By Dr. Janet Seabrook
The month of June is always filled with warm weather and plenty of special occasions! While we look forward to this time of year for enjoyment, the doctor in me always wants to send out the memo that June is also Men’s Health Month! Why? Because we all have a man (men) in our lives, whether it is a spouse, sibling, father, son, friend… you name it…who doesn’t want to go get his annual check-up! I write this column with a passion to change this narrative.
First, let’s explore why some men avoid going to the doctor. According to a survey conducted by AARP in 2019, “Common reasons included embarrassment or discomfort with discussing certain issues and not wanting to be told that they should change their diets or lifestyle. Some said they didn’t mention a health concern because they weren’t ready to face a troubling diagnosis, or because they didn’t want to be judged.”
Regardless of the reasons listed above, it is important to address your loved one’s apprehension while identifying the benefits of checking in with your primary care physician at least on an annual basis.
Early Detection – An annual visit to the doctor can help with early detection of medical conditions. Regular check-ups allow your physician to keep a solid record of your health history. In addition, he or she can more easily notice any changes, ask specific questions and recommend any needed follow-up/tests.
Lifestyle Adjustments – As we get older, our bodies change. A simple chat with your doctor can reveal some of the necessary lifestyle adjustments that may be needed to our diets, exercise routine and even workload to eliminate stress.
Peace of Mind – The news that doctors deliver is not always bad! In fact, we love to hand out report cards with a clean bill of health! Imagine the peace of mind everyone involved experiences once the great results from the check-up are shared.
I could go on, but I will simply urge those who are reading this to become a health advocate for the men in your lives. This Men’s Health Month, let these men know how much you care about their well-being, and offer to accompany them to their doctor’s appointment if that helps.
Standing by and being silent until a health condition deteriorates doesn’t benefit anyone involved. Start by reminding “HIM” (insert his name here) “Your health matters!”
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