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Routine Health Care for Men

Here are few health maintenance and check-up tips for the gents out there.

• Know your cholesterol levels

Cardiovascular disease, mostly heart attacks and strokes, is the number cause of death in men. Have your cholesterol checked from age 20, then every 4 to 6 years. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease or are at a heightened risk, undergo cholesterol checks more frequently. A total score below 200 is normal. While it is important to be aware of your cholesterol levels, it is crucial to consider them with any other risk factors you might have.

• Check your blood pressure

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80, pressures of 130/80 and higher is a red flag. High blood pressure causes or makes worse a long list of health problems: heart attacks, strokes, erectile dysfunction, and kidney disease. Manage your blood pressure to prevent these cases Lower your numbers with medication and healthier dietary choices and regular exercise. Hypertension at times is asymptomatic until it has caused significant damage to your body.

• Step on a scale

If your body mass index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9, you are in the normal range. Obesity is linked to higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and many kinds of cancer. Move more, eat less. Simply taking the stairs at work and walking the dog around the block can help you lose weight. Almost any diet can work in the short run but achieving lasting weight loss typically demands a permanent shift in lifestyle for most individuals. Do small, sustainable changes and gradually build upon your achievements over time.

• Get your blood sugar assessed

A fasting blood sugar determines the amount of sugar in your blood after you have not eaten for 8 hours. A score of lower than 100 is normal. A reading of 126 or higher means diabetes. The middle ground is prediabetes. If you catch and treat high blood sugar at this stage, you may not get the disease.

• Undergo colorectal cancer test

Colorectal cancer often develops slowly over several years before spreading. Early detection offers a high chance of cure. Men with average risk should commence screening at age 45, and earlier if there is a family history of colon cancer.

• Learn about prostate cancer screening

Starting at age 50, men should talk to their doctors about the benefits, risks, and limitations of prostate cancer screening. Doctors can detect abnormal growths in the prostate gland early and can help save lives.

• Receive a flu shot and other suggested vaccinations

No matter how healthy you are, the flu can lay you out for days, leading to discomfort and absence from work. You also might pass it on to someone more vulnerable than you. While the flu shot does not provide complete immunity, it slashes your chances by 50% to 90%. Men over 50 or those who have chronic medical problems like asthma, diabetes, or lung disease should get the flu shot every year.

Ref: Accessed March 2024.

The article written above is for informational and educational purposes only. For serious medical and health concerns, please consult a licensed health provider.