Most people generally ignore their health, only seeking help or treatment when symptoms manifest or become severe, there are a few issues with this approach. First, healthy living is a lifelong endeavor; it never gets easier and the process should be enjoyable. Secondly, the disease may already have done considerable damage before diagnosis and treatment. Hence the best way to get ahead is to make sure the tests listed are conducted when due.
This article contains the most important tests no man above 40 should ignore. Knowing more about our bodies, and minds can help us lead a safe, healthy, and happy life.
This is one of the most common tests every individual (not just men) should get. It is advisable to check your blood pressure at least 3 times a year if you are between the ages of 18 and 40. Blood pressure is the force that is exerted by the blood over the inner walls of the arteries. However, if you are on medications, it is advisable to check at least twice a day, once before breakfast and once in the evening. According to the American Heart Association. This chart simplifies blood pressure readings. The top digits are called systolic and the lower digits are called diastolic.
|NORMAL||120||80 OR LESS|
|ELEVATED||120 – 129||80 OR LESS|
|HYPERTENSION STAGE 1||130 – 139||80 -89|
|HYPERTENSION STAGE 2||140 OR HIGHER||90 OR HIGHER|
|HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS||HIGHER THAN 180||HIGHER THAN 120|
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells of your body. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells but high levels of cholesterol in the body are very bad and can be essentially life-threatening.
There are two types of cholesterol
- LDL– low-density lipoproteins: these are known as bad cholesterol. High levels of this type of cholesterol lead to higher chances of stroke and heart disease.
- HDL– high-density lipoproteins: these are the good lipoproteins. This type of cholesterol is carried to the liver and the liver flushes it from the body. High levels of this cholesterol reduce the chances of stroke and heart disease.
It is recommended by the American heart association that cholesterol screening should start from age 35 for men with no known risk factors and age 20 for men with known risk factors. Your doctor will order a test called a lipid panel if you are at risk.
According to the WHO, Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. The health body estimates that 11.2 million adults ( 1 out of every 17) are living with diabetes. if diabetes is not diagnosed and treated early, it could lead to complications involving the kidneys, eyes, blood vessels, and sometimes diabetic foot ulcers. Diabetes is also one of the causes of erectile dysfunction. You can perform a blood sugar test at home or visit your doctor at a hospital and have the test done.
Increased BMI ( Basal metabolic rate) over 25 could increase the risk of having diabetes. Also having a first relative living with diabetes or has a history of chronic disease, you are most likely to be screened.
According to a report, the most common cancer in men is prostate cancer accounts for 29.1% of all male cancers in 2018.
The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland that produces seminal fluid. The underlying causes of prostate cancer are mostly hormonal in nature. Men who experience symptoms of prostate cancer may notice
- Difficulty in starting and maintaining urine
- Painful urination
- Incomplete voiding of the bladder
- Blood in urine
- Urge/frequency to urinate
- Erectile dysfunction
Screening starts with checking PSA ( prostate-specific antigen ) in the body, if the levels are high, the chances of having prostate cancer are high. Note that a high PSA value does not always mean that the individual has prostate cancer.
Your PSA levels could also be affected by
- Certain medications
- A prostate infection
Your doctor is the person to determine, read and explain your test results to you.
Physical exam: you should visit your doctor at least 3 times a year for a physical exam. A physical exam could involve
- Updated health history: if you started taking medications or notice any changes in your body. You should share this information with your doctor before you take the tests.
- Vital signs: this involves checking the blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate
- Listening to the heart and lungs
- Lab tests could involve complete blood count, blood sugar, EUCR (electrolytes, urea, and creatinine
Getting old should not be stressful. As you age gracefully, paying good attention to your health should be your top priority. Always consult your doctor if you have any medical issues that need to be discussed.