Many men are reluctant to visit their health care professionals on a regular basis. Why? It varies, though many men seem to believe that a visit to the doctor will only bring bad news.
It’s the wrong approach, though, because having a physician check for specific medical issues, based on the patient’s age, can be a critical and proactive step in overcoming any serious health problems that may arise. That’s why it’s crucial for guys to visit the doctor and have them perform the following very important health tests…
1. Blood Pressure Testing
The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommendeds that all adult men have their blood pressure checked at least once every two years. For those who have been previously diagnosed with high blood pressure, it should be checked even more frequently, roughly every six months to a year.
The good news is that it’s often very easy to access blood pressure screenings. Many neighborhood pharmacies or even workplaces hold blood pressure testing events. Remember, if the top number is over 140 and the bottom number is greater than 90, you need to see your doctor.
2. Cholesterol Testing
Once a man hits age 35, he should be getting his cholesterol check at least once every five years, according to the The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). This is especially crucial for anyone diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes, or a family history of high cholesterol.
Remember, having high cholesterol can be an early sign of heart disease. Discovering that your cholesterol is high will give you the opportunity to make necessary changes to your diet and boost your chances of avoiding significant health problems.
3. Diabetes Testing
The Western world is struggling with a diabetes epidemic that spreads virtually every day. This is largely a result of our high-fat, high-sugar diets, which have led many men to develop type 2 diabetes.
That’s why it’s so important for every adult man to be regularly tested for diabetes. This is especially important if you have a body mass index, or Body Mass Index (BMI) that’s 25 or higher, according to the American Diabetes Association. Someone with a BMI 25 or over is considered overweight and is more susceptible to developing diabetes.
4. Dental Exam
Very few men enjoy visiting the dentist. And no wonder: for many men, a visit to the dentist can lead to discomfort or even pain. But in the long run, the amount of discomfort and pain only increases if you dismiss regularly visiting the dentist.
All adult men should visit the dentist at least once per year in order to receive an exam and cleaning. This can help your dentist detect any emerging problems early on, giving you the opportunity to take action before the pain and expense becomes too great.
5. Eye Exam
Imagine how your life would change if something happened to your vision–for example, if your eye sight was reduced or even eliminated altogether. Now, perhaps, you understand the crucial importance of getting an eye exam on a regular basis.
Experts, like WebMD.com, recommend adult men have their eyes examined at least once every two years. This is particularly important if you’ve ever had problems with your eyes (i.e., sustaining an injury or if you’ve had surgery performed). If you have glasses, get your eyes checked every time you go for new lenses.
6. STD Exam
It can be difficult to reflect on your sexual past and evaluate your vulnerability to serious sexually transmitted diseases (or STDs), from syphilis and chlamydia to HIV and AIDS. But not knowing is even more dangerous–for you and your partner.
That’s why it’s a good idea to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases every time you enter a new sexual relationship. You should also consider being tested if you have any suspicion that a partner has been unfaithful prior to having unprotected sex.
7. Prostate Exam
Every year thousands of American men are stricken down with prostate cancer, a deadly but treatable form of cancer. That’s why it’s crucial that every man over age 50 get tested for prostate cancer at least once each year, says the American Cancer Society.
Men over age 40 with a family history of prostate cancer (or even prostate problems) should also consider being checked regularly. When detected early, prostate cancer can be controlled and even beaten.
8. Colon Cancer Testing
One of the most dangerous types of cancer is colon cancer, which affects our lower intestines. That’s why men over age 50–and men in their forties with a family history of colon cancer–should have their colons checked by a doctor at least once per year.
Men who have a history of bowel problems (including irritable bowel syndrom, polyps, or inflammation) are especially encouraged to see their doctor about a colon cancer screening. In many cases the testing requires only a stool sample.
9. Osteoporosis Testing
As men age, it can become increasingly painful and difficult to remain physically active. In some cases this is because the muscles become weaker, but in many cases it can involve osteoporosis, or the deterioration of bones.
Any man over age 50 should be regularly tested for osteoporosis. This is especially important for men with a family history of osteoporosis and those who use steroids, have low body weight, smoke, and drink alcohol to excess.
10. Lung Cancer
These days, it’s widespread knowledge that a lifetime of smoking tobacco–or being around people who smoke on a regular basis–can lead to the development of lung cancer. But smoking may not be the only cause of lung cancer.
In fact, environmental conditions such as working around dangerous substances or chemicals can lead to the emergence of lung cancer. That’s why medical experts recommend that all men over age 50 be regularly tested for lung cancer and other lung-related health problems.