Men, when was the last time you had a general check up?
For whatever reason, men are less proactive about their health and wellbeing when compared to females. Overall, males tend to see the doctor less often, wait longer before making an appointment and have shorter consultations.
As we get older the risks to our health change, so it becomes more important to have regular check ups in order to stay healthy and discover any early warning signs of illness.
If you’re wondering what health conditions you should be focusing on, or how often you should be having certain tests, here’s a breakdown based on age:
During your earlier years, health checks will mainly focus on mental health, sexual health and the early detection of disease. Even though this age group is usually illness free and seemingly bulletproof, the health choices you make here can influence your later years.
Throughout these years, it’s important to be beginning regular skin checks in order to know what’s normal for you, so you can monitor any changes to moles or freckles.
For men aged between 18-39, testicular cancer is the second most common type of cancer, so it’s important to be performing regular self-examinations. These checks can be done at home, preferably in a warm shower. Your testes should feel firm and sensitive, but not painful. A hard lump is the most common sign of testicular cancer.
Blood pressure checks every 2 years and regular STI checks are also recommended for this age group.
During late teens and early adulthood it’s important to watch for signs of mental health issues. The highest prevalence of depression, anxiety and substance abuse in Australia are in those aged between 18-24 years old. Men are also at a greater risk of suicide, with suicide being the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years old. If you or anyone you know are experiencing signs of mental health contact lifeline’s 24 hour support service on 13 11 14 or seek immediate help from a professional.
As we age the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes increases, so more regular check ups are required. Blood sugar tests are recommended every 3 years, or yearly if you’re in a higher risk category. Those who are at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes are those with a family history, are overweight, are physically inactive, and those of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander decent.
Blood pressure tests should be performed yearly and checks for cholesterol should start now and continue to be monitored every 5 years. .
Being overweight can increase your chances of developing many chronic health conditions, so ensure you’re examining your BMI and waist circumference yearly.
This is a high-risk age for developing bowel or prostate cancer, so it’s important to know the signs and symptoms for both. Common symptoms of prostate cancer usually involve issues with urinating, including increased need to urinate especially at night, painful or burning urination and/or blood in the urine or semen.
Bowel cancer symptoms include a change in bowel habits including diarrhea, constipation or the feeling of incomplete emptying, blood in the stool, or pain around the anus. 90% of bowel cancers are successfully treated if detected early, so it’s recommended to complete the test every 2 years. In Victoria easy testing kits are offered free, so there’s no excuse. Make sure you chat to your doctor about also undergoing a prostate exam.
After 50 years old the body will start to breakdown bone at a faster rate than it builds it. As a result bones will begin to lose density and strength. Bone density scans are recommended to determine the risk of developing osteoporosis and other bone conditions. It’s important to be cautious of fractures as a result.
60’s and older:
By this decade we need to be consistent with our check ups, with visits to your GP recommended at least once every 6 months, depending on your health. All the checks through the last five decades will continue to be performed more regularly, and you may also need to start testing for visual and hearing impairments. Eyesight tends to deteriorate with age so it’s recommended men over 60 have an eye exam every year to check for glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts.
At any age it’s important to listen to your body and seek immediate advice if you notice any changes.
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At Ballarat and District Chiropractic we know you want to be empowered when it comes your health so we want to help you by sharing all our knowledge about Chiropractic.