An average 35-year-old male spends around 9 hours a day on the job. Out of the remaining hours left in the day, 8 hours are spent resting and sleeping. The rest of the time is spent doing household chores, eating, relaxing, and exercising, among other things.
That leaves very little time for middle aged men to focus on their health. The 30’s may be new 20’s, but the biological clock does not stop nonetheless. By the age of 35, you have lived almost half of your life and your body will start showing signs of wear and tear. In simple terms, just like women, you should start undergoing certain health screening tests to ensure there are no nasty surprises in store for you in the future.
The following are 7 critical health-screening tests that every middle-aged man should sign up for:
- Blood Pressure Screening: You should get your blood pressure checked every 2 years. If the systolic reading, i.e. the highest reading is between 120 and 139 or the diastolic number, i.e. the lowest reading is between 80 and 89 mm Hg, your blood pressure is normal. Any aberration is a warning sign and you should talk to your physician about this. High blood pressure can increase your risk for a stroke and a heart attack, so make sure that you talk to your doctor about remedial measures you can begin.
- Diabetes Screening: This is a paramount test that doctors ask you to undergo so they can check your risk of contracting diabetes. The test checks your body’s glucose absorption tolerance, which means how readily your body is able to digest sugar. You should sign up for this test at the age of 45 even if you do not show any symptoms or if there is not any other risk factors that you are dealing with. If you have high blood pressure, are significantly overweight, or have other risk factors for this disease such as a family history of diabetes, you should get yourself tested at a younger age. Make sure that you get yourself checked for diabetes every 3 years after the age of 35.
- Colon Cancer Screening: If you are north of 50, and have history of polyps or colon cancer running in your family, you need to check yourself for colon cancer. A screening may also be required if you have a history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). For those between the ages 50 and 75, you should sign up for a colorectal cancer screening exam. Some common screening tests include:
- Colonoscopy, which is completed every 10 years
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy, which is done every 5 years as well as a stool occult test which is done every 3 years
- A stool occult blood test which is completed every year
- Osteoporosis Screening: Men who are between the ages of 50 and 70 and who have risk factors for osteoporosis should discuss an osteoporosis screening with their healthcare provider. Some poignant risk factors can include heavy alcohol use, smoking, long-term steroid use, a fracture after age 50, low body weight, or a family history of osteoporosis.
- Prostate Cancer Screening: Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer affecting men after the age of 60. According to the Center for Disease Control, 80% of men suffer from prostate enlargement and around 16% of those develop cancer. Frequent trips to the bathroom, a burning sensation while urinating, a gradual loss of bladder control are some of the symptoms of prostate enlargement. After the age of 50, an annual prostate cancer screening test is recommended.
- Bladder Cancer Screening:Smokers have an elevated risk of contracting bladder cancer. Bladder cancer in the early stages can be symptomless, thus regular screening is the only way to catch it early. If detected early, chances of curing it and surviving are around 95%. Blood in the urine, pain during urination, the consistent urge to empty the bladder despite it not being full are some of the warning signs.
- Screening for Metabolic Syndrome: Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms that increases your risk for heart disease and diabetes. You are checked for a number of risks during this screening process. Further tests may be recommended if the physician suspects anything. Men are considered to have metabolic syndrome if they have three of the five risk factors listed below:
- Elevated triglycerides (greater than 150 mg/dL)
- Low good cholesterol (below 40 mg/dL)
- Fasting glucose (above 100 mg/dL)
- Blood pressure (higher than 130/85)
- Waist circumference (that is more than 40 inches)
Most of the conditions mentioned above are of a serious nature and if left unchecked, can cause serious health issues with you. Regular check-ups can help you reduce these risks significantly, therefore depending on your lifestyle, get yourself checked once in a while to live a long and disease free life.