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Fri, 11/30/2012

Why men won't go to see a doctor

An article with the title “Too tough to get sick: Why won't men go to the doctor?” left me pondering. I am also one of the guys who do not go to see a doctor. One, I consider myself very healthy and although I know a medical check up every other year is a good idea I do not do it. Why?

Not only I consider myself as healthy as a horse but because I do not have the time to see a doctor – it just takes too long – plus: every time I go it turns out I am in fact healthy as a horse. But what if you really have something? How do you know? A couple of months ago I woke up because of severe pain in one of my upper thighs. It vanished after a while, then it came back. It was on and of during the day and during the night. I slept very bad. Did I go to the doctor? No! I considered it, but then the pain vanished and I forgot about it, even thought it was gone for good. When it first occurred I believed it had something to do with me exercising the day before and overdoing it. That probably was the reason but sport injuries can be quite severe. In the end the pain went and never came back. But how long would I have waited to see a doctor? Would it have been my decision or would it have been made for me? By the emergency doctor maybe? My father once told me the story of one of his class mates who thought he was a tough guy. He ignored a severe pain in his abdomen because it was 'unmanly' to whine and go to see a doctor. A couple of days later he was dead. His appendix broke and killed him.

In the article Will Courtenay, author of “Dying to be Men: Psychosocial, Environmental, and Biobehavioral Directions in Promoting the Health of Men and Boys” and a psychologist in Oakland, Calif., suggest that it the cultural myth that men are the stronger sex (sorry, but we are not) and that they therefore do not need to be concerned about their health. But even guys who feel fine, need to see a health care provider regularly, if only to avoid unpleasant surprises. Most people who have high blood pressure don't know it, according to the National Institute of Health. It's the same with high blood sugar and high cholesterol - the conditions often don't have any symptoms until the disease becomes advanced. The only way to know is to get checked. Men over age 34 should be checked for high cholesterol and heart disease every 5 years. A preventive health visit should be every 2 years until age 50, and then once a year.

And actually it is not that complicated to have a medical check up. You can even do it while visiting Berlin with friends or relatives. Just give us a call. We sort it out with you.

And please excuse me, I have to leave  - my check-up will be due .