STUART-Men’s Health Month heightens the awareness of preventable health problems and encourages early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Visiting your physician frequently is important especially as you get older.

Carol Jarzyn, ARNP, has been a volunteer primary care provider with Volunteers in Medicine Clinic for 18 years. She speaks on the importance of taking care of your health.

“Many problems can be avoided if you get your first history and physical when you’re 18 years old. The doctor can find out the major risk factors that can cause illness as time goes on,” said Jarzyn.

Stay away from smoking, obesity, and excessive alcohol use. Exercising is a good preventative measure. When exercising, your heart beats faster which improves your heart muscles and it cleans your heart vessels.

Once you have your complete history and physical, your physician will go over vaccination schedules. A tetanus shot and a colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years, a flu shot should be done every year and men over age 50 are advised to get a pneumonia shot.

“When men get older they’re at risk for cancer of the prostate, colon cancer, coronary artery disease, and much more. You should have an eye exam every year because once you get over 50 years of age, cataracts start occurring,” said Jarzyn.

Not getting a history and physical could be detrimental to your health. You run the risk of getting diabetes, high blood pressure, and much more. It’s recommended to see your physician once a year, but some people need to visit their doctor more often if they have an illness.

If you are without health insurance and making less than $24,280 per year, contact VIM Clinic as you may be able to get help with your medical concerns.

VIM Clinic offers free comprehensive medical care to eligible uninsured Martin County residents. Its volunteer base of 100 has been serving the community for 23 years. For information, call 772-463-4128 or visit vimclinic.net.