Sunday, June 12, 2016
It’s not uncommon for people to put off going to see their GP about a health concern, but according to a survey by insureblue.co.uk, one in five men has not visited a doctor in the last year, and 6% still wouldn't even if they had chest pains. It was also revealed that much of this is down to the fact that a large proportion of men feel uncomfortable talking about health concerns due to the emotions attached to it.
But this inherent fear of visiting the doctor could be putting men‘s health at greater risk, as illnesses such as cancer or heart disease can go undiagnosed until it’s too late to receive effective treatment. We’re exploring the reasons behind men avoiding their doctors and what the benefits to seeking regular medical checks can have.
Fear can have a huge impact on the male psyche, making you fearful of what could be wrong with you. Many guys take the view that “what you don’t know can’t kill you”, but this is completely untrue and illogical on so many levels.
Another factor is that men often think that visiting the doctor is not a “manly” thing to do. For some men, admitting you have a health issue is a sign of weakness.
Another reason is often that men think that they’re too busy to get sick or visit the doctor, but leading a busy lifestyle can, in fact, make you more susceptible to a number of health concerns.
To quash those reasons once and for all, it’s time to review the facts and benefits of regular visits to your doctor. There’s no definitive rule on how often you should see your doctor, and much of it depends on age and overall health. Those who are overweight, smoke, drink alcohol or have a family history of health problems may need to see the doctor more often. However, it’s important to bear in mind that even fit, young and healthy men can be affected by illness too.
Having said that, it is recommended for men to have a physical exam at least once a year. Even if you are in good health, sometimes it’s just nice to have that confirmed by a professional, but it can also lead to early detection and treatment for many health concerns, including prostate issues, testicular cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Naturally, as men age, they become at higher risk of serious illnesses. Men over the age of 50 should have regular monitoring of their weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and general health. It’s also advised to have testicle and prostate examinations and other routine checks to help identify problems early.
One of the primary benefits of more frequent visits to the doctor is to get the correct treatment early. Many diseases such as skin, testicular, prostate, colon and rectal cancer can be cured if detected early enough, but men’s reluctance to seek medical help or only go when there is a serious issue often leads to these diseases being discovered too late to treat.
Furthermore, with conditions like heart disease, many patients don’t know there is a problem until they have a heart attack. But with regular visits to your GP, concerns such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity can be detected early and managed more efficiently.
Additionally, regular visits to your doctor will also help you feel more relaxed, as the more often you do something, the easier it should get. Getting treatment early for a condition, despite having to undergo the uncomfortable and embarrassing feelings, could save your life. It’s also important to remember that doctors and nurses are trained professionals, they’ve seen and heard it all, so you definitely shouldn’t feel embarrassed about discussing your health concerns.
Although regularly seeing your GP should become routine, there are some conditions that men can treat at home too. First of all, staying active and eating healthily is something you can do yourself to improve your general health and keep you in good shape. For rashes, allergies and skin conditions, pharmacists can provide you with a number of creams, lotions, and tablets to help reduce itching and redness.
Make sure you’re not putting yourself at unnecessary risk. If you feel unwell, see your pharmacist first, as he will be able to help you diagnose the problem so that you can put your mind at rest. However, don’t put off seeing the doctor if things don’t get better.
Furthermore, if you can't find the time to see your doctor, you can always talk to our dedicated GP from the comfort of your own home. Discover here all the health conditions our doctor can help you with.