Today's Man

68dde9292af7585a0937_overlook.jpg
68dde9292af7585a0937_overlook.jpg

If you hear the words "integrative medicine" and immediately dismiss it as alternative hokum, you're certainly not alone. Over the past 20 years, however, patients and doctors alike have been warming to the holistic approach of integrative medicine, which looks to treat the whole person—not just a disease—by caring for the mind, body, and spirit, all at the same time.

To get a glimpse at the state of men's health in America today, consider these statistics shared by Joseph Tribuna, MD, Program Director for Overlook Medical Center's Family Medicine Residency: 48 percent of men don't exercise, and 33 percent are obese; 30 percent have high blood pressure; 22 percent smoke, and 32 percent consume five or more alcoholic drinks a day—and one in three men doesn't even have a primary care physician.

"The goal of getting men to see a doctor regularly is to identify potential problems before they arise and help them maintain their overall health, but I know that's easier said than done," says Tribuna. In fact, many men avoid the doctor's office because they don't want to be subjected to a battery of tests. Although certain screenings and tests may be necessary, getting to know a patient and his lifestyle is usually the first order of business. "I usually start well exams by establishing a rapport with the patient and talking about his history," says Tribuna. "This can be just as informative as diagnostic tools." A typical conversation will include questions about a patient's personal habits: Does he exercise regularly? What is his diet like? What are his sleep habits like? Does he use tobacco products or drink heavily? The discussion also will include a review of the patient's medical history (including any vaccines that need updating, like pertussis, tetanus, and influenza), chronic conditions he may currently have or struggled with in the past (including STDs), and his family history. "I also spend time talking with men about their jobs, relationships, and families, and the stress that often comes with these responsibilities," adds Tribuna.

Sign Up for E-News

After taking a medical history, Tribuna performs a full physical exam and orders additional tests. Although each patient is different, most exams are designed to create an overall picture of a patient's health by looking at a variety of factors. This includes:

  • Blood pressure: "Many men are borderline hypertensive," says Tribuna. "High blood pressure is often silent in its early stages, so this is one of the first things I look at." Tribuna reports that a healthy man's blood pressure is typically below 140 over 90.
  • Cholesterol: "Based on a man's medical history, I usually begin doing a lipid panel at age 35," says Tribuna. The cholesterol level is generally considered healthy if it is below 200, but the levels of the different types of cholesterol are important too. Tribuna says he likes to see LDL (bad cholesterol) less than 130 and HDL (good cholesterol) over 40.
  • Skin exam: "A lot of hidden issues can be seen subtly on the face," says Tribuna. "I also pay close attention to a man's back, since it's an area he can't examine himself."
  • Urinalysis for kidney and thyroid function.
  • Weight and body mass index (BMI).
  • Testicular exam.
  • Colonoscopy, starting at age 50: "I recommend a colonoscopy for every man age 50 to 75, unless he has a family history of colon cancer, in which case we begin screening earlier," says Tribuna.
  • Prostate exam: "I discuss with each patient the pros and cons of the PSA test, since the age to begin screening has recently become controversial," says Tribuna.

If this seems like a lot of tests, don't despair. Tribuna points out that it's not always necessary to do every test, like a colonoscopy, annually. "If a patient's risk for a particular disease is low and there is no family history, it may be safe to screen every few years," he says.
Heck no, we won't go

Life-saving conversations and screenings can happen only if men visit the doctor regularly. This is no small obstacle. "In 2007, only 15 percent of men age 15 to 65 had a checkup, compared to 45 percent of women," reports Tribuna. Why the disparity? Several factors likely come into play. "There is a lot less public hype around men's health compared to women's health, so there is definitely an awareness gap," says Tribuna. "The medical community also recognizes that men, like women, are busy, and doctors don't always have the most convenient hours. But in reality, most healthy men don't have to have a checkup every year the way the women in their lives do."

Tribuna suspects, however, that the issues run deeper than simple awareness and convenience. "Men tend to think they are invincible and subscribe to the 'if it's not broken, don't fix it' philosophy," says Tribuna. "There is also a cultural belief that men should never show vulnerability, and that going to the doctor is a sign of weakness." Add to that the notion of having to discuss intimate details about one's body, habits, and sexuality, and it's no surprise that many men simply avoid the doctor at all costs. So how can we change this perception?

"Women do a pretty good job of getting their men in," Tribuna says with a laugh. "But I think the real solution lies in better public education about the importance of regular checkups, and making it easier for men to see their doctors. In fact, the evening hours in my practice tend to be busiest."

Men should consider another point too: The knowledge they gain about their own health can improve the health of their family members. Information like blood pressure and cholesterol levels, risk of heart disease and diabetes, and any family history of cancer can help other family members receive more thorough care from their physicians now and in the future. "The information I learn about a man can be crucial to the long-term health of his children and grandchildren," says Tribuna. "Safeguarding and understanding your health is not just about you—it's about the people you love too."

