The Importance of Regular Health Checkups for Men: What to Expect and Why It Matters?

Men, too, need regular health checks. According to most surveys across the globe, men are less likely to visit doctors than women. They prefer clinic visits only when they are seriously ill or forced by a loved one. A research study in the US indicates that nearly 60% of men do not regularly visit doctors. To all the men reading this blog, keep your health at the top of your priority list as you keep your family and their needs. And for all women, feel free to nag men to get regular medical screenings and consult a health care specialist.   

Medical screenings: Doctor checking patient's blood pressure during a routine physical exam.

Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers can often be picked up early when appropriate treatment may minimize or prevent complications and progress. When you have a health checkup, your doctor will discuss your diet, your weight, how much you exercise, and whether you smoke or drink. If you have high-risk factors, it may be more likely that you will develop a particular medical condition. Men’s health screening tests may help a doctor to pick up early warning signs. For example, elevated blood pressure levels could indicate heart disease.       

Preventive health checkups for men   

If you are unsure which health checkups are important for men’s health, this blog covers them. Check out the essential preventive health checkups for men and their importance.

1. Heart checkup – If you enter your 30s or are 45 and over, you should have a heart health checkup. This will involve checking your blood pressure, cholesterol levels (good or bad), triglycerides levels, body mass index (BMI), and if your condition and medical history require it, an electrocardiogram (ECG). Many men are unaware of the risk factors or early symptoms associated with heart disease, so it is important to work with a doctor to maintain heart health.

2. Diabetes test – Diabetes mellitus is a serious condition where glucose in the blood becomes higher than normal. It can affect many body parts and lead to serious complications if not managed. Diabetes tests include a laboratory blood glucose test ordered by your doctor. The most common test for diabetes is the fasting blood glucose test (no food or fluid except water for eight hours before). Other tests that need to be taken anytime during the day with no preparation include glycosylates, haemoglobin (HbA1c), or oral glucose tolerance tests. Speak to your doctor about your risk of diabetes and how often you should get diabetes screening done.

Your doctor may recommend testing for Type 2 diabetes if you have any of the following risk factors associated with Type 2 diabetes:

  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Have pre-diabetes
  • Are over 55 years of age
  • Had gestational diabetes during a pregnancy
  • Have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Have heart diseases such as a previous history of heart attack, angina, stroke, or narrowed blood vessels
  • Taking certain antipsychotic medications or corticosteroid medications
  1. Prostate screening for men – Prostate cancer test is not generally public, so discuss the pros and cons of prostate screening with your doctor. If you are between the age of 50 and 70, you may be recommended a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test depending on your health condition, symptoms you have, and any risk factors (such as family history). If the test result carries elevated levels, you may be recommended other tests.   
  1. Bowel cancer screening – You should know that up to 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated if detected early. Bowel cancer screening in people who do not have any symptoms and are between 50 and 74 years old. The test to detect bowel cancer is called the faecal occult blood test (FOBT). It involves the use of chemicals to test a stool sample for blood,  which could be an indication of bowel cancer.
  1. Eye exam for men – Eye health tends to deteriorate with age. Serious eye conditions such as cataracts,  glaucoma,  diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration are common with age, so it is suggested that men older than 60 years of age have an eye test every year. If you are younger than  60 and wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, you must have an eye exam every two years.

Final verdict!

Keep your health above everything else! It is high time that everyone understands the significance of regular men’s health screening. Having your vital health parameters within the normal range can extend your life and amplify the joy of living.

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