In my last post I described some of the reasons why men take little advantage of the best part of our health system when it comes to preventive health care. Women are way ahead in this game but there is no reason why a man cannot leap forward.
First, make an appointment for a physical checkup, especially if it has been more than two years since you last visited your physician.
This is the first step because your doctor needs a thorough medical history and a look at your health habits. It is likely you will also require a range of screening tests and procedures. For instance, if you are over 50 you likely will be asked to schedule a colonoscopy to examine your colon and part of your small bowel if you have not had the exam in 5 to 7 years. This is one of the most successful ways to detect early colon cancer.
Your next responsibility is to learn more about your body and how it works. You want to find out why your stomach becomes distended after you eat. Are you eating the wrong foods or is that a symptom of a condition that runs in your family? Tell your physician about the blood you sometimes find in your stool. You think it comes from your hemorrhoids but let that be a medical diagnosis from your doctor, not your guess. In other words, if you notice a possible warning sign, do not shrug it off.
Do not be shy with your doctor. He has probably already heard everything you could possibly tell him. Your problems with urinary or sexual functions are common and there is a good chance you can be helped. Why should you be running to the bathroom every two hours?
Make a list of what you think you can do to improve your health. Make another list of health concerns you have that you would like to see improved. Take both of those lists to your doctor and start talking.
If during all this effort, your physician or his very capable physician assistant, does not find the time to talk to you about your concerns, start exploring for another physician.
If you have a story either about what pushed you to visit a doctor or how you got your brother or husband to visit a doctor, share what worked for you with our readers. Type your short story in the comment box.
To men and your healthy aging success,