By Dr. Frederick Kuo, Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealthcare
It’s no secret. Men simply don’t like to go to the doctor – They either believe they can take care of their health better on their own and don’t want to bother the doctor or have a hard time sharing their personal health information even with their doctor.
Studies show women are 33% more likely to see their doctor than men. Yet, compared to women men’s lack of seeking routine medical care is one of the reasons women live longer than men.
There really shouldn’t be an excuse to not to want to go to the doctor. Telehealth is making it easier and more convenient. For some, the most convenient part of a telehealth visit is being able to stay right at their desk and attend a same-day appointment. During the virtual exam, at times, a doctor can spot something that needs immediate attention. And, that could help your health issue get worse or possibly save your life.
If you’re in good health, you may only need to see your doctor once a year for your yearly physical. Lots of important things happen during that time with your doctor, like blood tests, a digital rectal exam, blood pressure check and more. Just that one simple visit can help you get and stay on the path to good health.
Thanks to new advancements in screenings and recommendations, technology is helping prevent certain conditions and is keeping more men healthy longer. Here are a few of the top health issues effecting men that you should know about:
Heart Disease in Men: There are different types of heart disease, but coronary heart disease is the most common — and the leading cause of heart attacks in the United States. Coronary heart disease happens when plaque builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow. This could lead to a blockage and prevent blood from flowing through your arteries like it should. Eventually, it can cause heart attack, stroke and other vascular conditions. Knowing your risk factors and the lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent heart disease could keep you in the clear..
Cancer in Men. There are certain cancers to keep in mind as you plan your preventive health checks. Lung, colorectal (colon), prostate and testicular cancer are especially common among men. And, while there are ways to catch some of them early, the warning signs might not always be that clear. Self-checks, self-care and regular visits to your doctor are three things you can do to stay healthy — or catch something suspicious before it becomes a serious problem. Knowing the basics about these cancers can help you know when it’s time to take action.
Kidney Stones in Men. Did you know men are more likely to get kidney stones compared to women? These little stones form when certain substances don’t make it out of your body the way they should. Calcium and other waste products can get stuck in your ureter and cause all sorts of symptoms. In case you haven’t heard, they can be incredibly painful. Learn the different ways these stones crystalize, their risk factors and how you may prevent them.
Men’s Preventive Care and Health Tips. As a man, you may be at greater risk for certain health conditions. It’s important to know their risk factors and what you can do to help avoid them. Things like cholesterol, blood pressure, diet, stress and exercise each play a part in helping to prevent some of the conditions you may be most at risk for. Luckily, regular checkups and preventive screenings can help spot early signs when something isn’t quite right. Learn the risk factors of each condition and lifestyle changes you can make to keep your body and mind healthy.