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Jun 10 2024

Calling all men! Are you overdue for your annual exam?

June 10, 2024  /   Family Medicine  /   5-minute read

Imagine this: You’re playing catch with your kid, feeling great, when a sharp pain shoots through your chest. It might be nothing, but what if it’s a sign of a preventable condition? Annual checkups are crucial for catching health issues early, potentially saving your life.

If the thought of scheduling your annual physical exam sends shivers down your spine, you’re not alone. According to a survey by the Cleveland Clinic, 65% of men avoid going to the doctor for preventive care. This can have serious consequences. This June, let’s celebrate Men’s Health Month by putting those fears aside and taking control of your health.

The power of prevention

Annual exams are more than a checkbox. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that regular preventive care can reduce the risk of death from all causes by up to 29% in men. These checkups allow healthcare providers to detect problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and certain cancers at early stages when they’re often easier and more affordable to treat.

Myth Busters

Let’s debunk some common myths about annual exams:

  • Painful or uncomfortable: Contrary to popular belief, most exams are routine and non-invasive. No need to fear the unknown – your provider is there to guide you through the process.
  • Embarrassing: Are you worried about feeling awkward or embarrassed? Rest assured, providers have seen it all. They’re professionals who are there to help, not judge. Open communication is key to getting the most out of your visit.

Your provider is your partner in health

Your provider isn’t just someone you see once a year – they’re your partner when it comes to staying healthy. Establishing a solid relationship based on trust and open communication is essential. Don’t be afraid to speak up about any concerns or questions – your provider is there to listen and provide guidance every step of the way.

Important questions to ask your provider

Feeling lost on what to ask during your next visit? Here are some key questions to get the conversation rolling:

  • What are my current health risks?
  • What screenings are right for me based on my age and family history?
  • What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my overall health, including diet, exercise, and stress management?

Healthcare providers are eager to address your concerns, so don’t hesitate to bring up any topics you wish to discuss. For more insight, check out this Men’s Health article: 5 Questions Your Doctor Wishes You’d Ask.

Listen to your symptoms

When your body shows you warning signs, be sure to listen. If you have any of these symptoms, they warrant a discussion with your provider.

  • Skin irregularities: These could be signs of skin cancer.
  • Excessive snoring: This could indicate sleep apnea.
  • Changes in bowel habits: These could be signs of colorectal cancer.
  • Frequent heartburn: This could be a sign of GERD.
  • Excessive thirst: This could be a sign of diabetes.
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath: These can be symptoms of serious conditions. See a doctor right away.
  • Vision problems: Changes in vision could indicate eye problems.
  • Frequent fatigue or memory loss: These can be signs of various conditions.

Source: Cedars-Sinai

The doctor is in

It’s time to put your health front and center. Don’t let fear or uncertainty hold you back – schedule that annual exam like the champ you are. Need help finding a provider? Check out the Find a Provider feature on the Welia Health website to find a provider who’s the perfect match for you. Then, schedule your annual exam this week during Men’s Health Month. Welia Health offers convenient online appointment scheduling through MyChart or call 320.679.1212 to set up an appointment.

Remember, taking care of yourself isn’t just about the here and now – it’s an investment in your future. Your body will thank you for it.

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