Men do not visit doctors unless their health conditions ordain them to do so. Not only this approach is reactive but also harms their health. A better way would be to get your health screenings done periodically to gauge your health status. Also this will allow an opportunity to nip any health complication in bud. We tell you which health tests should be done when.
1. High blood pressure check – Hypertension is a silent killer and it doesn’t reveal of symptoms until too late. On a routine visit to doctor avail yourself of the opportunity to get a BP check once you are thirty plus. You can start this early if your parents have high blood pressure. Cardiologists suggest that readings more than 120/80 mean that you need to change your lifestyle and if the readings are more than 140/90, you need to accompany medicines with the changed lifestyle to rein in your elevated blood pressure.
2. Cholesterol check – Have your cholesterol checked regularly starting at age 35. If you are younger than 35, talk to your doctor about whether to have your cholesterol checked if:
a. You have diabetes.
b. You have high blood pressure.
c. Heart disease runs in your family.
d. You smoke.
3. Colorectal Cancer – Have a test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to be screened earlier.
4. Diabetes – Have a test for diabetes if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
5. Prostate health – As men age prostate enlargement happens. To know the status of your prostate health, go for a digital rectal exam every year once you are 40 to find answers to your prostate concerns. Digital refers to doctor’s finger and not to his computer.
6. Depression – Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. If you have felt “down,” sad, or hopeless over the last 2 weeks or have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things, you may be depressed. Talk to your doctor about being screened for depression.
7. Sexually Transmitted Infections – Talk to your doctor to see whether you should be tested for gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, or other sexually transmitted infections.
8. HIV – Talk to your doctor about HIV screening if you:
a. Have had unprotected sex with multiple partners.
b. Have used or now use injection drugs.
9. Testosterone levels – If you are in the age bracket of forty to fifty have lowered sex drive, suffer from mood blues, irritability and are prone to fractures get your testosterone levels checked.
10. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever smoked (100 or more cigarettes during your lifetime), you need to be screened once for abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is an abnormally large or swollen blood vessel in your abdomen.
How can you stay healthy at any age? The rules are simple and you need to observe them.
• Get recommended screening tests.
• Be tobacco free.
• Be physically active.
• Eat a healthy diet.
• Stay at a healthy weight.
• Take preventive medicines if you need them.