When do you go see your doctor?
1. At least once a year, for a checkup
2. When I feel sick for more than a couple of days
3. When there’s a bone sticking out of my arm and I can’t put it back in by myself
For many men, answer No. 3 is closer to reality than answer No. 1.
Men and women should be getting regular check-ups with their primary care doctor. Some of the most important visits occur when you are feeling fine.
I liken it to getting your oil changed in your vehicle. You don’t wait until the engine blows up to start paying attention to the engine. Instead, you have it checked regularly, and routine maintenance can keep your car running stronger for years to come.
Remember, you shouldn't take better care of your car than you do your body. When your car deteriorates, you have the option of trading it in. You don't have that luxury with your body, so go see your doctor!
Preventative visits to your doctor can help you in several ways:
- You develop a relationship with your doctor. Building this trust enables you to more freely discuss your medical issues.
- These routine visits allow your provider more time to learn about you. Your family health history and your background (where you lived, where you worked) could affect your health in the future.
- If your doctor sees you regularly, they will have a baseline so they can measure changes in your body that could be the beginning of significant medical issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
- Regular screenings will help identify cancers or other medical issues. Often, treatments are more successful if these diseases are identified in the early stages.
Many men want to wait until they turn 50 to take their health seriously. But I highly recommend regular visits throughout adulthood. Even in your 20s and 30s, you are laying the foundation for your health in your 50s and into retirement. This is when the body starts the changes that can lead to heart attacks and strokes later.
Men like to think we are invincible, but we’re not.
If your wife, your mom, or even your children are telling you to go see a doctor, it’s time to listen!