After 32 years practicing as a licensed naturopathic doctor (ND), all I can say is, MEN! What’s the deal? I am not seeing you in my clinic nearly as much as I see women. I am not getting you in here for your annual exams. I am not having the chance to help you avoid chronic illnesses. I am not working with you to optimize your health. I am not helping you troubleshoot why you feel so lousy. What in the world are you waiting for?
Preventive care is both effective and cost effective.
Well-conceived research reflects that early understanding and pointed care, especially for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer, whether conventional or naturopathic, offer better outcomes. Mental health issues when addressed early on less commonly spiral of control.
Yet statistics tell us that 60% of you forgo annual check ups. Blood tests are sidestepped. Diagnostic imaging put off. So, when you finally get to the doctor’s office, you are often sicker and have harder to treat conditions.
I wonder if it’s because you don’t have time. Or maybe you’re in denial? Or perhaps you don’t want to be told to do this test, take this pill, change your diet or get off the couch!
I thought we were past the time when men had to tough it out. I thought big men could cry. I thought the world was shifting and you could complain about discomfort and get the help you deserve!
Here’s a piece I authored for the Institute of Natural Medicine on naturopathic doctors’ approach to men’s health. I highlight five main areas of concern: heart disease, prostate cancer, sexual dysfunction, depression and chronic pain. See what you think.
Maybe a visit to an ND would appeal to you more, help you figure out what kind and how often you need specific screening, based on your age, family history and current health.
Maybe spending time with an ND and feeling empowered about taking steps to get and stay healthy feels right for you.
Maybe trusting in the healing capacity of your body sounds right and you are curious about using food as your best medicine, botanical approaches to support healing and other natural medicine modalities.
Maybe you already live a healthy lifestyle and you want your doctor to be in sync with the rest of you. Maybe working with an ND, who will help you try and find root causes of your problems is more in line with how you think.
It doesn’t much matter to me what kind of doctor you see. Ask around for a referral from family or friends you trust. Find a medical doctor or an osteopathic physician. Look for a licensed naturopathic doctor. See a nurse practitioner or a PA — just don’t put your medical care off any longer. We all need help sometimes! I hope you will read this and for whichever kind of provider you prefer, make an appointment and follow up. It might just save your life.