This is a public service announcement! Millions of men die for a very stupid reason.
I am impervious to disease, injuries or any other physical ailments. I am at the peak of mental performance and overall wellness. I haven’t seen a doctor in years, but that’s OK — someone like me has no need for them. After all, I am invincible and at the pinnacle of human health!
It would be foolish and even narcissistic for anyone to have such notions about themselves, but that was exactly me until everything came crashing down a few years ago. Afflicted my fibromyalgia in the neck, excruciating back pain, chronic insomnia, and a running nose that never seems to stop, my body had reached its limits and couldn’t take anymore abuse. Incapacitated by crippling anxiety, severe PTSD symptoms, confusion and poor coordination, my mind and and overall psyche was calling it quits.
With my bristling muscles and six-pack abs, you couldn’t tell from the surface that I was sick, but I was painfully reminded of my humanity — my frailty — and that something needed to be done.
A Very Sad Truth About Men’s Health
The fact that I never took my health seriously until it was almost too late is not something unique to me. As it turns out, millions of men die a lot earlier than they should because they refuse to do one simple thing, and that is not paying enough attention to their health and refusing to see a doctor until it is possibly too late.
Studies have shown that the average man pays less attention to his health than the average woman. Compared to women, men are more likely to drink alcohol, use tobacco and make risky choices.
They are 24 percent less likely to see a doctor for regular check-ups and 22 percent more likely to neglect cholesterol tests — a major reason why we suffer more heart attacks in our 50s than women!
As someone who let his ego and pride get in the way of optimal health for decades and who has seen countless men of all ages do the same, it saddens me to see common sense thrown out the window so casually for the sake of vanity — for us to think we are too manly to see a doctor.
It’s a big mistake and a downright dangerous one at that, which is why I have addressed a list of questions pertaining to the issue that I believe can help and motivate men to stay healthy.
Why Are Men Less Likely To See A Doctor Regularly?
Let’s start off with the biggest question of them all: Why do most men avoid doctor visits? As you probably guessed, it mostly boils down to machismo. Men generally derive more self-worth from things such as bravery and self-reliance than women and this makes us less likely to seek preventive care and more likely to delay care.
Men blessed with good health may even think it’s not necessary to see a doctor on the regular, but the truth of the matter is that men of all ages and all levels of health need to have routine checkups to keep any unwanted surprises at bay. For instance, you might have low vitamin D and not know it, explaining why you’ve been feeling tired, lethargic and even depressed lately
Sometimes it has nothing to do with being macho or too manly and has more to do with fear. Could it be that some men are just not comfortable with the idea of getting an exam or a blood draw out of the fear that the doctor might tell them some bad news or give them a lecture? Why not? But what if I told you that knowledgeable, up-to-date doctors don’t bite (most, at least) and aren’t there to make their male patients feel bad?
Knowledge is power, and any man that refuses to at least hear and consider what his doctor has to say might be putting their overall health at risk.
Why Are Men So Insecure About Going To Women Doctors?
Studies have shown that male patients are less likely to return to a new female doctor than to a male one, whereas women patients are far less discriminant. Why? Well, there seems to be some discomfort about intimate medical exams, with quite a number of men possibly feeling uncomfortable if there is more than one female medical staff in the room during the exam.
Three studies devised by researchers from Rutgers University to unravel the links between masculinity, doctor gender preference, and the reporting of symptoms back this known fact. In the first two studies, which asked around 250 men to fill out questionnaires designed to elicit their views on masculinity, the relative attributes of men and women, and doctor preference, they found that the more stereotypically masculine a participant was, the more likely he preferred a male doctor.
The third study asked 250 male students to fill out the same questionnaire in addition to a survey on 5 chronic and potentially embarrassing symptoms (diarrhea, heartburn, farting, acne, uncontrollable worry, and depression). The result? The men reported fewer symptoms to the male than the female interviewer!
Once again, why? Are we so insecure about our penis size and our body fat percentage as to place our vanity above our health?
The fact of the matter is that women doctors deliver similar quality of service as male doctors, and even exceed them in some areas. Studies have shown that they outperform their male counterparts in patient-centered communication, such as asking more questions and providing more counseling on psychosocial issues related to lifestyle, daily living activities, social relationships, coping strategies, and stress.
Don’t want to see a doctor because she’s a women? Your loss, but know that you are playing a dangerous game with your health.
Why Are Men Not Honest With Their Doctors When Sick?
Not only are men less likely than their female counterparts to go to a doctor and more likely to shun female doctors, but they’re also not completely truthful about their health when they actually do go. Admittedly, I have been guilty of this.
I have walked into a number of doctor’s office with chronic insomnia only to walk out with some menial advice on drinking warm milk before going to sleep every night. Quite the revelation, right? But had I been more stern in communicating the urgency of my condition, one of the doctors might have realized that my insomnia was a symptom of a severe case of adrenal fatigue that had plagued my life for years.
In the aforementioned second Rutgers University study, the men who had high masculinity scores were also the least likely to be honest about their health!
Now, is being dishonest with your doctor any better than not seeing him or her in the first place? Regardless of how you look at it, you are not getting treatment for any condition or ailment you might have.
