Let’s Get Physical: Why Men Shouldn’t Skip Their Annual Exam

Let’s Get Physical: Why Men Shouldn’t Skip Their Annual Exam

It’s no secret that men can be doctor-averse, as it can go against the “rub some dirt on it” mentality of their youth. Unfortunately, men’s reluctance to visit a healthcare professional does more harm than good. The CDC states that 50% of men who die suddenly of a cardiac event had no previous symptoms. Receiving an annual physical helps healthcare providers spot medical problems early so that they can be addressed and managed easier. These can include high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, and erectile dysfunction, to name a few. So, if you’re on the fence about getting a physical or you need help convincing a man in your life to get one, here are some key reasons men should make an annual physical a priority and what men can expect at their next physical at vybe!

Knowing your vytals

If you’ve skipped visiting a health professional for a few years, a vybe physician will be able to check for critical predictors of heart disease—the leading cause of one in four male deaths.

Cholesterol

The American Heart Association (AHA) advises that adults over 20 get their cholesterol checked every four to six years. Cholesterol tests determine whether dietary changes or medications are in order and are important as high cholesterol is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Even if you haven’t had cholesterol issues and have a well-balanced diet, high cholesterol still isn’t out of the question. It’s essential to understand any underlying risk. You can do so by working with loved ones to collect information on your family history and learning what health issues affected parents or siblings. According to the Harvard Medical School, inherited high cholesterol affects more than 500,000 Americans and, if left untreated, may mean a heart attack for 85% of men before age 65.

Blood pressure and sugar

Like high cholesterol, high blood pressure (or hypertension) is a sneaky risk factor for heart disease. A 2013 Global Heart study stated hypertension—and the cardiovascular disease that follows—is the “leading cause of mortality globally.” Even young men ages 20 to 34 have hypertension at an 11% rate compared to 7% for women of the same age, says the AHA.

During your physical, a vybe clinician will check blood sugar levels, as having high blood sugar increases the risk of hypertension. For the above reasons (and more), it’s essential to check for these possible health concerns. Knowing that high cholesterol and blood pressure are major risk factors that often go undetected, it’s essential to make sure you’re working with a healthcare professional.

Address possible conditions below the belt

High on the list of things men don’t like to talk about are urinary conditions, including enlarged prostate and erectile dysfunction. While guys might not want to dive into that type of discussion, conditions like enlarged prostate are common. The Mayo Clinic states that one in three men will experience moderate to severe symptoms of an enlarged prostate by 60, and one in two will feel the effects by 80. A vybe provider will be able to determine whether screening is necessary for prostate cancer. While the screening’s effectiveness is up for debate, it might be worth it depending on your age and family history. A 2017 Annals of Internal Medicine study found the prostate-specific antigen test resulted in 32% fewer prostate cancer deaths in men aged 55 to 74.

Like conversations about enlarged prostates, topics like erectile dysfunction shouldn’t be one that men should feel embarrassed about discussing. According to Cleveland Clinic, 40% of men aged 40 are affected, and by age 70, the rate of erectile dysfunction is 70%. It’s important to note that those with heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension are more likely to have ED.

Know how your body is performing

In addition to taking your vitals, a vybe provider will ask you general questions about your health and use tools to evaluate parts of your body to help get a better sense of your overall well-being. This can include:

  • History: Your provider may ask you to determine any behaviors linked to potential health risks, like smoking, diet, and sexual health. They’ll also take a few moments to make sure you’re up to date on vaccines. This portion of the exam is a great time to disclose any concerns you may have about your overall health.
  • Head and neck exam: You’ll be asked to open your mouth and say “ah” to help open up your tonsils and throat. Doing so provides a clear view of these areas, making it easier to check them. Your provider might also check your sinuses or thyroid and lymph nodes where infections can take place.
  • Abdominal exam: By pressing, tapping, and using a stethoscope, physicians can check your abdominal region. The array of techniques makes the checkup more reliable and in-depth.
  • Heart and lung exam: Using a stethoscope, a provider listens to your breathing to check for any potential wheezing, irregular beats, murmurs, or other related conditions. 

If you’re interested in receiving a general wellness exam, your vybe urgent care team is ready to assist. Our goal is to give you the peace of mind knowing you’re healthy. That’s why we’re open 7 days a week with urgent care locations right in your neighborhood!

In addition to offering routine physicals for adults, our urgent care services include exams for school, camp, sports, DOTimmigration, and employment.