Amidst the many demands of daily life, such as taking care of family, working, and keeping up your home, regularly paying a visit to your primary care provider probably isn’t a high priority for a lot of men. However, no matter the challenges you face every day, you need physical, emotional, and mental well-being to be effective in meeting those demands.
Establishing a relationship with a primary care doctor that you trust can be a major asset in ensuring your prolonged well-being. According to the American Heart Association, many men use excuses to put off a visit to the doctor. “There’s probably nothing wrong,” “I don’t have time,” and “doctors don’t do anything” are among the top excuses made. If any of these sound familiar, it might be time to make an appointment.
Instead of looking for reasons not to visit your primary care physician, here are seven reasons that you should be visiting your doctor on an annual basis.
Thinking of your primary care physician simply as a fix-it person and not as someone to help prevent health problems is risky. SelectHealth explains that one of the problems with this approach to health treatment and prevention is that many illnesses and diseases are silent killers.
It's true — if you feel fine, you may very well be healthy. However, even if you feel well, you could have silent health problems, like high blood pressure. More than 100 million Americans have it, but many don't know it until it's too late to reverse, according to the American Heart Association.
Your primary care physician can use screening tests to detect some diseases before they cause symptoms when they're often easier to control or treat. This is especially true when it comes to serious concerns such as high cholesterol, diabetes or cancer.
Taking time to be regularly tested will be well worth it should a potential health concern be identified, treated and prevented.
Getting shots when you were young was simple, but as adults can opt into more medical treatments, it becomes difficult to stay up-to-date on all of the recommendations. SelectHealth recommends asking your primary care physician to help you keep up with vaccines.
Every 10 years you'll need a new tetanus booster. As men and women age, a shingles shot is recommended. And as of recently, an annual flu shot is strongly encouraged by medical professionals.
According to Medical Economics, an annual wellness visit should be much more than a standard physical examination. A wellness visit is “a time to talk proactively about the “whole” patient, especially their medical and family history and current health conditions, along with medications and supplements. The provider can also obtain specific vitals, such as height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure and vision, and discuss recommended screenings and vaccinations.”
In short, a wellness visit is an opportunity to receive personalized advice on a healthy life, especially in regards to diet, exercise, weight, and habits you need to quit. Your provider is there to help — not judge.
One thing doctors should be screening people for is mental health problems. If you ever feel sad, hopeless, or disinterested in activities you once enjoyed, you're not alone. In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety and depression disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting over 40 million adults nationwide.
If you feel like something is off, speak to your primary care doctor. There are lots of treatment options they can help you begin.
Drinking or smoking habits
If you find yourself struggling with an addiction and need to come clean to someone trusted, your primary care physician is a safe person to talk to. Not only will they be able to discuss risks, but they can also help you devise a plan of action to free yourself, according to SelectHealth. The repercussions of debilitating addictions to alcohol, smoking, or drugs shouldn't be ignored.
Energy level or sex drive
Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of life to talk about is one's loss of energy and sex drive. If you feel this way, there may be a real physiological reason, such as low testosterone levels or sleep apnea. Primary care physicians can help determine the underlying cause and offer any lifestyle changes or treatment plans to help.
With a fulfilling life tied directly to physical, mental and emotional health, seeing a doctor regularly can be a great asset to your well-being. Contact SelectHealth to find a trusted primary care doctor near you.
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