You know when you hear of someone diagnosed with something a bit ugly and you find out he’d been experiencing symptoms for ages? Don’t be that guy. Get yourself off to the doctor the moment you notice something that doesn’t seem right.
Men’s health is a responsibility. You owe it to yourself, your partner and your family to keep on top of your own condition, both physical and emotional. Let this article be a reminder that you need to look after yourself and make an appointment today.
Doctors typically recommend a range of standard health checks on healthy men, to pick up on any risk factors or symptoms before they reach a point where they need more comprehensive treatment.
Everyone knows that a dental check-up every six months is advised. It’s truly not the dental profession’s way of boosting the coffers. Tartar naturally builds up on the surface of teeth and if not removed twice a year, can be harder to remove and cause damage to the teeth in the meantime.
Unless there are changes to vision, men should start having their eyes checked from around age 35 and if there are no concerns, then a check-up every three to five years is recommended. In the meantime, if you experience any vision issues, then take yourself straight off to the optometrist for a routine check.
Once you turn 35, you should have your cholesterol levels checked every four to five years. If you’re overweight or have risk factors such as diabetes or you are a smoker, then more frequent testing is recommended. Your doctor will advise if your cholesterol is of concern and will likely suggest a healthy eating and exercise plan to follow.
When you have your blood taken for your cholesterol test, it will also be tested for your triglycerides levels. High triglycerides are an indicator of metabolic syndrome which is associated with diabetes and heart disease.
Whenever you visit your doctor, have your blood pressure checked so a running profile of your results can be kept on file. Normal BP is around 120/80 or lower.
Most men wince when they hear the words ‘prostate exam’ because it can be quite confronting to think about. It is, in fact, a simple procedure that takes just a few minutes in the doctor’s room. While wearing gloves, the doctor will insert his finger into your rectum and will feel around to ensure there are no irregularities.
According to the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand, the recommended age for men to have a prostate cancer test is age 40. Those who have a first-degree relative with prostate cancer should be additionally vigilant as their risk of the disease is greater. Talk to your doctor about the effectiveness of testing and ask if it’s time you had it done.
A simple blood test can indicate whether you are diabetic or pre-diabetic. Your doctor might request an A1C test, a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test or an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Once you reach age 45, you should consider asking your doctor for a routine diabetes blood test.
Anyone younger who is obese, has a waist measurement of 40 inches or more, has a family history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease or is of Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic/Latino (and some other ancestry) descent, should be tested too.
Once you turn 50, you need to start thinking about being screened for colon cancer. A simple colonoscopy will take around 20 minutes for the actual procedure but you will need to follow a low fibre diet for three days leading to your appointment. You will be given gentle sedation and not be aware of the procedure, which is done as an outpatient in hospital.
It involves the insertion into your rectum of a colonoscope, a long, plastic, flexible tube fitted with a tiny camera and light at the end. The doctor who performs it will look for irregularities and may even be able to correct them at the same time.
That old stiff upper lip is not required anymore. Today, depression and anxiety are more common than ever but thankfully, awareness is also much greater. Mental illness is no one’s fault, and remedies are available so no man should feel as though he’s bigger, stronger or better than his condition.
If you break your arm, you go to the hospital and get a cast put on it, right? Well it’s no different with depression and anxiety.
Seek help and follow your physician’s advice. You may be prescribed medication which might only be required for a number of months, or perhaps longer. Otherwise, your doctor may refer you to a specialist, or you might be referred to a practitioner who can help with relaxation and anti-stress techniques.
Considering yourself invincible is no way to have a long and healthy life! It’s important to be vigilant when participating in hazardous activities such as daredevil sporting pursuits, high adrenaline feats and even rough and tumble sports.
There’s also the workplace to consider with some men working at heights, others dealing with chemical hazards and others again having to confront dangerous situations.
A bit of sensible consideration is in order to keep yourself safe, not just for your own sake but for those who care about you too. Life is generally fraught with risks of varying degrees, from being stung by a bee in the garden to all kinds of perils involving planes, trains and automobiles.
The less you place yourself in self-imposed danger, the better your odds of happy longevity.
The problem with men’s health is that it involves men. Men feel they need to live up to the role of being the ‘stronger’ gender, taking care of everything and not being a ‘sook’ when they’re in pain.
It’s important to remember, however, that the human body is not infallible and it’s always better to be ahead of the game when it comes to health issues.