Men are reluctant to pay a visit to the man in the white coat.
Chances are you get your car tuned regularly, never skip an oil change, and keep it buffed and polished till it sparkles.
But are you taking such good care of yourself?
Our busy lives and work schedules often prevent us from seeking routine preventive medical care. But preventive medicine is cost-effective and reduces the risk of illness and disease. A stitch in time saves NINE. More than half of the men in the United States have not been to see a doctor in the past year and 55% of men admit that they are reluctant to visit the doctor. Hence, men tend to die earlier than women and are more likely to die from eight out of the ten top causes of death than women – when most of them are curable if detected early.
Reasons why men don’t visit the doctor on a regular basis.
- One reason is that going to the doctor is just too inconvenient.
- Another reason is that we’ve been socialised since childhood to believe that being a man means sucking it up when you have an illness or injury. Going to the doctor for some men means admitting that you’re weak and defeated, and, thus, unmanly.
- Men view the doctor as someone we only visit when something’s wrong with us. We don’t see going to the doctor as a way to prevent health problems before they start.
- Finally, some men are nervous about going to the doctor because they are afraid the doctor may find something wrong. But while being diagnosed with something wrong isn’t very fun, it’s still better than dying from lack or late diagnosis
4 Reasons to Get Regular Physical Medical Check-up
- Prevent health problems.
Medicine is not just geared towards treating health problems, it is also to prevent them. More and more doctors are focusing on preventing their patients’ health problems before they start. By getting a regular exam, you can nip your health problems in the bud.
- If your doctor spots a funky looking mole, it can be removed before you have problems with skin cancer.
- If he notices that your blood pressure is too high, he can suggest a diet and fitness plan to help reduce it before you have a heart attack.
- If your family has a history of certain diseases or health problems, your doctor can give you guidance on how you can reduce your risk of suffering those ailments.
- Save money.
If a doctor can nip a problem in the bud before it gets serious, you’ll save a lot of money on medical bills down the road – especially if you are responsible for your medical bills.
- Establish baselines.
Getting a physical medical examination will
- Establish baselines for things like your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol and help your doctor gauge your health’s subsequent progression or regression and advise you on steps to take to correct the anomalies
- Develop a relationship with your doctor.
Because men don’t see the doctor regularly, we often don’t have a doctor with whom we’ve developed a trusting relationship. But having a doctor that you can trust can ensure that you get the best care possible.
How Often Should You Get a Physical Medical Examination?
If you’re in your 2o’s… every five years.
If you’re in your 30’s… every three years.
If you’re in your 40’s… every two years.
50 and above, every year
The 10 tests you can do at home
The Men’s Health Forum recommends the following checks which can indicate a possible problem but if you are worried see your GP.
If your waist is more than 37 inches you’re getting into the obese range and risking heart disease and diabetes. Reduce risk by weight loss and exercise; even a brisk 15-minute daily walk will help.
Examine your testicles once a month for lumps or changes. If you notice any visit your GP. This is the most common cancer among men between 20 and 35 but any age can fall foul. It’s curable in more than 90 per cent of cases if caught early.
Look at your behaviour honestly. Are you drinking too much, have a short fuse, think about suicide? Depression is grossly under-diagnosed among men because it’s difficult to talk about. Visit your GP or talk to the Samaritans.
If your nails are very pale under the beds (they should be pink) and the creases in your hands are pale, you may be anaemic. Sufferers tend to be pale and lethargic. It can be a sign of something more serious, such as cancer of the bowel, stomach or blood.
- Diabetes awareness
Diabetes, a lack of insulin, prevents the body metabolising sugars and can have serious complications, including kidney failure, blindness, heart disease and amputations. A combination of increased thirst, tiredness, thrush infections and weight gain, see your GP.
Check your moles and report any changes in size or shape including bleeding, crusting, itching or inflammation. Melanoma accounts for three out of four deaths from the skin disease and has doubled over the last 15 years.
Monitor visits to the loo at night and any trouble passing water or blood in the urine. This may be a sign of an enlarged prostate. Prostate cancer can be detected with simple tests, yet claims the lives of 10,000 men a year, mostly the over 45s.
Look for discharge, discolouration or small growths. Sexually-transmitted diseases are increasing, including hepatitis, HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis.
Look for changes in your bowel habits. If you have constipation, then diarrhoea and/or blood in your stools see your GP. The symptoms can indicate a disease such as piles, colitis, Crohn’s or bowel cancer – the third most common cancer in men.
- Blood pressure
Have your blood pressure checked every three years if under 40, then annually. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the main cause of heart disease. Symptoms include tunnel vision and blood in your urine. Men can mistake cardiac pain for indigestion. If indigestion remedies don’t work or the pain appears with exercise or you feel sick, it could be your heart.