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Men Don't Go To Doctors…

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Men Don't Go To Doctors…

Every woman has that man in her life— her father, husband, brother,boyfriend, friend—who just won’t go to the doctor. Indeed, researchshows that men are 24 percent less likely to have seen a physician in the past year than women. Share the following with the men in your life:

1. Feeling Tongue-Tied
He’s thinking: I’m having a senior moment.But it could be: A stroke. When a clot, injury, narrow blood vessel or otherproblem restricts blood flow to the brain, the result can be a TIA—a transient ischemic attack, which impairs brain function and can make speech difficult.

2. Shortness of Breath
He’s thinking: I’m really out of shape.But it could be: An impending heart attack. Shortness of breath with exertion such as walking up a flight of stairs could be a sign that the heart muscle isn’t getting enough oxygen—a hallmark of coronary heart disease,which men age 55 and over are at an increased risk for.

3. Persistent Pain On One side of the Abdomen
He’s thinking: I probably pulled a muscle. But it could be: A kidney stone or tumor. One-sided pain that goes away probably is a side stitch or pulled muscle and nothing to worry about. “But if a dull ache is persistent, it should be evaluated by a physician,” says Dr. Kaplan. “It could be many things, but a tumor is one of the first possibilities we consider.”

4. Toilet-Time Blood
He’s thinking: Must be something I ate. But it could be: A kidney stone or bladder cancer if blood is in urine; colon cancer if blood is in stools. Bright red spots on tissue after wiping are likely from hemorrhoids. But blood in stools that have become narrower and thinner than usual (like the width of a pencil) could be a sign of cancer. Black, tarry stools might also indicate stomach bleeding from an ulcer. His doctor will likely examine the GI tract via a colonoscopy or upper endoscopy to nail down the problem.

5. 3 Out Of Five Risk Factors
Not Good He’s thinking: There’s a pill for this. It is called Metabolic Syndrome. He has three of the following live risk factors: a waist of 40 inches or more; a blood pressure of 130 or over systolic and over 85 diastolic; a cholesterol level over 150; a blood sugar level over 100; and a triglyceride level over 150. Untreated, these risk factors will increase a man getting diabetes by 500% and a 200% 400% increase rate for developing heart disease.
6. Daytime Fatigue
He’s thinking: I should go to sleep earlier. But it could be: Obstructive sleep apnea.

7. Constant Grumpiness
He’s thinking: I’m just under a lot of stress at work. But it could be: Depression. Feeling cranky and low because of work hassles or difficult times is normal, but it should dissipate within a few days. With clinical depression, downbeat irritability lasts weeks at a time.

8. Frequent Urination
He’s thinking: I’m drinking too much coffee. But it could be: Type 2 diabetes or an enlarged prostate. It might be the coffee—when he’s actually drinking it. But if he often gets up to go twice or more during the night, his body could be trying to get rid of excess blood sugar that’s built up because it can’t get into cells—the problem that defines diabetes.

9. Yellowish Skin
He’s thinking: What yellow skin? But it could be: Liver trouble. Yellow skin, or jaundice, suggests the liver isn’t functioning right. Possible causes in adults include liver disease, gallstones, pancreatic cancer or a viral hepatitis infection, which causes swelling of the liver.

10. A New Spot—Mole, Freckle, Red Patch— On the Skin
He’s thinking: It’ll go away. But it could be: Skin cancer or seborrheic keratoses—warty, waxy benign lesions that become more common in middle age. Any time a new skin growth appears or an existing one changes in size, color or shape, he should see a doctor. Why he doesn’t want to go to the doctor...and how to get him there.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that men are more likely to be hospitalized for a preventable condition than women. What drives their avoidance? Research shows that it has a lot to do with men wanting to feel, well, manly. A study of 1,000 men found that those who have a more traditional view of masculinity—thinking that a “real” man doesn’t complain about pain, for example—were half as likely to get preventive care as those who didn’t agree with such stereotypes.

And let me tell you what else is going on: denial. Many people use it as a coping mechanism to deal with fear. So he’s probably thinking something like: “If I ignore this, it will go away” or “I don’t like needles and being prodded, so I’d rather just skip it” or “It’s either nothing or something too scary to know about, so I don’t want to go.”