Often when they are younger, men tend to skip their annual physical, not going to the doctor until it, or rather when, they have a problem. When things finally do start to go wrong, they have no relationship with their physician and have no idea what questions to ask.
Here are 8 questions every man over 40 should ask their doctor.
What Screenings Do I Need at My Age?
Okay, this one is important. There are a lot of debates about how soon and how often you need to get checked for prostate cancer, how often you should get regular bloodwork, and how often you should get your blood pressure screened.
The rule of thumb is that there are no rules of thumb. If you have a family history of diabetes or heart disease, you should be screened more often. Also, with modern wearable technology we have tools to monitor our health on a regular basis, including heart rate, activity levels, and more.
If you don’t feel right, have ebbing energy levels, sexual performance issues, or problems with urination, see your doctor right away.
What Can I Do to Prevent Getting Sick?
Are you susceptible to pneumonia or other respiratory issues? You may need additional vaccines to protect you and your health. This also depends on your age and family history.
No matter who you are, you probably need to use sunscreen more regularly than you did when you were younger to prevent skin cancer. If you family has history of heart disease, you may need to add some aspirin to your daily routine to prevent stroke or heart attack.
Am I Eating Right?
So how many calories do you really need a day? What foods should you avoid, and what foods should you avoid, and what foods should you eat more of?
The truth is with gluten allergies and many fad diets in circulation, it’s a good idea to consult with your physician and come up with a plan that is actually right for you. Typically reducing calories is key, but fats, carbohydrates, and others might be vital to your situation depending on your personal health.
What is eating right for one person might not be the same for another, so don’t rely on just books or information on the internet. Consult with your healthcare provider and even a dietician if necessary.
What about Supplements?
How many different supplements are on the market today? There are thousands, from Vitamins and Vitamin complexes to herbal formulas. Which ones are right for you?
The answer again is that it depends. If you work out a lot, you may need a protein supplement, but it is always best if you can get most of your nutrition through your diet. Natural foods are the best source of accessible vitamins.
However, some compounds may actually do you some good, and studies show things like CBD Oil, Fulvic and Humic Acid formulas, and more will help promote good health in men, and may even prevent some issues.
Before you start on any supplement though, be sure to consult with your physician to make sure it will not interact with any of your current medications and actually be harmful to your overall wellness.
Am I at Risk for Depression?
The thing about depression is it isn’t always situational, but is sometimes genetic or chemical. If you feel sad, down, or hopeless for extended periods be sure to talk with your doctor or a mental health professional about a depression screening.
It’s important to treat these symptoms right away and get help as soon as possible. If those around you ask you about depression, you may be unaware of your own symptoms. Ask your doctor what solutions may be right for you.
How Much Should I Exercise?
You should exercise and you should eat responsibly. How much you really need depends on your body type and how healthy you are in general. Also, if you have other health issues, they might limit the type and amount of exercise you can tolerate reasonably.
This question is vital to ask your doctor at a time in your life when you may want to take on new challenges or even scale back your activity level. Only you, in partnership with your healthcare provider, can determine how much exercise is right for you.
Do I need to Quit Smoking/Drinking/Other Habits?
If you are a smoker, you should quit as soon as possible. We don’t know enough about vaping yet to know how good or bad it is for you, but if you have any respiratory issues or a family history of them, it may not be the best idea for your health in the long run.
As far as drinking is concerned, normal social drinking is usually not an issue, but drinking more than that or more often may not only be a warning sign of other issues, but can negatively impact your health, especially if you have liver or intestinal issues.
It never hurts to quit drinking of course, as the health benefits can be significant for many people, but it may not be necessary.
What Other Doctors Should I See?
Here is the kicker. As you get older and specific issues or a new diagnosis comes to light, you may need to find a doctor who specializes in a specific area. You can look on sites like XpertDox to find a doctor or hospital who specializes in your issue, but before you even take that step, your doctor can guide you in which area you need help.
Specialists will often know of treatment options, dietary solutions, supplements, drug trials, and other options specifically related to certain conditions that your general practitioner has not been able to keep up with.
In some cases, getting a referral is essential for your insurance to cover the treatment you might receive, so be sure to talk with your doctor about any of these decisions.
As we get older, men need to see their doctors on a more regular basis, and we should also know what questions to ask when. Using this guide, you can start a more meaningful conversation with your physician. And begin to build a relationship that may someday save your health or your life.