March 21, 2022
The Essential Screenings Men Need
Routine screening tests are important in helping men detect hidden diseases early before any symptoms become noticeable. This has the advantage of raising the recovery rate since treatments are much more effective in the early stages of a diagnosis.
Here are 5 of the most important health screenings for men, including the appropriate timeline to get screened for each condition.
1. Blood Cholesterol
High cholesterol is usually a result of poor lifestyle choices involving excessive consumption of fatty foods and not exercising enough. High blood cholesterol elevates the risk of plaque forming in the arteries, which can block blood circulation to the heart causing heart attacks and other heart diseases.
Starting at age 20, all men should get a blood cholesterol test at least once every 5 years. Men who consume alcohol, use tobacco, live a sedentary lifestyle, or have a family history of heart disease should have their cholesterol levels checked more often.
2. Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease in men and can lead to ailments such as peripheral arterial disease, heart attacks, heart failure, aortic aneurysms, and more. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 39, it’s recommended you have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years. Men over 40 are at a much greater risk of high blood pressure and should get screened at least once a year.
Diabetes is a condition where your body is unable to convert glucose into energy. This results in your blood having a high glucose concentration.
Undiagnosed diabetes can cause kidney complications, nerve damage which at times leads to blindness and insensitivity to pain, as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Men over the age of 45 should be screened for diabetes at least once every 3 years. Those who are obese and suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol should be screened much earlier and more frequently.
4. Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the deadliest cancers but also one of the most responsive to treatment when detected early. In its localized early stage the recovery rate is almost 100%.
Screening involves getting a blood test called a Protein Specific Antigen (PSA) test which measures the amount of protein that’s made by the prostate gland, in the blood. If the results aren’t normal, the doctor may order a prostate biopsy. Prostate screening is recommended for men above 40 at least once every 2-3 years. Your physician may recommend earlier and more frequent screening if the men in your family have a history of prostate cancer.
Undiagnosed and untreated depression can ruin relationships, affect the way you eat and sleep, and even increase the chances of alcohol and substance abuse, among others. Since it is a mood disorder, it’s usually characterized by a loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, as well as a feeling of hopelessness and sadness.
Depression can affect men of all ages. If you encounter such symptoms, you are encouraged to visit a psychiatrist or therapist for early diagnosis and treatment. The therapist can prescribe depression medication and talking therapy to manage the condition in its early stages before it gets out of hand.