Celebrate Father’s Day with a Healthy Heart

Posted on Jun 16, 2017

Going to the Doctor Means Staying Healthy, Don’t Let Excuses Get in the Way

“I don’t need to go to the doctor, I’m fine.”

How many times has a man said something like this to his wife after complaining of feeling under the weather?  Too many to count – and the statistics prove it.

According to the National Institutes of Health, men are more likely to skip or delay regular health screenings and not seek medical attention when something is wrong. To help combat these issues, the week of June 12-18 (aka, Father’s Day) has been established as Men’s Health Week, a time to put the spotlight on men’s health issues.

Junaid Khan, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

Junaid Khan, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center says the first step to better health is a simple one: don’t ignore the symptoms.

“Call it a guy thing, but men are less likely to visit the doctor for worrisome symptoms, and are more likely to put off routine check-ups,” he says.

An advantage of going to the doctor regularly, according to Dr. Khan, is that you’re much more likely to catch risk factors for heart disease before more damage is done.

“Time is of the essence in preventing heart disease and stroke,” he says. “The faster we can diagnose the problem, the more heart function we can salvage down the road.”

The biggest challenge for men when it comes to better health, Dr. Khan says, can be their own reluctance to make time for it.

“Men are very good at talking themselves out of seeing a doctor and ignoring heart disease symptoms such as shortness of breath. One of my patients mentioned that he used to walk 18 holes when he golfed and then he stopped and started driving a cart. Or someone will say, ‘It’s not chest pain, it’s just heartburn.”

Dr. Khan says Father’s Day is a great opportunity to have a good conversation with your dad about his health.

“The most important message is to remind men to take care of themselves,” he says. “Sure, family responsibilities, work and hobbies are important, but if you don’t take better care of yourself, you won’t be around to enjoy it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *