Men’s Health: The Basic Guidelines
Men: Let’s do this! It’s time to take control of your health.
If you're like a lot of men, you may pay less attention to your own health than to other important matters, like your job, home and family. But you deserve good health—and a good, long life. And, isn't it time you did something about that?
To prioritize your health, you need a Primary Care Doctor (PCP) such as a family physician or an internist that you trust. You might ask your friends for recommendations. Whether you feel more comfortable with a male or a female provider is totally up to you.
Your PCP can give you regular checkups and help make sure you get the care you need, which may include:
You may feel fine, and you may be healthy. Or you could have a silent health problem, like high blood pressure, and not even know it.
Your PCP can use screening tests to detect some diseases before they cause symptoms, when they're often easier to control or treat. For example, you may need to be screened for high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes or colon cancer.
Are you due for a tetanus booster? A shingles shot? Do you get a flu vaccine every year? Getting recommended vaccinations can help you avoid painful and serious diseases.
Advice for a healthy life
Your PCP can help with goals like eating right, exercising regularly, losing weight, and quitting tobacco.
Your provider is there to help—not judge. But he or she can't do that unless you talk about sensitive topics that may be keeping you from a healthier life, such as:
Your mental health
Do you feel sad, hopeless, or disinterested in activities you once enjoyed? These can be signs of depression, which is a serious illness. Treatment helps most people with depression enjoy life again.
Your drinking or smoking habits
You need to come clean if you drink too much alcohol or smoke tobacco or other substances. Your PCP can discuss the risks with you.
Your energy level or sex drive
If you're tired a lot or your desire for sex has plummeted, there may be a reason, such as a low testosterone level, that can be treated.
References: American Heart Association; Hormone Health Network; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services