Atlantic Health System is on the forefront of medicine, setting standards for quality health care in New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area.

Renowned for its breadth of cardiac services, including bypass surgery, angioplasty, and implantable pacemakers, Morristown Medical Center performs the second most heart surgeries in the New York metropolitan area. Overlook Medical Center, the regional leader in comprehensive stroke care and neuroscience services, was the first hospital in the Northeast to utilize the revolutionary CyberKnife robotic, image-guided technology. In addition, Newton Medical Center offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient programs and services in a state-of-the-art environment. Our nationally recognized medical doctors, experienced nurses and skilled staff provide outstanding and compassionate health care.

In all our specialties, such as pediatricsorthopedicscancer carerehabilitation medicine, women's healthcardiovascular care and neuroscience, Atlantic Health System physicians are leaders in their fields, always searching for the most effective diagnosis and treatment options for each patient. 

Our world-class facilities feature state-of-the-art equipment in a comfortable, family-friendly environment that puts patients first. Atlantic Health System is the primary academic and clinical affiliate in New Jersey of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and The Mount Sinai Hospital. Pursuing the leading medical technologies and treatments to continuously improve our medical services and provide you with the best health care is Atlantic Health System's goal; our programs are consistently lauded for their excellence by physicians and patients alike.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Livingston Lacrosse Senior Jason Scher Named Athlete of the Week

April 20, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston High School senior Jason Scher has been named as TAPinto Livingston’s Athlete of the Week after scoring 14 goals and contributing 15 assists in his last five games—bringing him to a total of 35 points so far this season.

With Scher leading the pack, the Lancers are 5-2 after winning their last five consecutive games. Scher scored three ...

Full Pet Grooming Service 25% OFF

April 20, 2018

LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Cloud Canine Grooming Salon & Spa in Little Falls is open for business and owner and pet stylist Melissa DiRoma is offering 25% off a FULL GROOMING SERVICE for all new customers. Call (973) 837-8884 or visit http://cloudcaninesalon.com to schedule your appointment. Mention promo code TAP DOG for discount. 

About Cloud ...

Free Wellness Event at The Joint Chiropractic

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The public is invited to a "Wellness Event to Remember" at The Joint Chiropractic in West Caldwell on Thursday, April 19 from 7 p.m. to  9 p.m.

Guests will include:

Michael Piercy, owner of The Lab
Justyna Debski, owner of Revive Mind Body
Karen Caplan, owner of Nutrition Transitions

Join the ...

Luxury Facial Services 50% OFF

MILLBURN, NJ - DeAmour Salon & Spa is proud to announce its newest team member, Renee Rudikh, formerly of the famous Georgette Klinger Spa at the Short Hills Mall.

Rudikh has extensive experience and specializes in a plethora of facial styles including: deep pore cleansing/European, microdermabrasion with collagen, teenage, men's, back, LED and customized European ...

YMCA $0 Enrollment in April

LIVINGSTON, NJ - For the month of April, the West Essex YMCA is offer $0 enrollment. 

Take advantage of all that your local Y has to offer for the whole family!

Personal Training
Group Classes
Swimming
Camp
Childcare 
Low monthly membership
And much much more!...

Check out all that the Y has to offer HERE

About the West Essex YMCA:
The West Essex YMCA has ...

MAX Challenge of West Orange - 2 Weeks FREE and more...

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The MAX Challenge of West Orange is about to start its next challenge.  Sign up before April 9, and you will receive maximum benefits, including two weeks free!

NUTRITION... MOTIVATION... RESULTS..!

SIGN UP BEFORE APRIL 9TH AND GET THE 'TAP CHALLENGE' PROMO:

12 weeks for the price of 10
Unlimited fitness classes 
Nutritional ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, April 23, 1:30 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Monday at the Movies: LOVING VINCENT

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_d9041d5fa031b1dc4d7b_best_8b56ef1b9860e2829bb1_teenagers_sitting_home-page-wlogo-750-500px

Wed, April 25, 10:00 AM

Estelle Finkel Center for Learning, Livingston

Upcoming 2018 Spring SAT and ACT Courses

Carousel_image_db004570084548800c6c_jww_pgp_headshot

Wed, April 25, 7:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity

Education

County Announces Improvement Plans for Grover Cleveland Park Playground and Tennis Courts

April 20, 2018

CALDWELL/ESSEX FELLS, NJ — Nearly $1.2 million in improvements will be made to modernize the Essex County Grover Cleveland Park playground and tennis courts.

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. announced his improvement plans on Friday morning, stating that Grover Cleveland Park is a popular site for families and children, and that the playground and tennis courts need to be ...

Take A Chance on the Livingston Library To Conclude

April 20, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Friends of the Livingston Library’s annual “Take A Chance on the Library” Auction & Raffle will be ending Tuesday, April 24  when the public is invited to the Library’s Program Room as winners are announced, beginning at noon. The event invites all members of the community to “take a chance on the library” by ...

Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 12, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.

 

Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...