Men’s Health Aging Living Well
Aging is probably the most hated topic to discuss, especially when talking about medical issues, but it is a very important one. Everyone has heard that preventative exams are part of the Affordable Health Care Act, but there isn’t a lot of discussion of what exactly those exams are. Women are usually more forthcoming when it comes to figuring stuff like that out, so this article will focus on men.
18 years +: Even young men are encouraged to get in the habit with preventative exams, so that any problem can be discovered in the early stages, where it is easier to manage or cure. Physicals are recommended every 2-3 years, but insurance usually allows for one a year. Blood tests are usually included and will include blood pressure, diabetes, STDs, and immunizations. They usually recommend skin exams as well, since skin cancer has become more prevalent in the younger populations.
20 years +: Eye, vision, and hearing exams are recommended periodically, anywhere from 2-10 years depending on preexisting conditions and family history. Your doctor can give you a recommendation more suited to your needs.
35 years +: Cholesterol screenings become important, but some doctors will screen for it during the yearly physical since guidelines for hypertension have changed recently. There are certain health conditions and lifestyle habits that would make your doctor recommend getting it sooner than 35. It is best to get it at least every 5 years if your doctor doesn’t include it in your yearly exam.
50 years +: Prostate screening and colonoscopy, which are both very uncomfortable topics and exams, but very important. If you are at risk for colorectal cancer or prostate cancer, your doctor might recommend the exams at an earlier age and more often than recommended for those not at risk.
It is important to make sure you are scheduling those appointments and screenings as recommended. An early diagnosis gives you the highest chance to manage or cure a potentially life threatening condition. Your doctor may recommend medications to manage or treat any conditions discovered in testing and it is also very important to follow those directions. A medication reminder app on your smartphone like MedsMinders could make the difference between staying healthy with your medications.
When you are setting up those medication reminders, why not add one or two reminders to take a walk around the office, or around the house to help you set some of those steps in. Your doctor probably recommended that you get more walking and it can be really hard to remember to take an extra lap around the office at lunch time. No space to walk? Set your reminder to stand up and do some basic leg exercises that have been adapted to be done at work!