It is the almost common knowledge that men avoid the doctor as if their
life depended on it, when really their life could be dependent
on their doctor. Men die on average 6 years before women. By having a stronger
relationship with your primary health doctor, you have a much better chance
of staying around just as long as the woman in your life. According to
the American Heart Association, the number one cause of death in men is heart disease, in fact, each year
more men die from heart disease than women. This statistic highlights
the importance of communicating with your doctor.
HINT: The silent treatment is never an effective cure. To ask the right
questions, it helps to do a little research before your visit to have
a more informed discussion with your doctor.
The term heart disease encompasses different heart problems like coronary
artery disease, which is the most common, angina, heart attacks, heart
failure and irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias. The good news is
that there are different preventative measures that can be taken in order
to reduce the risk of heart disease. Getting regular checkups with your
primary health doctor in order to monitor your heart is crucial to a man’s
heart health. If you’re young and you have good health across the
board, a “regular” checkup may mean once every few years,
but if you have a family history of heart problems or other risk factors
that cause heart disease, an annual checkup could be more beneficial.
The Best Ways to Combat Heart Disease
- Don’t smoke
- Maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Choose more heart-healthy foods
- Get and stay active
- Know your family history
- Learn the signs that something’s wrong
- Set a good example
Beyond controlling your risk factors, you should be alert to certain symptoms
and tell your doctor about common signals that something‘s wrong
with your heart such as shortness of breath, chest pains, nausea or lightheadedness.
It is vital to keep your doctor in the loop about symptoms you experience
and your family history. The more your doctor knows, the more preventative
care you can receive. Information is power.
Ready, Set Ask!
For heart health, visit the American Heart Association’s website,
heart.org. For questions on other medical topics, accredited medical schools, university
teaching hospitals and government sites such as the
National Institutes of Health, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the
Department of Health and Human Services are also reliable. Instead of taking a pile of printouts to your appointment,
organize your questions into a concise list before you get there. And
if you have an urgent question after your visit, don’t hesitate
to contact your doctor.
If you need help finding a primary care physician, check out the CVMG
map to find a practice near you, or simply call 828.485.2300 x 6200 to reach
our Physician Referral line for help choosing one of the Catawba Valley
Medical Group physicians and practices that best fits your individual needs.