Father’s Day is just around the corner, and so is its lesser-known cousin, Men’s Health Week. So, guys, pay attention because advice like this could save your life!
Traditional assumptions have always said that boys are stronger and sturdier than girls, but, in fact, the opposite is true.
Basic biological weaknesses are built into the male of our species, and these frailties leave guys more vulnerable than girls to many of life’s health hazards.
Let us look at the facts. Men, on average, are expected to die five years earlier than women. They are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, and they die at higher rates from cancer and heart disease. They are more likely to engage in risky behaviour, use tobacco products, and over-indulge on alcohol. The list goes on.
So, you would think men would take these warnings on-board, but studies tell us that men are less likely to see a doctor for check-ups or preventive care. Now with concerns about COVID-19, men might be even more reluctant to visit the doctor.
So, let us start with the most important rule. A stitch in time saves nine
Although this article explores preventive health care, the number one rule is that if you have any worrisome symptoms, do not wait.
Deal with it now!
Make an appointment with your doctor and have concerns addressed immediately. In the unfortunate circumstance that something is wrong, it is ALWAYS better to catch it early.
Rule two is that you should visit your health care provider regularly, even if you feel healthy
These visits will:
- Screen for medical issues.
- Assess your risk for future medical problems.
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Even if you feel fine, you should still see your provider for regular check-ups. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future. Remember, most health issues begin with no symptoms at all, so you need to be proactive about screening for them.
There are different tests you should have for different ages. Younger men should check for things like STD’s, blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. In your older years, you should also be screening for heart disease, cancers, vision, and hearing problems.
Let us go through a few of the common tests you will need
Remember, this article is only a guide. It is not comprehensive and does not replace your need for the advice of a qualified physician.
Blood pressure screening:
Have your blood pressure checked at least every two years. If you have pre-existing conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, or kidney problems, you may need to do it more often.
Cholesterol screening and heart disease prevention:
The recommended starting age for cholesterol screening is 35 for men with no known risk factors for coronary heart disease, and your cholesterol should be checked every 5 years. Again, like blood pressure, if you have other conditions, get screened more often.
Colorectal cancer screening:
Family medical history is always important, particularly with certain cancers. So, if your parents or grandparents suffered from diseases, like colorectal cancer, get checked out before you’re 50. After that age, it’s essential that everyone is checked out regularly.
Go to the dentist once or twice a year for an exam and cleaning. Your dentist will tell you if you need to visit more frequently.
You should be screened every three years, more if you are overweight or suffer from high blood pressure.
Have an eye exam every 2 to 4 years, ages 40 to 54, and every 1 to 3 years ages, 55 to 64. Have an eye exam at least every year if you have diabetes.
Check yourself regularly with testicular self-exams. Be especially alert to any lumps, painful or otherwise, swellings or enlargements. On average, men wait for about five months before saying anything, and that’s not time you want to waste. If you discover anything suspicious, visit your urologist immediately.
Check your body, head to toe, for new spots or lesions, particularly if they change shape, texture, or bleed. People at high risk include those who have had skin cancer before, have close relatives with skin cancer, or have a weakened immune system.
Remember, this article is a guide only! It’s not exhaustive, and it in no way replaces the advice of a qualified physician. Be smart! Visit a doctor at the first sign of trouble. And get screened regularly before trouble raises its head.
So, there you have it. Men are, health-wise at least, the weaker sex, so it’s best to be the (equally) smart sex too!
If you need support, advice, or counselling, please contact us on 0861 GOLIFE (465433) or SMS “Wellbeing” to 43821 or click here to visit the website for more information.
References www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/mens-health-checkups-and-screenings-are-key https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007465.htm https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007464.htm