Taking a Preventive Approach to Men’s Midlife Health
When it comes to managing a person’s health, there are essentially two schools of thought — reactive treatment, which involves medicines and procedures, and proactive treatment, which involves more preventive methods (like healthy lifestyle and screenings). Dr. Christopher Lege, who practices internal medicine with Touro’s Crescent City Physicians, Inc., has always been more inclined to take the proactive approach.
“I enjoy educating my patients to help keep them healthy,” explains Dr. Lege, who focuses much of his practice on preventive care.
Dr. Lege received a degree in engineering from Tulane University in New Orleans before earning his medical doctorate at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He returned to Tulane to complete a double residency at the School of Medicine in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine.
“Preventive care becomes a greater focus with age,” explains Dr. Lege, who works primarily with middle-aged patients to manage chronic issues — like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and asthma — all of which can be reduced or eliminated with simple lifestyle changes, but can also lead to more serious conditions if left unchecked.
“Age 40 seems to be a trigger for many men,” Dr. Lege says. “I’m often the first doctor they have seen in a long time, and, though they may still be in good health, they are reaching the age when their parents began facing health issues.”
During a visit, Dr. Lege starts with a patients’ medical and family history to understand any genetic risk factors. Then, he looks at lifestyle factors, such as BMI, weight, smoking or drinking habits, and exercise regimens. He conducts routine blood work to screen for diabetes and cholesterol levels, and then he focuses on a patient’s diet and simple changes that can affect potential risk factors.
“These routine screenings and assessments can make a big difference as men get older,” explains Dr. Lege, who says that his patients always leave learning something about their health. “Going to the doctor is an asset. Take advantage of it!”
Dr. Lege recommends patients begin seeing a physician annually starting at age 40 for routine testing, including a cholesterol-panel screening, diabetes screening, and HIV testing and vaccinations, as well as to discuss family history and any health complaints. His office provides counseling for smoking cessation and healthy alcohol consumption, which can be particularly important in New Orleans.
“While there is no one-size-fits-all general rule for healthy living, most people will benefit from a regular exercise program and diet improvements — since those two things can do more than just manage weight; [they] also improve your heart health, sleep patterns and mental health,” Dr. Lege says. However, he advises consulting a physician before beginning an exercise program.
Dr. Lege’s approach to overall health means that he often becomes his patients’ primary care physician, and he treats families across several generations. His patients can appreciate the fact that he practices what he preaches, which is important when touting the preventive power of a healthy lifestyle. A fitness enthusiast who follows a balanced diet, Dr. Lege believes in leading by example.
“I try to be a walking example of the lifestyle I want to help my patients lead,” he says, “and impart on them my enthusiasm for healthy living!”
Dr. Christopher Lege
Crescent City Physicians
3434 Prytania St., Suite 460
New Orleans, LA 70115
Doctorate – Louisiana State University School of Medicine
Residency, Internal Medicine / Pediatrics – Tulane University School of Medicine
Board Certifications – Internal Medicine, Pediatrics