8 in 10 men in the UK would rather suffer from an illness before going to see a doctor. In the US, this number is around 60% of the male population. There is a stereotype that has been in place for many years that dictates that men should suffer and “man up” when it comes to being ill and that giving in and getting medical care for any ailments is a sign of weakness.
However, neglecting to get something checked out can compound the health issues you are having and make things worse than they need to be.
But how do men know when they need to see a doctor or when they can self-treat?
Changes in Mood or Mental Health
Multiple factors can influence your mood or behavior as a man, and knowing when to get help for a low mood or a change in emotions can help you pinpoint the cause and rectify things. Low testosterone can cause low mood, a loss of sex drive, air loss, and weight gain, to name a few symptoms. If you suspect you have low testosterone, see how to find your test level here to know for sure. Other issues, such as tumors, can cause depression; however, in some cases, there is no cause for low moods or reasons as to why you are depressed, but visiting your doctor can give you treatment options so you can regain your life.
Sharp or Excessive Pain
Aches and pains are typical parts of life for everyone, especially as you get older, but knowing the difference between general aches and pains and pain indicating something is wrong can help you get treatment for your pain and identify the cause. If the pain takes your breath away, is something you’ve not experienced before, or is interfering with your ability to do day-to-day tasks, then you might need to see a doctor to get pain relief or further treatments.
No one should ignore chest pain. A sudden sharp, stabbing, crushing chest pain coupled with pain in your jaw, arm, or shoulder can indicate a heart attack or other heart problems. A heart attack is an emergency, and instead of writing off this pain as heartburn or indigestion, get it checked out, especially if you don’t typically suffer from heartburn or haven’t eaten anything that has triggered it. If you feel lightheaded, you are struggling to talk, or you feel nauseous, then you need to contact the emergency services to get the root of your chest pain.
Are you getting up at night to go to the toilet more frequently? This can indicate an enlarged prostate or an infection, so it’s best to get it checked out. Increased urination can disrupt your sleeping habits and your day and make things uncomfortable, especially if you experience pain when urinating. Book an appointment with your doctor to help you get the appropriate tests done and uncover why you need to use the toilet more often than you should.
While men are less likely to see a physician when they don’t feel quite right, many health concerns need to be checked out by a healthcare professional to help you retain your health and avoid suffering for longer than necessary.