As for the reasons for the dishonesty, the researchers found that some men are reluctant to reveal weakness because admitting to having an upset stomach or feeling depressed will make them seem not “macho”.
That’s a load of bull shit, of course. Doctors are bound by confidentiality, making their office the one place anyone can open up without feeling embarrassed. Plus, most doctors have seen far worse than your occasional diarrhea or uncontrollable flatulence. Even Symptoms that seem minor to you, such as the ones listed below, can point to a more serious condition and are, therefore, important for your doctor to know.
By talking to a medical professional about your health issues, you may be able to treat any potential problem before it becomes serious or even fatal. So find a doctor you feel comfortable with and be as honest with him or her as if your life depended on it, because it probably does.
What Is The Number One Condition That Men Mostly Ignore?
Denial can be deadly, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to health issues. Unfortunately, there are a lot of men living in denial, but you don’t have to be one of them. Don’t wait too see a doctor until you’re wincing in pain or on the verge of dying — take action now!
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men, and it can affect us in our 40s and even younger. Cancer follows in second place, and there are important screening tests based on age and family history for it.
10 Common Symptoms That Men Commonly Ignore
1. Skin irregularities like odd-looking moles
Rough patches of skin, sores that won’t heal, or changes in the color, shape, or size of your mole can all be signs of cancer cells building up.
2. Excessive snoring
If your snoring is waking you or other people up at night, you might have obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, a potentially serious condition that causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep.
3. Frequent heartburn
Occasional heartburn is usually not cause for worry, but experiencing one at least twice a week could be a sign of gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD).
4. Excessive thirst
It’s important for everyone to stay hydrated, but always being thirsty is a major symptom of diabetes. It may also indicate other health problems.
5. Chest pain
Regular chest pain is not normal and could indicate heart disease, lung disease, and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as shingles or an injury of some kind. Studies have shown that most people who have cardiac arrest experience warning signs days or weeks before the condition strikes.
6. Frequent fatigue
Being tired and exhausted after a long days work, a serious gym workout, or a bad night’s sleep is normal, but fatigue for extended periods of time is a red flag that needs urgent attention. It can be a symptom of certain cancers and infections, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, and congestive heart failure.
7. Shortness of breath
A heavy workout can cause anyone to have labored breathing for a short period of time, but persistent shortness of breath can also indicate the onset of a heart attack or congestive heart failure.
8. Memory loss
Forgetting where you parked or misplacing your phone is one thing, but forgetting things more often or more dramatically could be a red flag for an underlying medical issue. Memory loss is linked to brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, some infections, depression and vitamin deficiency.
9. Trouble with vision
Our eyesight often suffers as we get older, so regular eye checkups can catch more serious issues that might otherwise be considered as a normal part of aging. Blind spots, blurry and tunnel vision, and halos on lights can be symptoms of worrisome eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and even brain tumors.
10. Bowel movement changes
Issues with bowel movements are usually a sign of dietary indiscretion, but it can also be a symptom of something more serious like colorectal cancer.
Why Men Shouldn’t Play Dangerous Games With Their Health
Not only are men, especially the more machismo ones, less likely to seek preventive care than women, but they are also more likely to put off seeing a doctor and to understate their symptoms when they do visit one.
It’s funny yet extremely sad for any man to compromise his health because of the fear of not looking manly. The consequences of delaying care when experiencing health issues is no joke, nor are those that might arise from withholding pertinent information from your doctor.
If your health fails, it can overshadow every good thing that’s happening in your life and even threaten your very existence. Poor health can and usually does affect your happiness and stress levels in a significant way. The stress that comes along with it exacerbates any ailments you might have and makes everyday tasks more challenging than they need to be. Health expenses can pile up, and your ability to earn a living can even be in jeopardy.
Also think about the impact your poor health will have on your family and friends. Always having to worry about how well you are doing , not being able to engage with them because of your condition, and the financial burden placed on them will certainly affect their quality of life with you?
Why would any man want any of this? Why would anyone risk playing such a foolish game with their health, the most valuable asset we have? There is just so much at stake.
Why Being Healthy Is the Most Important Things You Can Do?
Most major health risks that men face can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a healthy diet, not smoking, reducing stress, limited alcohol consumption or preferably not drinking at all, and, of course, regular checkups and screening tests to help spot disease early. In fact, taking control of your health is the most important investment you can make in your life. In addition to providing you with the energy to get things done, good health allows you to take charge of your life in a big way.
As a paragon of good health, a man gains a positive outlook, finds more enjoyment in life, and becomes a role model for his family and friends. That’s right, you stay healthy not just for your sake — it’s for your family and friends. It’s especially about your children.
So don’t be the average man — strive for the best health you can have in all areas of your life by making mindful, healthy choices about diet, exercise, and staying positive. For the sake of your livelihood and everyone you hold dear, don’t die early because of your ego! Make it a habit to see a doctor and get a medical checkup on a regular basis. Be an inspiration for all the young boys still taking their youthful vitality for granted and even the grown men who have not come to their senses!
This has been a public service announcement.