Recognized every June, Men’s Health Month brings awareness to preventative screenings and encourages men to take control of their health.
If you don’t take any medications, don’t have any health concerns or feel generally healthy, do you really need to see a doctor regularly? The short answer? Absolutely.
“Everybody as an adult should see a primary care provider,” Ivinson Medical Group provider Dr. Farrukh Javaid said. “Starting around your 20s or early 30s you should have a preventative screening visit.”
One third of men report having not seen their primary care provider in the last year. With every reason from work schedules to flat out refusing to make an appointment, men are seeing their doctors less. With less visits to a doctor’s office, men are bypassing routine screenings that could prove lifesaving down the road.
Visiting with a primary care provider may seem like an unnecessary bill for some, but once established with a primary care provider preventative visits are covered by most insurances once a year. As a primary care provider, Dr. Javaid sees patient for preventative screenings every day.
Why do I need to see a healthcare provider?
“The importance of having a primary care provider is that they are the ones that do the preventative care. Preventative care is not done by a specialist. You see a specialist when you have a specific problem. When you see a primary care provider that is when you will find out if you have diabetes or high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Your blood pressure could be high and you may not even know it. There are a lot of people that are not being treated adequately for high blood pressure. When not treated properly, it can lead to heart attack or stroke later on. You may never know if you don’t see your primary doctor.”
What happens at a preventative visit?
“Everyone is screened for cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid, kidneys and liver. Everyone should be screened for these things at any age when they go see a doctor. Type 2 diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent in younger age which is why these blood screenings are vital. After that, it depends on your age and your overall health. At age 50, it is important to go for the preventative things that need to be done like colonoscopy and PSA screening, these screenings are critical as well as being up to date on immunizations.”
What questions should I ask my primary care provider?
“Ask them anything related to your health that you are unsure of,” Dr. Javaid recommends. “If you are tired, if you do not have enough energy, if you are not sleeping well. Energy level is an important thing to talk about because sleep apnea can occur at any age and cause a lot of complications later on in life. If you have questions about leading a healthy lifestyle, ask us. How much exercising should I be doing? What kind of diet should I be watching? What kind of exercise do I need? Those two things are very important, but exercise and diet are only two factors of overall health. Talk to your doctor about how you are really feeling. Depression and anxiety are more commonly missed in men because they don’t like to talk about it but they should.”