Men, Find Out What Habit Is Killing You

I don’t want to stereotype, but…

Most men suck at going to the doctor.  Actually, most people suck at going to the doctor. It probably has something to do with the insane amount of money it costs just for stepping through the door.

Regardless of the astronomical fees, you have to make the occasional trip. There is no escaping it. But for men, sometimes getting a checkup isn’t enough. A new study says that even when a man goes to the doctor, he’s frequently lying about his symptoms.

Are You Too Macho For That?

Research from Rutgers University suggests that two-thirds of males are lying to their doctors. In the study, a group of men filled out a survey regarding how often they experienced these five common symptoms: diarrhea, heartburn or gas, acne, uncontrollable worry, and depressed mood.

Following the study, pre-med students, posing as real doctors, asked the men the same questions. The only difference: the survey occurred in privacy, the direct questioning did not. Sadly, only one third of the men told the truth. The rest of the group downplayed their symptoms.

But, why? Mary Himmelstein, Ph.D, and lead physician of the study, says that doctors are bound by confidentiality. The doctor’s office is the one place you can divulge all the disgusting habits and symptoms free from ridicule. Even symptoms that may seem normal to you are important to your doctor because they want to treat something before it becomes a bigger problem. Himmelstein also says it’s imperative to find a doctor you are comfortable with so you can remain honest at all times. Your life may even depend on it.

Researchers suspect that lying is a way to save face, so the man can remain “macho.” Unfortunately, lying about your symptoms really can threaten your life. About half of all cancers are caught too late; partly due to misdiagnosing, but also due to under-reporting symptoms.  

So, men, the next time you take a trip the doctor’s office, don’t lie about your symptoms. Be as clear and honest as possible—it could save your life.

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