Listen to Episode 28 of The Diabetic Toolbox Podcast: When Was Your Last Check-up? Four Health Screenings for Men Over 50
My dad was in his sixties, and my younger brother was in his fifties when they succumbed to heart disease. So, I am very passionate about making sure the men in my life know that self-care is just as important for them as it is for women.
A study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic found that 65 percent of men avoid going to the doctor for as long as possible. Today, we are talking about the four-health screenings every man over 50 should be sure to include in their yearly physical. There are necessary medical screenings that should be conducted annually or semi-annually. This is a conversation you can have with your doctor so you know the best route to take. To live a healthy and fulfilling life, being proactive is crucial to prevent life-threatening illnesses.
This is especially true once you turn 50. This is because many illnesses begin to surface after 50, and early detection can result in rapid treatment and life-saving results. Be sure you are current on your family’s medical history. It might be necessary to start these screenings earlier than 50.
- Prostate exam. It’s always better to catch cancer in its early stages. Preventative medicine is important to gaining and maintaining a positive quality of life. Prostate issues can inhibit a man’s ability to urinate normally and greatly diminish his health. Digital rectal examination of the prostate is the first type of test. This will detect prostate enlargement and any hardening that could indicate cancer.
- Blood pressure check. Checking your blood pressure at least twice a year is recommended.
- High blood pressure can indicate being at risk for heart disease and stroke.
- High blood pressure hardens the walls of the arteries and makes the heart work harder than it needs to maintain a functioning body.
- High blood pressure can negatively affect your memory and ability to think clearly as you age.
You can control your blood pressure by lowering sodium intake, going easy on caffeinated beverages, increasing your cardio exercise, and reducing stress.
3. Cholesterol screening. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL is bad for your health, while HDL is beneficial. So, your doctor will draw blood and complete a lipoprotein profile to assess your cholesterol levels.
- HDL cholesterol prevents fat build-up in the arteries caused by high LDL cholesterol levels. Therefore, having a higher amount of HDL cholesterol is desirable than LDL.
- High cholesterol can negatively influence your body and mind. For example, heart disease significantly affects high LDL cholesterol because fat slowly clogs arteries and reduces blood flow from the heart. This increases the work the heart must put out for the body to continue operating.
- You can control your cholesterol through healthy eating. For example, omega-3 fatty acids in fish, nuts, and avocados will raise your HDL and lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Check your A1C level. A1C is a blood test for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, this test can also be used to see if you are managing well. This blood test can also detect prediabetes. “The higher your A1C level is, the poorer your blood sugar control and your risk of diabetes complications.”
Each of these crucial screenings can allow you to take the initiative in detecting illnesses at the beginning stages. Early intervention is the key to curing or sustaining a better quality of life as you age gracefully.
Knowing how well you are doing physically will give you peace of mind. You might also find that being proactive will inspire you to become proactive in other aspects of your life.
Our sons and daughters are watching how well we take care of ourselves; we are their role models for life, including how we care for our health.
With Peace & Love,
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