Have you heard the one about the guy who asked his doc about getting a vasectomy?
“That’s a big decision,” his doctor says. “Have you talked it over with your family?”
“Yes, we took a vote,” the guy replies. “They’re in favour of it 15 to 2!”
Seriously, though, seeing our doctor isn’t just about elective procedures like the ol’ snip-snip. More importantly, it’s about getting expert care and attention when health troubles arise.
Still, us guys often like to play it tough and ride out an illness. The good news is that we don’t need to run to the ER with a stuffy nose, but these five symptoms should trigger a trip to the doctor ASAP to help us make informed health decisions:
A nasty flu.
Chills, fever and body aches are the most common symptoms, but if these escalate to include difficulty breathing, chest or stomach pains, light-headedness or severe vomiting, then it’s time to see your doctor ASAP.
Guys, young and old, can all struggle with erectile dysfunction. Whatever the reason is, it’s best visit your doctor to get some tips and be in the know. After all, Your doc may be able to recommend some relaxation techniques to help you regain your bedroom swagger.
A bump on the head.
Hey, we know you can take your lumps, but if these lumps produce a severe headache or vomiting you should go straight to your doc. The same goes for more severe symptoms like seizures or passing out, but that’s a 9-11 call.
There’s heartburn, and then there’s heartburn that doubles you over in pain. If chest pains go from mild to agonizing, or if the pain spreads to your arm, neck or jaw, head straight to the ER. That’s also a 9-11 call. Ditto for chest pain that’s accompanied by a feeling of pressure in your chest, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, an uneven pulse, or if you have trouble breathing.
Blood in your stool.
Colon cancer is on the rise, so if the toilet water turns red you should head straight to your doc. The same goes for unexplained weight loss or a change in bowel habits, especially if you have a family history of bowel cancer.
In short, these symptoms are no joke! The general rule of thumb: when in doubt, consult a pro.
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two who has been covering men’s health for more than 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines such as Explore, Reader’s Digest and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN and Toronto.com. Visit Adam’s website for more information on what he does.