Contributed by: Rachana Arya
As a male with demanding work schedules and social pursuits, a trip to the doctor is the last thing on your to-do list.
There is considerable evidence to show that an overwhelming majority of men are reluctant to go to the doctor for examinations, screenings, and preventive health consultations.
Men perceive doctor visits as an avoid-at-all-costs chore. However, it is imperative to do so in order to detect warning signs of any underlying illness, before they escalate into something serious.
Health protection and prevention are the keys to adding years of health to your life.
Here are a few simple diagnostic tests that should be part of any health checks for men.
In addition to the below screenings, your doctor can identify the appropriate screening tests based on your specific circumstances, taking into account your age and new symptoms you may be experiencing.
Frequent checks for heart abnormalities are important for men to decrease their likelihood of significant cardiac disease.
This becomes especially imperative if you have a family history of heart disease or already have elevated cholesterol or high blood pressure.
An echocardiogram test — also called ECG or EKG — is a non-invasive and painless medical test to look for unusual electrical patterns in your heart.
This test can accurately determine if the heart muscle is damaged.
Liver enzyme test
Liver enzyme testing is a simple blood test that tests for damage to the liver. These enzymes are typically found in the liver cells under normal circumstances.
When the liver is damaged, however, these enzymes are released into the bloodstream, raising the AST and ALT enzyme blood levels and signalling liver disease.
It is important to be tested for these enzymes since they can be elevated due to over-the-counter medications, alcohol intake, inflammatory illnesses, thyroid abnormalities, obesity, and other toxins.
Given that thyroid dysfunction is not very common in males, most healthcare providers tend to overlook thyroid symptoms in men.
A blood test called a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test is typically administered to determine if your thyroid gland is functioning properly.
It can tell you whether your thyroid is hyperactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism). A thyroid issue can also be detected before any symptoms appear.
With early diagnosis, any thyroid dysfunction can be fixed through proper medication.
Lung cancer is mostly present in those men who smoke frequently. The remaining persons are usually those who have a genetic susceptibility to it or have been exposed to second-hand smoke or caustic chemicals.
Lung cancer is frequently discovered by chance during scans performed for another cause. As a screening technique, an annual chest X-ray screening with an LDCT (low-dose computed tomography) scan is recommended.
The prostate-specific antigen, or PSA blood level test looks for a protein released by prostate cells in your blood. PSA levels grow as a result of cancer.
This test is used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. All men between the ages of 50 and 70 should be checked.
PSA testing should begin at the age of 40 if you have a family history of prostate cancer or unknown history.
The screening can help identify the disease at an initial stage when treatment may be more effective and potentially have fewer side effects.
Blood pressure and cholesterol check
High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke in males, and if left untreated, it can be fatal. High cholesterol can potentially cause major cardiovascular issues such as a heart attack or stroke.
Get a thorough examination as well as some basic blood tests. Many pharmacies in the area can check your blood pressure without the need of an appointment. Your cholesterol levels should be examined on a regular basis.
It’s never too early for men — well, everyone actually — to be aware of what’s going on inside your body. Understanding common health abnormalities can help you take proactive steps for your health, including disease prevention, early detection, and counselling.
In between health checks, lifestyle interventions such as changes to your diet & exercise routine can help to limit any undesirable genetic impact on your health. Remember, health is wealth, invest in yours today.
A health check-up may not seem like, a good idea. But it’s worth it! Just do it.