Health Checks Every Man Should Get
Health Checks; Guys would rather be anywhere else than in a doctor’s office having a checkup. Men are apt to drink and smoke more than women, have higher stress levels due to their work schedules and tend to ignore their overall health.
Because of these lifestyle choices, men have a higher probability of becoming hospitalized or developing long-term complications from a disease than women do.
Periodic checkups and screenings make it easier for men to stay fit and active. Not all screening means a trip to the doctor. Blood pressure can be checked using automated machines found at drug stores and grocery stores. Other tests are given free at local health fairs. Following are age-specific checkups every guy should get.
The 20s – Blood pressure screening
Men should get a blood pressure checkup every two years. If the pressure is higher than 120-139/80-89, screening should be yearly.
The 30s – Cholesterol screening
Most men should be checked every five years beginning at age 34. If heart disease, diabetes or kidney disease are present, screening should be more frequent. If risk factors for heart disease are present, cholesterol screening for men should begin in their 20s.
The 40s – Diabetes screening
Men over the age of 45 should be screened for diabetes every three years. Men who are overweight or have risk factors for diabetes should be screened regardless of age.
The 50s – Colon cancer, prostate cancer, and osteoporosis screening
Men should be screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50. Testing includes an annual stool test, a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years and a colonoscopy every ten years. Men with risk factors or a family history of colon cancer should be screened more frequently. Also at age 50, men should discuss screening for prostate cancer and osteoporosis with their doctor. Prostate screening should begin at age 45 for African-American men or men who have a family history of prostate cancer.
The 60s – Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening
Men who smoke or have a history of smoking should be screened for an AAA beginning at age 65 through age 75. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity are other risk factors for developing an AAA. Men who have never smoked and have no other risk factors should discuss screening with their physician.
If you have two or more other risk factors for heart disease or have a strong family history of heart disease, you should talk to your doctor about getting a cardiac stress test. This is particularly important if you are planning on starting an exercise program, it is important to see how your heart will handle the physical stress before starting a fitness program. You should not ignore symptoms like chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and numbness in the arm or generalized fatigue; all possibly caused by heart disease. You should not ignore discussing with your doctor any risk factors for heart disease.
In addition to these age-specific checkups, men should also have a physical exam every year to monitor eating and exercise habits, emotional well-being and height and weight. This is also an excellent time to address concerns such as snoring, sexual health or sleeping. An eye exam every two years to check for glaucoma and changes in vision suggested as well as an annual dental exam. A yearly flu shot and tetanus-diphtheria and pertussis vaccination also recommended.
Taking the time to assess their overall health helps men develop a healthy lifestyle so they can keep doing all of the activities they enjoy. It also
reduces unexpected and unwanted visits to the doctor.