Men’s Health Problems & Solutions
Written by: Dr Erik Boudreau, ND FABNO
Ok, let me first admit that I personally don’t know of any men who routinely use the phrase “it’s a guy thing” (I know I’ve never uttered the words out loud). However, I think that makes it the perfect title for this blog -- a discussion of various things men don’t do (and probably should) as well as the things they do (and probably shouldn’t).
It’s also important to state that as we delve into a series of “men vs. women” health facts, we are simply observing the general tendencies between groups. While there are always exceptions and outliers, the fact remains that studying men’s health trends can help us hone in on their greatest areas of need, with the ultimate goal of saving lives.
Great Big Generalization: Men don’t like go to the doctor.
In Canada and the U.S. (and much of the world), men are much less likely to get routine physicals and blood work than women, or to see their doctor to discuss a specific health concern. The reasons why are many, but for some men, it’s because they perceive medical attention as a slight on their sense of masculinity. For others, it’s out of fear -- “what if it’s cancer?” (ignorance truly is bliss… until it’s not). And still others are just too busy with jobs, families, and other responsibilities to concern themselves with their own inner workings (or dysfunctions, as it were). And it’s not just confined to MD’s. Integrative health care providers like naturopathic doctors also, on average, see a greater number of female vs. male patients (a recent poll stated that 49% of Canadian women were familiar with naturopathic medicine, vs. only 36% of male respondents).