Hi there, how confident are you of your health numbers?
According to most surveys done across the globe, men are less likely to visit doctors as compared to women. In fact, they prefer clinic visits only when they are seriously ill or nagged by a loved one. In a study done in the US, nearly 60 percent of men don’t regularly see a doctor. In another survey conducted overseas, nearly half of the 500 men surveyed said their health is something they don’t talk about. Indian men are no different!
To all the men reading this, make sure to prioritize your health as you do for your family. And for all their loved ones, feel free to nag men in your life to get regular health checkups done and consult a doctor for any discomfort bothering them.
Not sure which health checkups are important to check men’s health, we got you covered.
1. Cholesterol Levels:
According to the American Heart Association, all adults over the age of 35 should get their cholesterol checked every 5 years. You might need to begin screening as early as 20 years of age if you have certain risk factors such as diabetes, smoking, a body mass index (BMI) over 30, family history of stroke, or first-degree relatives who have had deranged cholesterol levels.
You can get your cholesterol levels measured with a simple blood test . It typically looks for three parameters- good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and triglycerides.
High levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides are linked with heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. In general, a total cholesterol level of 125-200 mg/dL is considered normal.
2. Blood Pressure Readings
Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure exerted by your blood on the walls of blood vessels. A high BP puts you at risk of various health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. It is very easy to check your BP numbers at home with the help of a BP monitor. The readings give two numbers: the first is the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats and second is the pressure between beats. The BP values are 120/80 mm Hg or less, it is within the normal range. If your BP is higher, consult your doctor and he/she might want to check it more frequently. A single high reading does not mean your BP is high. Usually, the diagnosis of high BP needs two readings taken 4 hours apart of higher than 120/80 mmHg.
Do you know men are at a high risk of getting diabetes as compared to women? The risk of getting diabetes increases as you age. As per guidelines, if you are over age 44, you should be screened every 3 years.
Other risk factors for developing high blood sugar levels include:
- Having a family history of diabetes
- Having a BMI over 25. It means that you are overweight. If you are overweight, your doctor can ask to start diabetes screening at a younger age.
- Having a BP number above 130/80 mmHg
- Ensure to test your blood sugar level for diabetes regularly. Book an HbA1c test here.
4. Eye Examination
Your eyes are precious! But how often do you really get bothered to consult an eye specialist? Get your eyes examined every 2 to 4 years if your age is between 40 and 54, and every 1 to 3 years for ages 55 to 64. Having an eye examination becomes all the more important every year if you have diabetes.
A quick tip for all those who are glued to their laptops or cellphones 24×7: Make sure to blink your eyes every 20-30 seconds. This lubricates eyes naturally and prevents eye pain and discomfort.
5. Prostate Cancer
It is one of the top ten leading cancers in India. Men over 65 are more likely to develop this. Furthermore, having a family history of prostate cancer increases your risk of getting this condition. It is a slow-growing cancer, but some types are more aggressive. Screening tests may help in early diagnosis and finding the right support well within time. Health tests for prostate cancer include a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Ask your doctor about your risks and how often you should get PSA testing.
The Final word
If there is a single learning from the pandemic times you need to internalize- let it be keeping your health above everything else! It is high time that you understand the significance of regular health tests. Having your vital health parameters within normal range can not only help you prolong your life expectancy but also amplify the joy of living.