Men, here are 10 reasons you should see your doctor
Friday 3 September 2021
We recently ran an article about why men die younger than women.
One of the reasons is that blokes often don’t go to their doctor when they have symptoms or don’t feel so good. They’re also more likely not to have regular check-ups or start or complete a course of treatment.
Your GP is bound by patient confidentiality and is a safe and knowledgeable person for you to talk about any concerns you might have about your mental or physical health.
Here are some really good reasons why you should see your GP regularly:
You probably service your car semi-regularly—why not yourself?
With some conditions—such as melanoma, or early signs of other cancers, or heart conditions— you definitely want to find out you have it before you start to have symptoms, so treatment can start early. Routine check-ups can pick up things before they become a problem. Why not lock it into your calendar as a regular thing like you do with other important appointments.
Set a good example for your dad, your sons, and other men in your life
By going to the doctor when you have symptoms or concerns and getting regular check-ups you can be a good influence on the men around you to do the same.
With Father’s Day coming up, it may be a good time to ask your dad when last he had a check-up.
Get to the heart of the matter
Men are roughly twice as likely as women to have a heart attack, and the prevalence of cardiovascular disease—heart disease, stroke, and vascular disease—is higher in men than in women. Regular check-ups may pick up the early signs.
Many folks with high blood pressure don’t know they have it until they get it checked. If your GP finds you have high blood pressure, he can start to treat it and help you modify your lifestyle to get it under control before it becomes something much more serious.
Like high blood pressure, people may not know they have high blood sugar levels, and it can indicate, or lead to, serious health issues, such as diabetes.
The same applies with high cholesterol levels. Your GP can check these levels.
For a range of reasons, men tend to suffer from work-related stress more than women. Stress—especially chronic stress—is very bad for your health. Talk to your GP if you feel your stress levels are too high or heading that way, affecting your life, if you’re struggling, or just not feeling like yourself.
Men have higher rates of drug and alcohol use. In 2019, among Queenslanders aged 14 years and older, males were 1.7 times more likely to have used any illicit drug in the past 12 months compared to females.
Among Queensland adults aged 18 years and older, 50% of men compared to 26% of women consumed alcohol above the limits recommended in the 2020 Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from alcohol.
If you have concerns about your use of alcohol or drugs, you can talk to your GP in absolute confidence. Here is a list of confidential alcohol and other drug alcohol services in Queensland.
Mind your mind
You can talk to your GP if you have concerns about your mental health or are struggling, feeling overwhelmed, out of sorts, or not your usual self. Anything you say to your GP is confidential.
See this link to find a mental health service.
If it’s broke, fix it
Your GP can help you with weekend-warrior-type injuries from footy, backyard barbecue cricket, tennis, mountain biking, gardening, home renovations, general shenanigans, or whatever else it is you like doing. It’s important to properly treat things like sprains and muscle tears if you don’t want to end up on the sidelines for longer. Joint injuries can also increase your chances of getting arthritis. If you suffer a head injury, you should always go and get it checked out.
GPs can help you with staying healthy, too
Your GP can often give you advice or point you in the right direction on a range of things you can do to stay healthy, including not smoking, not drinking too much alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, looking after your mental health, exercise, healthier eating, and more. Just have a chat or ask questions next time you're there.
- Find a mental health service
- Alcohol and other drug services in Queensland
- Why do men die younger than women?
- Five ways to live longer as a Queensland bloke
- The Healthier. Happier website offers delicious healthy recipes, exercise ideas, guides, and resources for you and your family.
- The Dear Mind website has information about the building blocks of mental wellbeing, as well as ideas, activities and support resources.