Ok men, have you ever taken care of a car? Is it better to change the brake pads when they are starting to wear down or when your brakes start making a screeching, grinding noise? …before there is a problem of course ! You might go through multiple cars in your lifetime but how many bodies do you go through? It is your responsibility to make sure it stays in the best shape possible and has regular tune-ups.
A survey of over 4.000 men and women found that three times more men have not seen a doctor in the previous year before the survey was done. Additionally, one in three men have no regular doctor.
In your 20’s and 30’s, it is important to get an overall health check up yearly. Your doctor will review your family history, lifestyle, and provide screenings for any risk factors you might have for conditions like heart and vascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
In your 40’s and 50’s, the overall health checkup becomes more important. As you advance in your career, become busier with family life and community activities, there is a possibility for higher stress and a decrease in healthy habits like exercise. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes, talk about your options for treatment. After starting treatment, you may feel better, but stay consistent with your treatment plan and follow-up with your doctor.
In your 60’s and beyond, your overall health checkup is a non negotiable. Having a yearly conversation with your doctor about your lifestyle and habits can help avoid having to handle expensive treatments later on. Be sure to discuss any symptoms you are having as they may be indicators of developing issues, no matter how small they seem.
According to AHRQ, there are certain screenings that are recommended regularly to maintain overall health. Height and weight checks; body mass index (BMI), screening for testicular cancer, diabetes, thyroid disease, liver problems, anemia and others. Cholesterol testing is recommended every five years and screenings for coronary heart disease, hepatitis C and HIV based on lifestyle and risk factors. Over the age of 45, diabetes screening is recommended every 3 years, and a colonoscopy is recommended over the age of 50. Screening for depression is also recommended for men over the age of 40.
Whatever your reason, think of your body as your beloved car. Take this time to go schedule your next doctor’s visit so you can live longer, healthier and happier!