Why men should visit their doctors more regularly

By Dr. Dirar Abdullah, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Prime Hospital. 

Compared to women, men are less likely to pay their doctors a visit for a regular check-up. Unless their medical condition takes a turn for the worse, the likelihood of males consulting their physicians on a regular basis is very slim.

This attitude towards their health can have serious repercussions. Regular medical consultations are recommended to catch the disease at an early stage to increase the chances of full recovery as well as ensure a healthy and quality life. By deciding to go the doctor only when their medical situation is fast deteriorating, they are, to some extent, foregoing that opportunity to fight the disease when their bodies are still strong, and they are still physically capable.

Men like any other human beings are also susceptible to many illnesses. Research suggests that the top threats to men's health are cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, prostate cancer, depression, suicide, and diabetes. Men also lead women in all the 15 leading causes of death except Alzheimer's disease.

Another cause for concern is the fact that heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and dementia are becoming more and more prevalent in men. The risk factors shared by these conditions include smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Family history also plays a role in the onset of these diseases. Interestingly, the presence of some diseases increases the likelihood that another will occur.

Men visit their doctors less often than women do and are more likely to have a serious condition when they do make that visit. As long as they are working and feeling productive, most men do not pay attention to the risk factors associated with their lifestyle. Even if you are feeling healthy, it is always better not to take it for granted.

The trauma, discomfort, other physical symptoms, and limitations caused by health problems can have a troubling impact on the quality of their lives. Once diagnosed with a disease, men undergo necessary tests or treatments, take medications according to schedule, and make modifications to diets and lifestyle in general. They also try to develop positive coping skills that are effective in addressing and managing a serious health condition. Practicing relaxation techniques also enhances their ability to cope with diseases and reduce stress levels.

Investing time and effort in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, thereby preventing the onset of adverse health conditions, is the key to enjoying life to its fullest. This effort pays dividends almost immediately, and it is never too late to begin. Constantly nourishing your body with nutrients and physical activity increases its ability to perform and strengthens immunity. 

Paying attention to the body’s warning signs and symptoms is another important aspect. There are expected and normal physiological changes in some of the hormones in the male body as they age. The effects of these changes can be lessened by maintaining an active lifestyle, a healthy diet, and through regular health monitoring.

With support from their partners, men are now getting better at understanding more about their health. As such, they are becoming more proactive in health management. It is no surprise that they are now consciously putting in more efforts to actively manage their overall well-being. 

Men are said to be embarrassed to visit a doctor to consult their numerous health conditions. More education and encouragement are thus in order to increase their health awareness and empower them into taking better care of themselves.