“Men love to exhibit denial, machismo, and stoicism about their health. Thankfully, the women in their lives have an influence. One of the most important decisions a man can make is to see a doctor for routine check-ups and screenings.”
Aches, pains, and discomfort are just something men try to power through. Many don’t want to see a doctor just to hear what’s wrong with them. As with women, it’s just as important for men to take time for preventative healthcare. It can improve the quality of life and potential diseases can be discovered while there is still time for effective treatment.
If your husband, or other men in your life that you care about, avoids doctor visits, should you try persuading him to go? Yes! Men often see their doctors because of spousal encouragement. In fact, according to a recent Men’s Health Study, 78 percent of U.S. males say their spouses or significant others have influence over their decision to go to the doctor. So don’t stop at reminding him to take out the trash—spend some time persuading him to see a physician.
Many of the major health risks that men often face, like heart disease and colon cancer, can be prevented and even treated with an early diagnosis. Doctors regularly screen for unhealthy blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, mental health, and weight. Men’s Health Network recommends the following simple, lifesaving screenings:
- Yearly Physical & Blood Pressure (All Men)
- Skin Cancer Exam (All Men)
- Blood Panel to Check Cholesterol, Diabetes, Kidney, and Thyroid (Men 20 and Older)
- Blood Panel with a Prostate Cancer Screening (Men 50 and Older*)
- Colonoscopy to Check for Colon Cancer (Men 45 and Older)
What are some techniques you can use to get your husband to the doctor? Try zeroing in on what’s most important to him or appealing to his emotions. Encourage the sports lover to get a clean bill of health before beginning a new activity. Remind the family man that he needs to be in good health to watch his kids grow old and that you need him for the long haul. One day at the doctor is simply the price of being so needed.
By encouraging the guys in your life to take even the smallest symptoms seriously and discuss them with their doctors, you will be helping them take a more active role in their own healthcare. And by educating yourself about potential male health problems and passing that information on to the men you love, you may also be able to save a life.
Some important things men can do to help prevent disease and premature death is to eat healthy, be physically active, maintain a healthy weight, not smoke, only drink in moderation, and manage stress. These small daily choices add up to big results!
Hopefully, some of this gentle nudging will guide your man to making the right call (i.e.: the one to a Bingham doctor). But if not, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment on his behalf and ask the doctor’s office to call and remind him of it. You could also schedule your own checkup right before or after his, so you can stay healthy together.
If it’s been a while since the men you care about have been to the doctor for a routine physical, pick up the phone and schedule a visit. Bingham Memorial has offices in Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and Shelley. Call (208) 785-4100 to find an office near you or visit BinghamMemorial.org/Family-Medicine
*African-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer may wish to begin prostate screenings at age 40 or earlier.