We all know a tough guy who rubs dirt in his wounds and toughs it out instead of going to the doctor. Whether it’s your dad, brother, or uncle, we all know this tough guy. The Cleveland Clinic ran a study that surveyed men on approaching their medical treatment. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they avoid going to the doctor as long as possible. When it comes to prevention and early detection, men’s health often takes a backseat to women’s health.
Statistically, men pay less attention to their health than women. Men are also more likely to smoke, drink, take more risks, and generally lead a less healthy lifestyle. Men are still just as susceptible to the same things like cancer, depression, stroke, and heart disease. In addition to these risks, men also have unique issues like prostate cancer and benign prostate placement. Here are some things that men wish women knew about their health.
Men Are Less Likely to Go to the Doctor
Superheroes are very popular, but their influence may have unwittingly created a problem in the healthcare field. There’s a culture and media-driven expectation for men to be strong and, like superheroes, rarely show signs of weakness. This socially-ingrained mindset subconsciously trains men to believe that going to the doctor exhibits weakness. The Cleveland Clinic’s survey also found that 40 percent of men only go to the doctor for serious health issues and never go for routine checkups. This number is far lower than women’s frequency of doctors visits. Men also tend to exhibit a fear of diagnosis. 21 percent of men admit to avoiding the doctor because they’re too nervous about finding out what might be wrong. Men shouldn’t feel emasculated for seeking help.
Prostate Cancer Affects One in Nine Men
According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 175,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed each year, and prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. Given these statistics, it’s essential to ensure that at-risk men are screened for prostate cancer, especially considering men’s known reluctance to seek preventative care. On the bright side, prostate cancer typically grows slowly, so many cases don’t require immediate treatment and aren’t life-threatening. Still, the earlier prostate cancer is caught, the easier your doctor can contain it. It’s always better to be on the safe side.
Mental Health is One of the Most Stigmatized Issues For Men
Many men, perhaps more than we think, struggle with their mental health and the stigma that surrounds it. The American Psychological Association reports that 30.6 percent of men have suffered from depression in their lifetime. Again, men’s hesitation to seek care may be worsening this issue. Men are notorious for not talking about their feelings, and that’s not another stereotype. It’s a trend that psychologists have documented. In the eyes of many men, discussing emotions is just another form of vulnerability that can lead to discomfort. It can be scary for many men to start sharing their feelings, but the payoff is worth it: men who express their feelings verbally are less likely to convey them in other ways. Talk to the men in your life. It would be best to encourage them to tell you about their emotions and be open with you. They may be resistant at first, but persistence is powerful, and you’ll be doing your part to improve men’s health.
Men Make Bad Lifestyle Choices
Men drink more heavily and smoke more frequently than women. Habitual drinking and smoking can have severe health implications. Drugs and alcohol can cause lung and heart disease, liver problems, and preventable accidents. Men also tend to make less healthy choices in the kitchen. Women eat more fruits and vegetables than men, while men prefer meat and dairy. Cultural expectations play a subliminal role in men’s dietary choices and can have consequences over time. Due to health behaviors, men have a shorter life expectancy than women. This gap has only continued to widen over time, and men are currently expected to live five years fewer than women on average.
Men Are More Likely to Get Diabetes Than Women
Diabetes isn’t often considered a mainly male health problem. Still, men are more likely to get it, twice as likely to suffer from complications, more likely to require amputation, and twice as likely to die prematurely. There’s little research into why. One increasing risk factor is that men and boys are now more likely to be overweight or obese than women and girls at any age.
It may not be a well-known fact, but men’s health is just as important as women’s health. Men go through ups and down with their health and never tell a soul because they don’t want to look weak or want anyone to make fun of them. For example, some men suffer from depression or anxiety. They choose to suffer in silence because they don’t want anyone to judge them or look down on them. It’s time for men to understand that no one will look down on them if they ask for help. Asking for help is the bravest thing that you can do. It means that you acknowledge that you’re not a tough guy who has everything figured out.
It also means that you want to live a long and prosperous life to spend more time with your loved ones. In every man’s life, the women want them to break the tough-guy stereotype. Going to your provider doesn’t mean that you’re weak. It means that you’re taking care of yourself. Early detection and preventative health measures can help you obtain your best health and enable you to enjoy spending time with your loved ones. It’s time for men to take a proactive approach to physical and mental health. If you have a tough guy in your life, it would be best to encourage him to go to the doctor and return for regular checkups. Encouraging a visit to the doctor will be the best decision you ever made for him and your family.