, impaired sleep due to obstructive sleep apnea, which is sleep disorders are so poorly diagnosed,  alcohol use, excessive substance use and other lifestyle habits.

*Sildenafil/Viagra: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a699015.html 

Dr. Miner (24:26):

So it was a real opportunity to sit with these men, try to determine where they are in their lives and their careers, and also what their lifestyles were like and then perhaps make an alteration in their lifestyles that might lessen those cardiovascular risk factors. Because shortly after the release of Viagra, we realized that erectile dysfunction is a sentinel marker or a marker for cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes. So if we could possibly reduce one heart attack or stroke in a man at, up in middle aged or early middle age. We could be doing something very, very significant. And that’s what we wanted to direct and focus. We also ended up caring for men with testosterone disorders, hormonal disorders, testosterone deficiency, men with BPH or urinary symptoms of lower urinary tract symptoms. These are all men who needed to have be able to articulate their concerns about their health, but we’re not comfortable doing so in the present medical system.

Dr. Pelman (25:47):

I have always thought that the introduction of the erectile dysfunction medications was one of the great moments of bringing men into healthcare. Guys tend to be reticent about entry into the healthcare system. I think guys in the sense want to hunt, and that would be applied to modern terminology. They work, they want to support families, they’re responsible, and they tend to push care of themselves into the background. 

Dr. Goldenberg (26:15):

Absolutely. So you know, when you see a man, if you were or urologist and you’re doing a vasectomy on a 35 year old man, there’s an opportunity to talk to him about that his grandfather had colon cancer. You know, does he smoke? And to give them information and let her talk to him, or actually hand out pamphlets or information about how we could change and modify his health, it’s an opportunity that as physicians, we should not overlook or miss.

Dr. Goldenberg (26:40):

So it’s I think that’s something, again through different organizations, we should be disseminating this information directly to the public and also through practitioners to the public. 

Dr. Miner (26:53):

And I think it’s also an opportunity as you see these men to delve into whether they’re happy or not with what they’re doing. They spend 40 to 60 hours a week working, but not really necessarily understanding what brings them happiness beyond perhaps but beyond their families. Sometimes they’re so fatigued that they can’t even enjoy those moments. So if you ask them what they do on the time that they’re not working, they have trouble. They don’t really get together with other men. They don’t form. They’re not going to book clubs, and they’re not doing things in conjunction with other men. So you ask them for their activities outside of work. What do they like to do? What are their hobbies?

Dr. Miner (27:38):

Many men struggled to find those things that sustain them, to allow them to have a broader, happier life. And you almost have to give them permission to be happy, to take care of themselves and be happy.

Dr. Pelman (27:52):

So we have an emotional health as well as physical health that we need to pay attention to. If we were to design a healthcare delivery for men, that would certainly be a component? 

Dr. Goldernberg (28:02):

Absolutely. And you know, we can’t change the world overnight. So we have to accept the fact that it’s going to take time. And we can address the, you know, the 30 year old, executive 50 year old executive. But there were other subpopulations that we have to attend to as well. You know, in our country in Canada, we have a large indigenous population that require, you know, they have special care vehicles.

Dr. Goldenberg (28:27):

I mean, it’s, you know, we have the in Vancouver, for example, the downtown east side. We have, we formed clubs for men. So a lot of these men are just lonely and they don’t know which way to turn. They want to get back to their families. So we need to help them in very, you know, dealing with a lot of the very basics of life so that they can get better. We have addicts. We have alcoholics. We have so many different subpopulations. And, you know, like some days I feel like knocking my head against the wall because it’s just like how are we going to make progress with this all? It’s just a matter of one man at a time. 

Dr. Pelman (29:03):

So in reviewing an approach to men’s health, as a general interview, our goal in these podcasts are develop each of these themes as an individual podcast. And so we will be approaching testosterone. We’ll be approaching cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal health, emotional needs, and emotional health. We’ll be talking about addiction. We’ll be talking about appropriate diet. We’ll be talking about appropriate exercise. But right now, if I was a 30 year old man and I’m going, “What should I do to take care of myself?” What would be the most important thing that you would recommend? Dr. Miner first.

Dr. Miner (29:39):

I would, I speak to the men of that age about developing good health habits and health screenings that 30-year-old man should be thinking about. STDs. He sexually, he may or may not be sexually active but he’s beginning sexual activity. He’s eligible for an HPV vaccination, which he 10 years ago, he was not. HPV is a significant burden to causing penile cancers, oral cancers and cervical cancers. So it’s very important to think about STD and preventative, safe sex. It’s also very important to lay the germinal basis for exercise. 40% of men are sedentary in the U S and they don’t exercise at all. Often, they go to college and they stop exercising. It’s very important that they exercise a moderate intensity exercise, almost two to three hours per week. And they, they stop at 30 and then they become more obese.

