When it comes to fostering overall health and well-being, a regular medical checkup is a part of the overall equation. You must see a doctor regularly to have preventive consultations, health screenings, and medical examinations. If your physician finds some minor health issues, he’ll ensure these issues won’t escalate to extensive problems. If you have severe health conditions, you will be treated as early as possible.
But did you know that men are less likely to see a doctor than women? Most men only do so when they already have health problems. There are a handful of reasons for this action, such as masculinity perception, financial concern, and even lifestyle habits. However, same as women, men must get themselves checked regularly. Why? As far as health is concerned, prevention is better than cure.
That said, here are seven medical checkups you must strictly get as a man:
1. Blood Sugar Check
Most men must have a blood sugar check every year. As such, be sure to get an annual glucose testing. Know that an elevated glucose level can lead to some health problems. These include diabetes and heart diseases which can escalate to health complications like kidney damage and erectile dysfunction. By getting your blood sugar checked, you can regulate its level. If it’s seemingly high, you can take the necessary steps to lower it through a healthy diet and physical fitness.
2. PSA Test
The prostate-specific antigen is the best way to detect prostate cancer. This PSA blood level test usually comes with digital rectal exams (DREs). As you may or may not be aware, prostate cancer is rampant among older men in the US. In fact, almost 13 percent of men will most likely get this cancer type. If you are 50 years old and above, get PSA test every year to be on the safe side. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, start having annual testing as early as 40 years old.
3. Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Check
It’s no secret how high blood pressure is prevalent among older people. In fact, high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke, especially among men. Along with this problem is high cholesterol, causing severe cardiovascular problems among people. These heart problems include stroke and heart attacks. Sure, you may get your blood pressure checked every now and one. However, the best course of action is to get a thorough examination of your blood pressure and cholesterol every three to five years.
An echocardiogram, or cardiac stress test, is simply an ultrasound of the heart. However, this medical imaging service is crucial to examine heart health, especially for men. Sure, you may have simple cholesterol testing and blood pressure monitoring regularly. However, it’s best to get a cardiac stress test, especially if you show symptoms of heart problems. Ultimately, do so if you have a family history of cardiac diseases.
For the uninitiated, a colonoscopy is the examination of the inside of the large intestine. It makes use of a flexible thin camera inserted inside the rectum and colon. Its ultimate goal is to check for potential internal bleeding, the presence of polyps, and signs of colon cancer. That said, men must start getting a colonoscopy at age 45. From there, you must have a screening colonoscopy every three years.
6. Liver Enzyme Test
There’s no denying that most men are into drinking alcohol. If you’re a heavy alcohol drinker, imagine the damage this can cause to your liver. Keep in mind, however, that other key factors can compromise your liver. These include medication dependence, fatty food intake, thyroid disorder, and obesity. Hence, it’s best to get a liver enzyme test. This test is usually a part of standard blood work aimed at checking for signs of liver problems.
7. Lung Screening
Lung cancer can hit a lot of men, which is especially true for chain smokers. That’s when lung screening becomes extremely necessary. Know, however, that men with a genetic predisposition in the respiratory system can also have lung cancer. Even secondhand smokers who get regularly exposed to harmful smoke can become a victim. Keep in mind that an annual chest x-ray isn’t enough for screening. A CT scan or open MRI of the lungs may be recommended.
At this time, we’ve tackled seven medical checkups that every man must strictly get. Whether a blood sugar check, colonoscopy, or lung screening, a medical checkup will help prevent or address some health issues as early as possible. With regular checkups, men can expect to live healthier, longer, and happier.