Healthy Tahoe: A look under the hood – demystifying men’s health visits
When it comes to healthy lifestyle choices, men and women are far from equal. Men tend to engage in more unhealthy habits, make riskier choices, and are prone to putting off checkups and other medical visits, even if they’re sick or injured. In fact, about 72% of men said they’d rather clean the bathroom or mow the lawn than see a health care provider.
That’s a risky reluctance, as men have a higher risk than women for illness and death. Along with a healthy diet, exercise, and avoiding smoking, regularly seeing your doc is one of the most important things men can do to live a healthier, and maybe even longer, life. Luckily, it’s not as mystifying as most men may think.
Visiting a primary care provider can be likened to visiting a friend and confidant. During a wellness visit, it’s all about helping design your personalized care plan that addresses your health concerns.
Your care provider will discuss your medical history, and get updates on any changes since your last visit. For example, a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, lung problems, or high cholesterol is important for your provider to know, along with any prescription medications taken.
Mental health is also an important part of your check up, and your doctor may have you participate in a screening. Vaccinations may be recommended based on age, seasonal, or pandemic-appropriate protection.
Screenings are an important part of managing your health because they can detect diseases early, when they are easier to treat. Discuss age and frequency of recommended screening like diabetes, colon cancer, and cholesterol with your care provider.
Remember, you are the driver of your own health. Though your care provider helps navigate and gives sound directions, in the end, it is up to you where you go.
June is Men’s Health Month. Dr. Tyler Peterson is a Family Medicine Physician with Barton Family Medicine. Dr. Peterson’s pre-recorded Wellness Webinar, “Gout Prevention and Treatment Options” is available at BartonHealth.org/Lecture.
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