It’s true: MIMC’s practice treats mostly women. But that doesn’t mean men’s health issues aren’t in our wheelhouse. We treat men across the board- but we don’t see them as often as women.
Why? A 2016 CDC study fount that men only made up 40% of the visits to all types of healthcare practitioners. Of that, 12% were 45-65- and the next highest group were pediatrics getting their well-child exams.
Our colloquial experience as an integrative medicine clinic lines up with the borader medical community: Men just don’t go to the doctor. But here’s why they SHOULD.
Men’s Health Issues to See a Doctor About
The most common symptoms men come to us about include:
- Lack of concentration and focus
- Weight gain in the midsection
- Hair loss or thinning
- Depression or apathy
- Low sex drive
- Digestive distress
These symptoms can be indicative of a broad range of root causes. But hormones in men can be a key trigger.
When it comes to hormones, the backbone of a males endocrine system is testosterone. Men have significantly larger amounts in their body than women. As men age, that number declines, but what we’re finding is that it’s declining at a much faster pace. Recent research demonstrates that younger men (aged 30-40) are showing testosterone numbers of 60-70 year old men.
This is a significant issue because outside of the symptoms listed above, testosterone is integral to heart health, brain health, bone health and proper fertility.
What Labwork We Look At for Men
When you’re feeling the symptoms above, we typically look into:
- Hormone testing, including testosterone total & free
- OAT Testing (Organic Acid Testing) which can give us an idea of your neurotransmitters
- Adrenal testing to see your cortisol curve
- Inflammatory markers
- Digestive specific – work up for SIBO, or run a stool panel.
Where to Start to Feel Better Faster
If a male is looking to come to us for care, I’d highly sugest keeping a symptom journal first. One thing we’ve noticed about our male patients vs. our female patients is that men often know what they’re currently feeling, but are often sub-par historians when it comes to their health.
They’ve either battled with something so long, they forget the onset, how their symptoms have progressed, and when they’ve had times of reprieve; OR they have a hard time describing the little details of what’s happening in their bodies. Functional medicine is all about the little details so being able to sit down and describe what you’re feeling is super important!
That’s where a symptoms journal is helpful. Even a note on your smartphone, where you record how you’re feeling in a short sentence each day gives us key info we need to help support and diagnose you.
So many of our male patients are husbands, partners, or friends of our current patients- and we love seeing men! Integrative, functional medicine isn’t just for women. Man’s health can benefit from the holistic approach, and we can help.
Dr. Cassie Wilder is a registered Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) and founder of MIMC. Her passion is empowering her patients through education, understanding, and support through their healing journey. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health, Dr. Wilder earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ. During her clinical training, she received extensive hands-on training with many leading experts in the field of functional medicine and developed a passion for treating hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular concerns, and adrenal fatigue.