Men’s Health Update: Men Need Health Check-ups, Too
Yep, guys, it’s time to face facts. Just like women, you need to see your doctor regularly. The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure, for example, is to have it checked. High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels also may not have any symptoms in the early stages. Simple blood tests can check for these conditions. Here are other reasons to make that appointment:
In general, if the top number (systolic) is between 120 – 139 or the bottom number (diastolic) is between 80 – 89 mm Hg, begin having your blood pressure checked every year unless your doctor suggests more frequent checks. If the top number is greater than 140 or the bottom number is greater than 90, schedule an appointment with your doctor. If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often.
Ask your doctor how often to have your cholesterol checked. If you have high cholesterol levels, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often than the norm for your age.
The frequency for diabetes screening will be determined by your doctor based onyour age, weight, family history and past screening results.
If you are under age 50, you will likely be screened only if you have a family history of colon cancer or polyps, or if you have had inflammatory bowel disease or polyps. If you are are 50 or older, you should be screened.
Men are encouraged to talk with their doctor about their personal risk factors and family history of prostate cancer. With this information at hand, your doctor can discuss with you whether or not prostate-cancer screening is appropriate.
Visit your dentist every year for an exam and cleaning.
Ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist how often you should complete eye exam.
Get a flu shot every year unless your doctor tells you there is a medical reason to avoid getting one. Talk with your doctor about how often to get a tetanus diphtheria booster vaccination. You may get a shingles or herpes zoster vaccination once after age 60 and a pneumococcal vaccine after age 65.
If you are between ages 50 and 70 and have risk factors for osteoporosis, discuss screening with your doctor. Risk factors can include age, long-term steroid use, low body weight, smoking, heavy alcohol use or a family history of osteoporosis.