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Don’t Fear the Doctor Fellas
Please say it isn’t so! The popular perception is that for many of my brethren who watch the clobber-fest called the NFL or shoots their own dinner, is that you are also fraidy-cats when it comes to seeing the doctor.
Dr. Aaron Michelfelder, a family doctor at Loyola University Health System, in Maywood, Ill., says “many men are simply afraid of what their doctor might find, but ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away.”
Adult men should have blood pressure, cholesterol, heart and teeth checked each year, but not many do, “Indeed, the earlier we diagnose such conditions as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cancer, the more successfully we can treat them.”
Michelfelder urges his patients to see him at least once a year, for screening tests like:
- A measure of body fat based on height and weight. Normal is 18.5 to 24.9.
- Cardiovascular health.
- Dental checkups. Dental disease is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- Blood pressure. Every man 18 or older should have his blood pressure checked at least once a year.
- Cholesterol. Men 35 and older should be screened once every five years if normal.
- Men with risk factors for diabetes should have blood sugar checked.
- Colorectal cancer. Men should be screened beginning at age 50.
- If a patient or his spouse reports a hearing problem, hearing should be checked.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm, a bulge in the large blood vessel that supplies the abdomen and lower body.
These are just of the common health tests the doctor should do but imagine if you are like millions of men and have not visited the docs office in years. You could be ignoring a major health issue or even a minor one that could get worse if not addressed now. Even if you don’t have health insurance, check out the local health clinic and see about getting a simple check-up. You are worth it.