6 Symptoms HE Should Not Ignore!
Women typically do it all when it comes to their family's healthcare. However, there's one decision a woman can't make: Getting the man in her life to go to the doctor. Find out which seemingly harmless signs warrant a doctor visit.
Men tend to avoid doctors for preventive checkups and even for serious problems. A CNN/Men's Health survey found that one-third of men would not go to the doctor, even if they had chest pains and shortness of breath
– the top two symptoms of a heart attack!
What can you do?
Emphasize how important it is for him to be there - for his health - and for his family. Research shows this is the strongest motivator for men to see the doctor, probably because it appeals to their traditional sense of what their roles are.
Chest pain, sudden loss of vision or speech or severe abdominal pain requires immediate medical attention - but what about seemingly harmless symptoms?
Tongue-tied or muscle weakness.
Difficulty speaking or any change in muscle strength, ability to walk, grasping with hands or vision could be a sign of a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or Stroke. A TIA, also called a “mini-stroke,” is a temporary interruption of the blood flow to the brain.
A TIA, also called a "mini-stroke," is a temporary interruption of the blood flow to the brain and means he has an increased risk for a stroke in the future. The symptoms are similar to a stroke, but usually only last 10 to 20 minutes versus a stroke where symptoms do not go away. If you suspect a stroke or TIA, call 9-1-1. Early treatment can help prevent a stroke. If you think a TIA occurred, but the symptoms went away, you still need to call the doctor right away. Learn more about stroke, TIA and the risk factors or take our stroke quiz.
Shortness of breath that’s getting worse.
Most people would chalk this up to being out-of-shape, but if the winded feeling continues at rest or with minimal exertion, your man could be at risk for a heart attack, lung problems, pneumonia, anxiety or even a blood clot in the lungs. Feeling breathless when lying down also is a symptom that needs to be evaluated promptly. Take our heart disease risk quiz.
Persistent pain on one side of the abdomen or back.
This type of pain could be many things, including a kidney stone, appendicitis, hernia, ulcers, gallstones or even a tumor. How do you tell the difference between a pulled muscle and a kidney stone? The pain from a pulled muscle will subside with time and be relieved with ice by bringing down the swelling.
Check your kidney stone risk by taking our quiz. The pain of appendicitis may start as generalized pain, but it often moves to one area of the abdomen. The pain from gallbladder disease or an ulcer often starts in one area of the abdomen and stays in that same location.
Significant blood pressure difference between arms.
According to a new study in The Lancet, a significant difference in blood pressure between the arms may mean he has peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.
Heartburn that seems to go on forever and pops up two or more times a week could indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD can lead to asthma, pneumonia and esophageal cancer. But don't confuse heartburn and chest pain – an indicator of a heart problem that needs to be addressed immediately at a Chest Pain Center. Chest pain has been likened to an elephant sitting on the chest, but it can also be an uncomfortable sensation of pressure, squeezing or fullness often centered under the breastbone, sometimes a little to the left of center.
If your man is getting up three or four times during the night (or more than eight times during the day) to go to the bathroom, something is wrong. Frequent urination could be an indicator of diabetes, enlarged prostate, a bladder infection or prostate cancer.
The Next Step – Getting Him to the Doctor
Top 4 Reasons Men Dodge the Doctor
Fear, embarrassment and general feelings of awkwardness are just a few of the underlying reasons men have for avoiding doctors. You can't change the way a man feels, but you can help clear up misunderstandings about preventive care so he feels better about making his own decision to go. Men are rational thinkers. So, giving him the facts - as scary as they may be - may open his eyes and make it difficult for him to come up with more
"But I feel healthy." You can't feel high blood pressure, blood sugar or unhealthy cholesterol levels. Luckily, simple tests can identify these health conditions before they lead to something more. You also can't feel melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The melanoma death rate is rising for men – mainly because men wait too long to see a doctor about suspicious moles.
"I’m not sure what health issues relate to me?”
Encourage research to learn more about health issues and age-appropriate preventive care. Being educated can help him feel more in control during an office visit. Northridge Hospital offers patient education materials on a wealth of health topics
"I'm too busy." Going to the doctor takes time, but being sick and dealing with health problems that could have been prevented takes more time. Most physicals only take about 30 minutes.
"We can't afford it." Trying to cut costs by delaying or forgoing preventive healthcare can lead to bigger expenses down the road. A doctor can suggest simple, inexpensive healthy habits during a checkup – like taking an aspirin a day to prevent heart disease or getting an annual flu shot.