Seeing a doctor on a regular basis is not on the radar for most men.
Internist Dr. David Marks, a primary care physician at Griffin Health says it often it falls on the wives or significant others to encourage that visit.
He says, “What I notice is the men don’t like to talk about their health problems, a lot of times. So I have to tease it out of them, unless their wives are sitting in the room with them, and then they will chime in and that helps me a lot. They just feel that they should be able to function through anything. I think our culture engenders this machismo attitude and that’s just the way men have been for a long time.”
Some of the most frequently asked questions come from his patients’ wives.
How do I encourage my husband to see a doctor?
He answers, “You actually have to put pressure on a man sometimes and just say hey, something is wrong, I see it, something is wrong or you’ve put on ten pounds, that could be a problem or you have a family history of this you need to be checked. Now, I suggest going with them because that will ensure that it happens.”
How can I get my husband to talk about depression?
Dr. Marks says, “They have to be honest and tell them that and say hey if you don’t take care of this, this is going to become an even bigger problem, let’s at least go and check it out and see if there’s something we can do about it. You can not force it upon them, so you have to gently and yet firmly let them know honestly that there are issues that you’ve noticed and that you think it’s time to be seen.”
From his male patients; What can I do about waking up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night?
“We have prostates,” he says, “And as a man gets older, the prostate is going to enlarge. And when it gets too large it makes it hard to urinate. The easy thing to do is, to say hey, don’t drink water or any other liquids after dinner, say no coffee or tea that has a diuretic effect. If it is due to the prostate, there are medications that can very easily shrink that prostate.”
Men also ask, what can I do about erectile dysfunction or ED?
Dr. Marks points out, “This can range from men in their 20’s and all the way up to their 60’s and 70’s. I hear a lot about erectile dysfunction, and they are embarrassed talking about it. It’s not an easy thing to talk about. Once I let them know this is so common, they feel a little bit better about it. Treatment can include anything from medication. Some of the medications that people have heard of, like Viagra, Cialis and other ones, Levitra.”
If depression is linked to ED, therapy maybe needed.
Also, Dr. Marks says he prescribes testosterone, if it’s an issue.
The bottom line: visiting a doctor regularly, says Dr. Marks, could help a man live longer.
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