How Should Men Take Care of Their Health? A Guide for All Ages
It is well-known that men tend to visit doctors much more rarely than women do. As a rule, the only reason for a man to take a decision to have a consultation with a medical specialist is a serious disease or unbearable pains, in such cases there are no other choices left.
But the point is that to stay healthy one should see a doctor on a regular basis. Fist of all, such visits provide a doctor with an opportunity to get an idea how a particular patient looks like when he is healthy, and such information may come in handy during his illness. Besides, it is much more comfortable to collect the information about a patient’s health problems, lifestyle and family history, when he feels fine and has enough time and energy for such a discussion. In addition, if one has any hidden health problems, there is a good chance that a doctor will notice some suspicious signs during such a consultation.
Sure, every patient has his own personal need, but there are general guidelines for men of every age on how often they should see their doctors and which tests and manipulations they should undergo in order to avoid the most common health risks. Here is the list of the checks that are obligatory for female patients:
A regular physical exam
Men are recommended to undergo it every year, so that a doctor has an opportunity to monitor the state of the patients’ health and to check whether there are any dangerous changes.
That’s a good chance for a doctor to check your body mass index and to talk to you about your lifestyle and diet, as well as to check, whether you stick to a vaccination plan. Besides, during such exams, doctors usually create personalized care plans and adjust them to patients’ habits, lifestyle, health problems, family histories, etc.
There are no strict recommendations concerning regular testing.
Still, depression and other psychological problems are rather widespread nowadays. That is associated with the modern speed and style of life. You can check your current psychological state during your visits to a physician. Be sure to turn for help in case you notice any negative symptoms.
Screenings at dentist’s
In fact, you should visit a dentist every 6–12 months since your childhood.
During the consultation a doctor will clean your teeth and check whether you have any problems with the oral cavity, teeth or gums.
Bone mineral density tests
They are recommended for men aged 70 and older.
But in case you break a leg after the age of 50, you will also be advised to undergo such a test. Patients belonging to the risk group should also have it after the age of 50.
Prostate cancer screenings
In most cases such tests are recommended to patients at the age of 50 and older.
Since there are certain risks associated with this procedure, in many countries it is not considered to be obligatory. Still, if any of your close relatives has faced this disease, be sure to discuss that with your doctor. In case you are an African American, you are also at risk, and your doctor is likely to offer you to undergo the test at the age of 45.
In general, this procedure should be conducted at the age of 50 and repeated every 10 years.
But men belonging to the risk group, i.e. those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease or having close relatives facing colorectal cancer, may be given different recommendations.
Blood pressure checks
Blood pressure should be measured every 2 years since the age of 20.
If you suffer from hypertension, your doctor may recommend you to undergo such test more frequently.
That should be conducted every 4–6 years since the age of 20, but in case you belong to a risk group you doctor may recommend you to undergo it more frequently.
Be sure to discuss the results of the test with your doctor, he will interpret them taking into consideration your state of health. There are no universal norms here. Mind that it is strictly recommended fasting for 10–12 hours before undergoing such a test.
Blood glucose tests
They are usually conducted every 3 years after the age of 45.
In case one has hypertension, a high level of cholesterol or excessive weight, he is considered to be at risk for diabetes, and a doctor is likely to introduce changes to this scheme.
In case neither you nor your close relatives have problems with vision, you are recommended to visit an ophthalmologist at the age of 40.
At the age of 65 and older you should see the doctor once in 1–2 years. During the consultation he will make sure there are no signs of cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.
There are no strict recommendations.
Still, in case you notice any suspicious symptoms, be sure to turn to your healthcare provider.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
It is not an obligatory test in case you do not smoke.
Still, in case you have a history of the bad habit specified, a doctor will offer you to undergo a screening at the age of 65–75.
The first thing you should do is to check whether you have received all the vaccines according the scheme so far.
In case you find out that you are fully protected, you will be recommended to follow such a plan:
- In case you are 21 or younger, you are to be vaccinated against the HPV. This vaccination is also recommended for men, who have sex with men and are 26 years old or younger. The same recommendation is given to the patients who are transgender. Those men, who suffer from HIV, should also stick to the same instruction.
- When you are 50, you are to receive a vaccine against shingles.
- When you are over 65, you will be recommended to get vaccinated against pneumonia.
Tests for sexually transmitted diseases
Every man at the age of 15–65 should undergo an HIV test at least once. Further instructions depend on the lifestyle.
It is recommended to have screenings for syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea, if one is bisexual or has sex with men. Those men, who have sex with multiple or anonymous male partners, should undergo such screenings on a more frequent basis ― every 3–6 months.
In case one experiences any problems with an erection or an ejaculation or thinks that he may be infertile, it is highly advisable to turn to a doctor without delay.
Today there is a good selection of medicines that help to overcome erectile dysfunction just from the first pill taken. As for infertility, the sooner one starts the treatment, the better results he gets.
In case you notice any skin problems or moles that look unusual, be sure to visit a doctor within the shortest possible period of time.
It is highly advisable to constantly monitor the state of your skin and to carefully protect it against the sun rays.
No doubt, these recommendations are just a general guide. Your doctor is likely to introduce some changes after he studies the state of your health and your family history. Be sure to follow his instructions, since preventing health problems requires much less effort and money than solving them.