Important Health Tests Every Man over 40 Should Have Done
There are important health tests for men over 40 should have to ensure they are in good health, as this is the time when significant biological changes start to take place, such as prostate health issues, increased blood sugar levels and weight gain that can lead to Type 2 Diabetes, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. Even if you do not notice any symptoms, such as with Pre-Diabetes, which can display no symptoms, most doctors and physicians will recommend regular and proper tests at least by age of 40. However, you will see men often shying away from visiting their doctor, even for regular health checkup tests. A health risk assessment is important especially for men who are turning 40, since this will help you and your doctor see if any changes are taking place that can be a precursor to a condition, or if you get a clean bill of health, since you exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and don’t smoke.
This article will give you valuable information on the important tests for men over 40 regardless of health, and why a health assessment is important to monitor your health as you age to keep you healthy and fit.
Cholesterol Level Test
Considering the bad eating habits many men over 40 have, going for a Cholesterol Level Test to have your LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol and HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) levels checked. Commonly called bad cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol is basically the type of fatty waxy protein in your blood, which can lead to blocked arteries, hence checking its level is a good idea to know about your potential heart disease risks. The LDL cholesterol level test one of the most important health tests for men over 40, since raising bad cholesterol levels is a silent yet deadly killer. HDL, on the other hand, is referred to as good cholesterol, since this type of cholesterol scrubs LDL cholesterol from the walls of the arteries and converts LDL in the blood into food for cells.
In order to have healthy cholesterol levels, you need to be close to the magic number of 220. As per experts, after the age of 20 you need to check for the same in every five year time frame. If you have heart disease risk factors, such as poor diet, lack of exercise, overweight or obesity, stress, smoking and high cholesterol in your family, it is recommended to have your cholesterol levels checked once or twice a year. Also, if you are suffering from diabetes or kidney issue, the frequency of these tests would increase.
Your doctor will have you fast 24 hours before the test, and the test consists of taking blood samples, which are sent to a lab for analysis. Within one week your doctor will know your HDL, LDL and total cholesterol levels.
Prostate health issues are increasingly common in men over 40. A healthy prostate gland is walnut shaped and soft. Prostate problems, can include prostate enlargement, called benign prostate hyperplasis (BPH), prostate infection, which can also result pain when touched, and discomfort during urination or ejaculation, making sex painful. Prostate cancer can include these symptoms, and additionally may include a tumor or a tough and leathery texture.
The most common prostate health issues men should be tested for are enlarged prostate, prostate infection and prostate cancer, which is one of the most common cancers among men, hence by the time you turn 40 it is important to be tested. When you see your doctor for a prostate health test, the doctor would first use his gloved finger inserted into the rectum in order to check the size, shape and texture of the prostate gland. The prostate gland is located between the scrotum and rectum, is a small and soft walnut sized gland. The urologist is checking for normal size, a soft texture and easily moved with the finger. The second prostate health test your doctor will recommend is Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA test) to check for elevated levels of PSA in the blood, which can detect anything from enlarged prostate to prostate cancer. A PSA score up to 4, will generally indicate an enlarged prostate.
If a PSA test results in a PSA of 6 or above, the doctor will highly recommend a biopsy of porostatic tissue to analyze for signs of prostate cancer. If no cancer is present, a retest in 3- six months will be required.
The most common prostate health issues men over 40 will face is an enlarged prostate. This will be accompanied by frequent late night bathroom trips and weak urine flow, and possible pain in the prostate when urinating or during ejaculation. Other prostate health problems can include prostate infection, called prostatitis, or prostate cancer. engorgement, if you find such enlargements most of the time it may indicate to cancer. For more accurate result, a PSA test (Prostate specific antigen), which is basically a blood test that is used to check the PSA level. A PSA of 4 or under is considered normal. A level over 6 in men around age 40 may indicate prostate cancer or just the symptoms of an enlarged prostate or prostate infection. The doctor may want to do a PSA re-test in 3-6 months or do a biopsy of the prostatic tissue to check for the presence of prostate cancer.
Type 2 Diabetes is very common these days, due to poor diet, hence checking your blood sugar level is recommended for everyone, and especially men who are closing in on age 40. Early symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include: frequent bathroom trips, always being thirsty, feeling hungry even after a large meal, or noticing rapid decline in vision. If you have family history of Type 2 Diabetes then make sure you consider going for this test on a more frequent basis. To carry out this test, the doctor simply checks your body’s tolerance for blood glucose absorption, which means how quickly your body is able to digest and use sugar. These tests are conducted by drawing a small amount of blood from your finger before and after having your breakfast.
A Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 test is also recommended for men who are 25 pounds or more overweight, has high levels of LDL cholesterol, or Hypertension (high blood pressure).
Bone Density Test
As per National Osteoporosis Foundation, more than ten million people are suffering from bone strength issues, known as osteoporosis. The fact is this disease is caused more in men rather than women, even though it is common to hear only about women over 40 needing to have their bone density checked. As per the reports, this disease usually results in breaks the hip for around 5 percent of men, and 5 percent are seen with vertebral fractures after age 50. The Bone density test is carried out using a specialized X-ray, known as the Dual Energy X ray, commonly denoted as DXA. This test simply checks for bone density of hips, wrists and spine.
Eye Check Up
Checking the health of your eyes on a regular basis, usually every two years is vital to keep your vision in right frame, and can also identify Type 2 Diabetes. Having an eye test will also help in alleviating certain problems, which start showing up after the age of 40. A typical eye check up is carried out in an Ophthalmologist office, and takes around half hour wherein both the health and vision of your eyes are tested. If you regularly have these tests, if you wear glasses, you are bound to detect issues like Cataracts, Age related macular degeneration (AMD), Diabetic retinopathy and Glaucoma.
In order to stay healthy, men should have these health tests and checkups on the recommended time duration, especially after you turn forty. These important tests for men over 40 will catch or hopefully detect and health related issues or diseases in your body at an early stage and help you correct it or begin a treatment plan as soon as possible.
Diana Maria is a freelance journalist who has been writing about mobile technology, customer relationship management and women’s health for more than a decade. These days she is busy to contributes on seomorpheus
Ken Weiss is a health blogger who is passionate about natural and holistic cures for men’s health issues. He is the founder of menshealthcures.com