Questions to Ask Your PCP During Your Checkups

If you’re taking care of yourself, you probably go in for an annual checkup with your primary care provider (PCP). You might find, though, that you end up feeling rushed and a little bit overwhelmed during the appointment. You may not end up learning as much as you need to know because you forget the questions you wanted to ask your doctor. We suggest that you make a list ahead of time, and consider asking these questions next time you see your PCP.

  • Should I change my diet? Eating sensibly is a good idea for everyone, so stick to nutrient-dense foods and try to avoid things that are over-processed, calorie-laden, or full of sugar. If you have a health condition like pre-diabetes or diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend specific dietary measures for you to take.
  • How much do I need to exercise? It’s recommended for most people to get 30 minutes of exercise, at least five days a week. The amount and type of exercise that’s right for you is something your doctor can help you to determine.
  • How much sleep do I need? Sleep is extremely important, and many health conditions are linked to poor sleep, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, excess weight, and mood disorders. Younger men who don’t get enough sleep can also suffer from low testosterone. Your doctor can advise you on the amount of sleep you need, but in general, good sleep habits include going to bed and waking at the same time each day, exercising regularly, avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and evening, avoiding large meals and alcohol at night, and using the bedroom only for sleeping and sex.
  • Which tests and screenings should I have? At your physical, you’ll probably have your weight, temperature, and blood pressure checked, and the doctor will examine you, listening to your heart and lungs and checking your reflexes. Your doctor may also order some screenings, like cholesterol, blood sugar, and iron levels, and possibly heart function, using an EKG. You may also have a prostate check, which is necessary to protect your health. Talk to your doctor about any other screenings that may be necessary.
  • Am I at increased risk for any illnesses or conditions? Talk to your doctor about your family history, and be honest about your lifestyle habits. Your doctor will be able to help you determine whether you’re at increased risk for things like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Should I be concerned with my bowel health? Everyone experiences problems like constipation or diarrhea from time to time, but if these conditions are chronic or sudden and intense, you may be suffering from a condition more serious than an upset stomach. Talk to your doctor, because you may be suffering from something like irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerance, or celiac disease, but it could also be colon cancer. Getting to the root cause of your problem, then, is crucial.
  • Is depression a risk for me? About 6 million men in the United States struggle with depression, but many of them don’t ask for help. In fact, they often do not realize they’re suffering from depression but simply report symptoms like fatigue, loss of appetite, restlessness, or a loss of interest in their usual activities. Staying on top of your mental health is important, not least because men die from suicide at four times the rate of women. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, talk to your doctor.
  • What kinds of cancer should concern me? Men have a greater lifetime risk of cancer than women, and some cancers are particularly likely to affect men. Lung cancer and colorectal cancer, for instance, occur more frequently in men than women. Melanoma affects both genders equally, but is the most common type of cancer in men over 50. Of course, men can also get prostate, testicular, and penile cancer. Talk to your doctor about screening for and protecting against cancer.
  • How is my sexual health? Sexual health is important because it impacts your overall health. If you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction or you have any symptoms that could indicate a sexually transmitted infection, talk to your doctor about it. There’s also the controversial issue of male menopause, in which the decline in testosterone as men age can cause symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, low sex drive, loss of energy, and depression.

At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.