Men’s Health Month: Blog Post
June is Men’s Health Month. In observance, I hope you (or the man/men in your life) make it a point to make good health a top priority.
I get it…no one loves going to the doctor. It can be nerve wracking, sometimes embarrassing, and often time consuming. But truly excellent health can only be achieved by being proactive…and that means seeing certain doctors regularly. Here are the physicians that men should include in their “wellness team.”
- General practitioner/internist. This doctor is your go-to for sick visits as well as annual wellness exams. During your yearly, they should be ordering blood tests to check your CBCs, cholesterol, C-reactive protein, liver enzymes, hemoglobin A1C, vitamin D and other nutritional statuses, and any other workups based on symptoms or concerns. When necessary, your general practitioner can also refer you to specialists to handle medical concerns that need expert attention.
- Younger men don’t necessarily need a urologist, but this specialty doc becomes more important as your approach your mid 40s and 50s. A urologist can help you take charge of your prostate and urinary health, and also can address any issues you may have sexually (such as erectile dysfunction). And if your general practitioner doesn’t screen for prostate or testicular cancers, your urologist will.
- I hate to say it, but men are notoriously bad about getting their skin checked! Everyone—men, women, and even teens—should see a skin specialist annually to have their skin examined. These docs not only have a keen eye for finding potentially cancerous abnormalities that may look normal to the layperson, they also treat more common conditions like acne, warts, psoriasis, eczema, fungal infections, and more.
- Gastroenterologist/proctologist. No one relishes the idea of a colonoscopy, but men 50 and older at average risk of colon cancer (and men age 40 who are at high risk) need a doctor who specializes in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastroenterologists and colon/rectal surgeons (proctologists) can perform this screening test and also treat GI diseases like ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.
If you already have these doctors and see them regularly, superb! If not, make 2018 the year that you put together a good team of doctors and start taking charge of your health.