Men have always been known to put off important health checkups, especially if they don’t show any symptoms or feel unwell. Compared to women, men are 24% less likely to have visited a physician for regular checkups in the past year. However, like women, men need regular checkups to stay healthy. Regular health checkups help catch serious diseases and conditions early, when they can be treated, leading to a healthier life.
It’s critically important you visit your doctor for regular health checkups even if you’re feeling fine. While men of all ages should have regular checkups, these tests become even more crucial as you age since you become more prone to many health conditions. For instance, you should have yearly hearing tests at your nearest hearing clinic, like HearCanada, as a part of your routine health checkups. Besides hearing tests, here are a few other important annual health check ups men need to stay healthy:
1. Physical Examination
Every man needs a physical examination at least once a year, even when healthy. During this checkup, your doctor will assess your weight, height, and body mass index or BMI to determine if you’re overweight or at risk of becoming obese. This is crucial because excess weight or obesity usually increases your risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Your doctor may suggest several lifestyle and diet interventions to help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of developing obesity. They’ll also ensure you’re up to date with your immunizations.
High cholesterol levels in the blood can increase your risk for stroke and heart disease. Regular cholesterol screening is often recommended for men above age 35. However, you should have regular cholesterol testing from as early as age 20 if you have known risk factors like diabetes, a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, smoking, or kidney problems.
3. Blood Pressure
According to research, nearly a third of Americans have high blood pressure, and many aren’t aware of it since they don’t experience any symptoms. However, if left untreated, high blood pressure can increase your risk for kidney disease, stroke, and heart disease. As such, all men should have their blood pressure checked at least once in two or three years, no matter their age.
However, you should consider going for blood pressure check ups annually if you have known risk factors like diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or if you are obese. If your doctor finds your blood pressure is higher, that is greater than 120/80 mm Hg, they may recommend more frequent checks.
If not properly managed, diabetes can increase your risk of many health complications, including nerve damage and heart disease. However, if detected early, diabetes can be managed, reducing the risk of these health complications.
If you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in its early stages, your doctor may recommend making certain lifestyle and diet changes first before they consider any medical intervention. That’s because making healthy diet and lifestyle changes in the pre-diabetes stage can prevent it from developing into full diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, men should have a diabetes test every three years from age 45. However, you should have annual diabetes screening from an early age if you have known risk factors like family history, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Annual checkups are crucial for maintaining good health and are recommended for all men, regardless of age. It’s always advisable you seek immediate medical attention if you experience any symptoms or changes to your health.