The old joke is that men hate asking for directions, and while that premise may be a little out of date in the era of smartphones and Google Maps, it does still hold true that members of the male gender in general seem to be more averse to asking for help. If it means a missed turn, that can be annoying or inconvenient, but if we’re talking about your health, the consequences can be a lot more severe. Studies have shown that men are up to 33% less likely to have visited their doctor within the past year. This is a major deficit, especially when men in the United States have average life spans which are five years shorter than those of women. For Men’s Health Month, let’s talk about why guys should be scheduling regular doctor’s appointments.
1. Men are notorious for not going to the doctor. Why is it important to get regular checkups with your primary care provider?
It’s important to get regular checkups to check your blood pressure and perform annual blood work tests to monitor nutrient, blood sugar, and other levels to test for your risk of a variety of illnesses and health conditions. If you are 45 years or older, you should also make sure that your colonoscopy is up to date.
2. How often should men get their prostate checked? What kind of test is used for this?
Men should get PSA (prostate specific antigen) testing with their blood work each year as a part of their physical exams after reaching the age of 40. Increases in PSA could represent benign enlargement of prostate or prostate cancer. Digital prostate exams can also be performed for men 45 and older who have a family history of prostate cancer.
3. How often should men get a colonoscopy? At what age should they start getting this testing done?
Men should get a colonoscopy every 5 years if their colonoscopy is normal and every 2-3 years if they have multiple polyps or pre-cancerous polyps. Men should start receiving colonoscopies once they reach the age of 45. If a direct relative has had colon cancer, you should take the age at which they were diagnosed and subtract ten years to determine when you should get your first colonoscopy.
4. Is diabetes more commonly found in men? How often should men test for diabetes?
Diabetes is more common in men than women. Men should get screened for diabetes once a year at their annual physical exams and once every 3 months if they are diagnosed with diabetes.
5. What can a man do to improve his overall health?
A healthy day-to-day routine should involve regular aerobic exercise with a healthy balanced diet consisting of lean proteins (fish and chicken, less red meat) and reduced carb intake. Managing stress is also important to your overall health, so it’s good to practice activities that you find relaxing – these could be yoga, meditation, or something as simple as spending time reading a book every day.
Men’s Health Screenings at Medical Offices of Manhattan
With virtually all health conditions which commonly affect men, prevention and early detection is key to better physical health and long-term health outcomes. Medical Offices of Manhattan offers a variety of medical tests and examinations, including:
Nothing is more important than your health, and regular doctor visits are critical to making sure that you stay in control of your own wellness. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment if you need one!