KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — June is nationally recognized as Men's Health Month, a time to encourage the men in your life to take better care of their minds and bodies because men statistically have the odds stacked against them.
On average, men live four to five years less than women and are more likely to be overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite these factors, men are half as likely to visit a doctor, according to the Men's Mental Health Network.
Men can take charge of their mental and physical health by raising their testosterone levels.
A peer-reviewed study by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism shows that testosterone levels in men have been declining since the mid-1980s.
Testosterone is the lifeblood of men affecting their confidence, strength and sex drive.
Michael Gilmore is a nurse practitioner in West Knoxville specializing in men's health and said there are a few glaring signs of low t-levels.
“Fatigue, poor sleep, mental fogginess, anxiety, irritability,” Gilmore said. “It's usually over six months to a year men start to notice there's a slow decline. Maybe they go to their family doctor and tell them, maybe they don't, but most men won't seek treatment. We kind of put it off as long as we can.”
Men can naturally raise their testosterone by exercising 30 minutes a day (150 minutes a week), sleeping seven hours or more and adopting an omnivorous diet.
Carving time out for family, friends and hobbies can improve men’s mental health as well.
Blood tests will show if you need help producing testosterone.
Start today by scheduling a check-up with your primary care doctor, which should be done twice a year.