Do you know the top men’s health threats? The list is surprisingly
short — heart disease, cancer and unintentional injury. Thankfully,
most men’s health threats are largely preventable. However –
men are notorious for avoiding the doctor. Don’t wait to visit the
doctor until something is seriously wrong. Your doctor can be your best
ally for preventing health problems.
“The impact may be greater than you’ll ever know,” said
Jeff Neal, DO, PharmD, Catawba Valley Cardiology. “Be sure to follow
your doctor’s treatment recommendations if you have health issues,
such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. Also, be sure
to ask your doctor if you have questions about your health risks. Understanding
that you have certain risks is one thing. Taking action to reduce those
risks is another.”
Dr. Neal suggests that patients bring a list of questions with them during
an appointment. For example:
- What is my risk for heart disease?
- What is my blood pressure? What does it mean for me, and what do I need
to do about it?
- What are my cholesterol numbers? (These include total cholesterol, low-density
lipoprotein (LDL) “bad” cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein
(HDL) “good” cholesterol, and triglycerides.) What do they
mean for me, and what do I need to do about them?
- What are my body mass index (BMI) and waist measurement? Do they indicate
that I need to lose weight for my health?
- What is my blood sugar level? Does it mean I’m at risk for diabetes?
- What other screening tests for heart disease do I need? How often should
I return for checkups for my heart health?
- For smokers: What can you do to help me quit smoking?
- How much physical activity do I need to help protect my heart? What kinds
of activities are helpful?
- What is a heart healthy eating plan for me? Should I see a registered dietitian
or qualified nutritionist to learn more about healthy eating?
- How can I tell if I’m having a heart attack?
A native Virginian, Dr. Neal attended the University of Virginia undergraduate
and matriculated to the Medical College of Virginia pharmacy school where
he attained a doctorate of pharmacy. After practicing pharmacy for 5 years,
he then enrolled at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine at Virginia
Tech. Following medical school, Dr. Neal served as a resident in internal
medicine at The Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA before completing a general
cardiology fellowship with OhioHealth in Columbus, OH and subsequently
completed an interventional cardiology fellowship at The Carilion Clinic
in Roanoke, VA. Dr. Neal and his wife Carrie reside in Hickory with their
daughter and two sons. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys hunting,
fishing and golf.