We know what you’re thinking — “I’m young and healthy. Why would I need to visit a doctor?”
It takes a little forward looking to understand that taking care of your health NOW is essential to staying vital, fit and vibrant. And while it’s hard to envision, you will someday become a middle-aged man and then an old man. Many decisions you make now will influence whether you can continue to live the active life you want as you age. And your health care now can even influence how soon, and of what condition, you might die.
When should I visit the doctor?
As a younger person—or at the very least someone who hasn’t yet entered your senior years—you may feel a certain sense of invincibility. You’re healthy, so you may just assume that you don’t need to see a doctor.
Those who have a long-term way of thinking, however, realize that in order for someone to be able to remain healthy into their golden years in the future, they must take care of themselves when they are young. At some point in your life, you’re not going to be the spring chicken that you once were, and a lot of the things that you’re doing to your body now (or neglecting to do) may take their toll when you can least afford it down the line. It sounds morbid, but how well you take care of yourself right now could even have a hand in what you will eventually die from.
Now, how often do you actually need to see a doctor?
Young men who are between 20 and 40 don’t really need to visit the doctor’s office too frequently, but having a regular check up ever so often can help to cull problems early on, before they snowball.
For example, your doctor should be able to give you advice on what your diet should look like and what vitamins you should take. If you’re looking to make a lifestyle change or start playing a sport, this is particularly important. Have the doctor check your body fat percentage and other stats, and have him evaluate whether you are a healthy size.
What kind of information should you ask your doctor for?
Since you’re a young adult, you’re at your sexual peak in life, and it’s likely that this is the time you will be most sexually active. If you are indeed having sex, ask your doctor about how to avoid STI’s (Sexually-Transmitted Infections). You may think that you already know what you need to know, but many people are painfully ignorant about this subject and don’t even realize it. In addition, the science in this realm is advancing all the time, so you should stay updated.
Are you aware of any genetic predisposition to disease that runs in your family? If you’re not sure, it may be a good idea to speak to some of your family members a generation or two above you and figure things out. Is your family prone to certain kinds of cancer? Are they prone to cardiovascular disease? Depending on what runs in your family, the doctor might decide to run special screenings and tests to make sure that you are not showing the early signs of specific illnesses. If you do show any signs, you may be able to prevent or slow the development of certain diseases like type 2 diabetes by changing your habits while you are still young.
You might think that vaccinations are for children, but even adults often need booster shots and need be inoculated as new vaccines become available. If you haven’t been vaccinated against chicken pox, Tetanus, Pertussis, or Diphtheria, you should tell your doctor. These aren’t diseases to be messed with. In addition, you might want to avoid that seasonal flu by taking a shot every year.
What other ways can my doctor be of service?
If you have any pressing personal problems, your doctor can also help you with those things. Honestly, if you’re having problems with sleep, with addiction, with chronic stress, depression, or even sexual issues, your doctor is probably a great resource. Importantly, he’s also required by law not to share your problems with anybody else unless you give him permission.
Also keep in mind that regardless of your fitness and health, you don’t have complete control over life’s freak accidents. Sometimes, in spite of taking good care of ourselves, we may break a bone or have a serious ache or pain that comes out of nowhere. If you have a ongoing relationship with a regular doctor, you’ll have someone who already is familiar with your history and can help you out with incidents such as these. It’s also often much cheaper to visit your general practitioner at his office than to visit a random walk-in clinic or, worse, the emergency room.
Nowadays, it’s not hard at all to find an medical insurance plan that you’ll be able to afford. You might think that it would be too expensive to have insurance if your employer won’t provide it, but the state of California can cover you if need be. You only have one body; you owe it to yourself to do what you can to take care of it.