September 24, 2018

Annual Physicals for Men

Taking an active role in your preventative health can be the key to preventing heart disease and managing your risk factors. Your annual physical is an easy appointment to postpone or dismiss, especially if you feel fine.

Excuse #1: “I feel fine. Why go to the doctor?”

Care to wager on that? “You can have a serious disease, such as hypertension, high cholesterol or diabetes, and not have any noticeable signs or symptoms,” said Eric Bandy, MD, an internal medicine specialist with Baptist Health Medical Group in Powderly. “We just don’t know until we do some simple tests.” (Repeat: simple.) If there is a problem, the earlier the diagnosis the better the chance of a good outcome. It’s all about prevention, like keeping your car tuned up. It’s much cheaper to do regular maintenance than to drive it until something falls off and then tow it to the mechanic.

Excuse #2: “It’s too time-consuming. Why take valuable hours off work for that?”

Make it a “man” day. “Book an appointment for the first thing in the morning, then schedule a round of golf in the afternoon so you have something to look forward to, as a reward,” Dr. Bandy said. “You can get all your blood work and screenings done right here, so you don’t waste time.” He suggests signing up for My Baptist Health when you receive your post-visit email invitation, so you can view test results, get your medical records online and track your stats.

Excuse #3: “It’s not a big deal. He’s just going to tell me [insert problem] is about aging and there’s nothing that I can do about it.”

There’s always something that can be done – and often it’s as simple as making lifestyle changes, such as walking more, cutting down on unhealthy foods and learning how to manage stress. “I think men feel like they just need to accept what’s happening and there’s not much that can be done,” Dr. Bandy said. Some problems, such as back or knee pain, erectile dysfunction, and even attention or memory issues, can be related to conditions that are easily treatable.

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