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5 Health Tests Men Need To Have Done

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Egyptian Doctor, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    1- Depression

    Unfortunately, one of the leading threats to men is themselves. According to the Mayo Clinic, suicide ranks as a major risk to a man's health and well-being. One of the main risk factors that places it on this list is depression [source: Mayo Clinic].

    Where we are often looking for a concrete source of an ailment -- say, obesity or tobacco use -- sometimes, the most difficult challenges are those we can't actually see on the surface. However, depression and mental health issues are authentic concerns. The good news is that they are also treatable.

    Speak with your doctor about an evaluation for depression if you think you have any symptoms of this illness. Examples from the National Institute of Mental Health include:

    Always feeling anxious or sad
    Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
    Having a hard time concentrating
    Having suicidal thoughts
    Lacking energy
    Having emotions related to guilt, helplessness, hopelessness

    2: Colorectal Cancer

    In 2007, there were 142,672 people with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That's a lot of people. In fact, the CDC goes on to say that it's the second deadliest cancer for the nation. However, perhaps the most difficult statistic to take is that if regular screenings became the societal norm, we could save up to 60 percent of those cancer patients [source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].

    So who should be screened? According to Richard Sine for WebMD, if you are older than 50, it's time to talk to your doctor about being screened for colorectal cancer. In addition, Sine says that you may need to consider being screened earlier if you are at increased risk for the disease. Increased risks include having inflammatory bowel disease or a family history of cancer or growths in the rectum or colon

    3: Blood Pressure

    If you are the competitive type and like a good challenge between friends, the one thing you don't want to score high on is your blood pressure. A blood pressure measurement tells you how much force is put on your arteries' walls when your heart sends blood pumping through your body. A high score, also known as hypertension, can lead to a variety of health care challenges. In fact, the National Center for Biotechnology Information cites the following examples of possible complications of high blood pressure:

    Congestive heart failure
    Heart attack
    Vision loss
    Stroke
    Brain damage
    Blood vessel damage
    Just how often should you have your blood pressure checked? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recommends having it checked starting at 18 and then every two years thereafter

    4: Cholesterol

    Your cholesterol level is a real-life example of "good cop vs. bad cop." Good cholesterol -- known as HDL -- can help keep down your risk of heart attack and stroke, while bad cholesterol -- known as LDL -- can contribute to heart disease. Lifestyle choices, such as proper nutrition and regular exercise can help you pump up your HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and lower your LDL (the low-density variety).

    So what's the best way to know if you need to examine your lifestyle choices or take precautions against high levels of LDL? Get your cholesterol tested. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality advises all men 35 and older to have their cholesterol checked. That said, the agency alerts men who have other health issues to get checked at age 20 and above. Examples of these issues include tobacco use, high blood pressure, diabetes, history of heart disease or a male family member who had a heart attack before 50 or a female family member who had a heart attack before 60. Consult with your doctor on how frequently you need to get tested

    5: BMI and Waist Circumference

    Putting aside vanity or any preconceived notions of what a person should or shouldn't look like, maintaining a healthy weight is a lifesaver. In fact, keeping your weight in check helps lower your risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke [source: Mayo Clinic]. Even if you don't care about any other reasons to maintain a healthy weight, this should do it for you.

    So how do you determine if you are a healthy weight? Have your BMI -- body mass index -- and waist circumference measured. BMI is an indicator of your body fat achieved through a calculation using your weight and height. Different BMIs indicate whether you're underweight, normal, overweight or obese. You can run the calculation online at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Web site.

    In addition to BMI, Cathy Becker and Raquel Hecker for ABC News suggest pulling out a tape measure and letting your waist circumference give you an idea if the weight you are carrying around your middle is an issue. A measurement of more than 40 inches could indicate increased risk for heart disease

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