Don’t Skip Out on Checkups, Guys!

Reluctance to schedule routine checkups can stymie early intervention for a few diseases that become more challenging to treat as they progress.

Men may be less likely than women to keep up with routine medical appointments. However, keeping regular appointments and establishing a relationship with a primary care physician sooner rather than later can allow for simpler, more timely, less invasive, and more effective treatments. Life-threatening diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, can be treated much more easily if detected early. Left unchecked, these diseases can be devastating.

Even chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, can be prevented or their advance slowed if detected sooner. Having the time to implement physician-directed lifestyle changes, such as special diets, therapies, and exercise regimens can have a strong impact on disease management and overall health.

Why Should I Go to the Doctor?

While some men may prefer a grin-and-bear-it attitude when it comes to visiting their doctors, seeking medical help is far from admitting weakness. Most things of value require expertise to repair. For example, if your car breaks down and you don’t know how to fix it, you take it to a mechanic, right? In the same manner, if your health breaks down and you don’t know what the problem is, there is no shame in seeing a doctor.

It’s important to recognize that you cannot fix every medical issue by yourself. Physicians undergo extensive training to effectively diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Important Tests

Even when you feel fine, you may have health problems. Certain diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes, cause few symptoms. However, these conditions are serious disorders that can lead to further health complications.

The following tests can help you and your primary care provider stay up to date about what is happening with your health.

  • Blood pressure should be taken at least once every two years starting at age 20 if blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg. Your doctor may recommend more frequent testing if your blood pressure is higher.
  • Cholesterol levels should be checked every four to six years starting at age 20 for people of average risk.
  • Diabetes testing should occur consistently if you have risk factors, such as being overweight, a family history of the disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Sources:

cdc.gov, cdc.gov, diabetes.org, heart.org, medlineplus.gov

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