Dr. Miner (30:50):

They also have to eat better, and many men have very poor diets. So we’re, you’re going to have modules on all of these. Nut it’s the idea of raising their consciousness about how much alcohol they consume, about their sleep, about their diets, about exercise, all of these preventative lifestyle issues including some spirituality. Something that gives them some peace. 

Dr. Pelman (31:17):

Would you recommend that a 30 year old establish primary care? 

Dr. Miner (31:22):

Absolutely. 30 year old needs to have someone that they can see and trust on a base, on a regular basis even when they have that first. If they’re a new parent, when they have that first life insurance physical, that’s another moment that’s perhaps teachable. They need someone who kind of can model this for them and create a path that’s easy for them to follow. 

Dr. Pelman (31:47):

I think that’s a key is the ease to which to enter the system. Dr.Goldenberg, your thoughts?

Dr. Goldenberg (31:53):

You know, in our society we have a shortage of primary care doctors. And many 30 year olds either can’t access a primary care doctor, or don’t want to. They don’t have the time to. But what they do have the time for is to access a computer for 10 or 15 minutes. And we’ve developed a tool, a validated tool called you check. Y O U C H E C K*. It’s on our dontchangemuch.ca website. And in 10 minutes, by answering approximately 30 questions about lifestyle, eating habits, exercise, sleep, and so on, it will, the algorithm will give an individual man what his risk factors are for six prominent male diseases including cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction. So if you’re a 35 year old, 30 or 35 year old, you run through this and it says, you know what?

*Youcheck: https://youcheck.ca/ 

Dr. Goldernberg (32:43):

You’ve got a high risk of a heart attack or a stroke, it’s up to you. But you know, you might want to look into it a little bit to see what you can do to prevent that. If this tool says, you know, you have no risks, you are at low risk for all these diseases, well, then carry on. But come back in five years and do it again. So because not, you know, not every man is unhealthy. We have a lot of healthy 30 year olds out there. But there are a lot. And in Canada, our statistics show over 50% of men have one or more of the risk factors that have been discussed here. So and the last thing I’ll say is that I’m surprised as a urologist, when I see men in their sixties or seventies, how many of them don’t know their family history.

Dr. Goldenberg (33:24):

Now maybe they’re adopted, but for the most part they’re not. They just, when they were young and their grandfathers were alive they didn’t ask their grandfathers, you know, “What are we made of? What’s in our family? What you know, what did your father die of? And what did my aunt and uncle or whatever die of?” You know? So learn your family history, learn what you’re made of.

Dr. Pelman (33:44):

In our other words, find out what your potential risk factors are through family history. It was unfortunate that that generation probably in lots of situations didn’t know, didn’t talk about it.

Dr. Goldenberg (33:55):

But men are not asked about what they do to relax. Those are simple questions that can allow change and forward movement if just given, just articulated. So it’s, and that really cements that relationship so that it’s not considered a meaningless visit. 

Dr. Pelman (34:18):

Well, that’s a great segue into the podcast that we’ll be presenting. And we’ll be featuring chapters so that men can be educated regarding various health issues prevention and come equipped to those visits with their practitioners, knowing what questions to ask and already having perhaps some information on solutions. So thank you both. I appreciate your time.

Dr. Pelman (34:46):

This completes another podcast chapter of the Washington State Urology Society’s Original Guide to Men’s Health. This is Dr. Richard. Pelman reminding you to take care of yourself. Washington State Urology Society wishes to thank all contributors who volunteer their time and knowledge. The information presented is the opinion of the speakers. The society also wishes to thank Sean Fox for his invaluable technical assistance, music theme San Juan Bells written and performed by Dr. Dave Whiting. The podcast are the property of the Washington State Urology Society. Reproduction and use without the expressed consent of the society is strictly prohibited. For more information about men’s health, visit wsus.org or visit your physician or care provider.

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Episode 73: Health Behavior – What Is It, What Do We Understand About It, How Do We Change It?

Explore the intricacies of the Health Belief Model in this enlightening episode, where we delve into the factors influencing individual health decisions, the pivotal role of knowledge, and the impact of societal norms on men’s health behaviors.

Join us as we unpack the significance of understanding perceived barriers, the benefits of behavioral change, and the instrumental role health practitioners play in shaping healthier communities. This discussion offers valuable insights into improving health behaviors and the various elements that motivate individuals to embrace healthier lifestyles.

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