Avera Medical Minute: Men's Health Week - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Men's Health Week

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Tony Ratchford is a patient at the Avera Longevity Clinic. Tony Ratchford is a patient at the Avera Longevity Clinic.

Men, do you worry about how long you'll live? If you do are you doing anything about it? It's National Men's Health Week and unfortunately we start a lot of bad habits that carry into midlife.

58 year old Tony Ratchford of Sioux Falls is the picture of health from the inside out. 8 years ago he wouldn't have said that. Although he's never been over weight, this asthmatic work-a-holic admits he had no exercise program, bad eating habits and the balance in his life was pretty much non-existent.

Tony says, "The males on both sides of my family died in their 50's and 60's so I thought I would have to change my ways if I wanted to live another 25 years or so."

That's when he went to see Dr. David Balt at the Avera Longevity Clinic.

Dr. Balt says, "Men do ignore their health. They smoke, drink, eat potato chip sit on the couch and watch football and wish they were out there doing those things so someone has to motivate them and so I kind of look at my job as a coach. I used to be fat. I used to be out of shape with a 42" waist. I used to do bad things. We need an advocate for men."

That coaching and advocacy paid off for Tony. After a lot of study on his lifestyle and blood work he made some much needed changes. He started eating better and exercising 5 days a week. He plays tennis at least twice a week and has a personal trainer come to his house 3 times a week. His total cholesterol went from 250 down to 115.  His LDL: 58 HDL 47. He says it took a few years to get those numbers down, but he is thrilled they are.

Tony says, "I have more energy and feel stronger than I ever have." 

He credits Dr. Balt for being the catalyst to get him in to see a pulmonologist, a cardiologist and a nutritionist.

Tony says, "When you think about it, if we don't have our health, we really don't have anything."

For Tony finding balance is an absolute must to feel better and live longer.  Dr. Balt is also a firm believer in bio-identical hormone replacement as we get older. Tony Ratchford does too now. He says he is so much more mentally sharp and aware now that he takes them.

Here's to you men today and always! We don't always admit it, but we do want the men in our lives to stick around as long as they can.


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