As we age, there are necessary medical screenings that should be conducted on an annual or semi-annual basis. It is crucial to be proactive and check your body to prevent life-threatening illnesses.
It’s especially important to check on your body more frequently once you have turned 50. Many major illnesses tend to surface during that age range and early detection can result in rapid treatment and life-saving results.
Men over 50 should attend to these critical screenings:
1. Prostate exam. It’s always better to catch cancer in its early stages. Preventative medicine is an important part of gaining and maintaining a positive quality of life. Prostate issues can inhibit a man’s ability to urinate normally and greatly diminish his health.
* Digital rectal examination of the prostate is the first type of test. This will detect enlargement of the prostate and any hardening that could indicate cancer.
2. Blood pressure check. Checking your blood pressure at least twice a year is recommended.
* High blood pressure can indicate being at risk for heart disease and stroke.
* High blood pressure hardens the walls of the arteries and makes the heart work harder than it needs to in order to maintain a functioning body.
* High blood pressure can negatively affect your ability to think clearly and the use of your memory as you age.
* There are things you can do to control your blood pressure: avoid heavy sodium and caffeine in foods and drinks, increase your cardio exercise, and proactively reduce stress in your life.
3. Cholesterol screening. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL is bad for your health, while HDL is beneficial. Your doctor will draw blood and complete a lipoprotein profile to assess your cholesterol levels.
* HDL cholesterol prevents fat build up in the arteries caused by high levels of LDL cholesterol. It is desirable to have a higher amount of HDL cholesterol than LDL.
* High cholesterol can negatively influence your body and mind. Heart disease is a major effect of having high LDL cholesterol because fat slowly clogs arteries and reduces blood flow away from the heart. This increases the work that the heart has to put out in order for the body to continue to operate.
* You can control your cholesterol through healthy eating. Omega-3 fatty acids that are present in fish, nuts, and avocados will raise your HDL and lower your LDL cholesterol.
4. Testosterone level. For a man over 50, having low levels of testosterone in the blood can impact the personal aspects of their life. The doctor will use blood work to confirm your testosterone level.
* Low testosterone can lead to reduced sex drive and erectile dysfunction in men. These conditions can cause issues in your personal and private relationships and may impact your self-esteem.
* Low testosterone can physically impact a man’s appearance. Decreases in muscle mass and bone density and increases in belly fat are results of low testosterone. These side effects can impact a man’s self-esteem and eventually their mobility as they age.
Each of these crucial screenings can allow you to take the initiative in detecting illnesses at the beginning stages.
Early intervention is the key to curing or sustaining a better quality of life as you age gracefully.
Having knowledge of your body’s conditions will give you peace of mind. Knowing that you are being proactive in regards to your body will inspire you to become more proactive in other aspects of your life.
Knowledge is power. Checking your body will enable you to feel power over your health.