Studies show that men are reluctant to visit their doctor and make appointments about 24% less frequently than women. And their avoidance costs them — men are more likely to:
- Suffer from congestive heart failure
- Skip cholesterol tests
- Be hospitalized for diabetes complications
- Lose a leg or foot to diabetes
- Contract pneumonia (preventable with a vaccine)
Fortunately, you can avoid becoming one of these statistics by scheduling regular health care visits. Dr. James Batey and our team of expert health care providers at Premier Primary Care in Union City, Tennessee, offer comprehensive men’s health care services that are quick, painless, and infinitely valuable. Here’s what you need to know.
Why do men avoid doctors?
Men in the United States have a lower life expectancy (age 76.2) than women (age 81.2) despite the abundance of resources for preventive care and advanced treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In some cases, this can be attributed to a sense of masculinity and the notion that seeking medical attention is a sign of weakness. In others, the avoidance stems from the fear of a diagnosis — what I don’t know won’t hurt me.
And many men don’t know what to expect during a routine exam and suspect they may have to endure something embarrassing or uncomfortable. To put your mind at ease, we’ve outlined what you can expect from a regular men’s health exam.
The routine men’s health exam
If you feel fine and consider yourself healthy, you’ll breeze through your regular annual exam. We check your:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Ears, nose, and throat
We also talk to you about your lifestyle (whether you smoke, how much alcohol you consume, etc.), your past medical conditions, and your family's medical history. Depending on your age and the results of our examination, we may recommend any of several health screens that check for:
- High cholesterol
- Prostate problems
- Hormone imbalances
- Skin cancer (and other types of cancer)
- Vision and hearing loss
These are not necessary for all men — we only schedule them if you’re at risk for one of these conditions. These common health screens typically involve a simple blood test, urinalysis, or a closer physical examination.
What to expect if you’re not feeling well
If you have a specific complaint, such as pain, fever, difficulty breathing, numbness, or any other symptom, we spend more time focusing on those problems’ underlying cause. Many conditions are directly related to lifestyle choices and habits. They can be alleviated by making a few changes, including weight loss, a more nutritious diet, quitting smoking, and exercising more.
If, however, we find that you’re suffering from an infection, disease, or other medical condition, we may opt to run further diagnostic tests or treat you with appropriate medications or therapies.
Why all men should schedule regular health exams
The value of your annual health exams goes beyond treating your symptoms as they arise. Regular health exams for men come with three invaluable benefits:
Made for men
Your annual visit focuses on issues unique to men, including prostate issues, erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, and muscle mass loss.
Many health conditions affect certain men at higher rates because they belong to a high-risk group. If heart disease runs in your family or you smoke tobacco, we put you on a closer watch list for related symptoms and conditions and can help you prevent them or catch them early.
When you come to see us, even when you’re healthy, we can establish a baseline of what’s normal for you. The numbers, measurements, and test results we collect when all is well provide an invaluable tool for comparing later results and tracking changes.
If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a doctor, there’s no better time than now to come in and get an idea where your health stands. Some conditions are silent until they become dangerous, so call us or book an appointment online today — no one has to know!