Common Wellness Exams Men Should Have: When it comes to overall health, setting up a doctor’s appointment is the first step. Visiting a doctor on a regular basis is key to living a healthy and functional life. It's important to get a routine annual physical exam by your physician, but for men, additional tests should be done to screen for diseases and other conditions. Depending on a patient’s medical and family history, a doctor can specifically determine which tests a man should have and how often to have them. The following is an overview of common exams men should seriously consider.
Common Wellness Exams Men Should Have: #1 Diabetes Screening
One-third of Americans have diabetes but are unaware! Diabetes screenings for overweight men who also have a family history of the disease, or who are of African American, Asian American, Latino, Native American, or Pacific Islander descent, should be screened every 3 years. Detecting diabetes early on may prevent complications such heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, blindness from damage to the blood vessels of the retina, nerve damage, and impotence.
Common Wellness Exams Men Should Have: #2 Colonoscopy
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer. Men have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer than women and should consider screening for growths on the inner surface of their colon. This is done through a colonoscopy. Men should be screened beginning at the age 50, but those with a family history may benefit from earlier testing.
Common Wellness Exams Men Should Have: #3 Prostate Exam
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in American men after skin cancer. Detecting prostate cancer before symptoms develop can be effective for treatment. Prostate screening may also result in false-positive or false-negative results so it is important to be aware of symptoms of an enlarged prostate, such as having to urinate frequently or having trouble urinating.
Common Wellness Exams Men Should Have: #4 Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Whether you are in a monogamous relationship or practice safe sex, it is still important to be screened for sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV, at least once. Regardless of a patient’s age or health history, many common sexually transmitted infections can go undiagnosed for years.
Common Wellness Exams Men Should Have: #5 Cholesterol Testing
High levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood can cause plaque to build up in arteries, eventually leading to cardiovascular disease, heart attack or stroke if left untreated. Having cholesterol screenings for men is especially important due to men having an overall higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease than women. It is recommended that once a man turns 20, cholesterol level tests should take place every 5 years.
Common Wellness Exams Men Should Have: #6 Vision Tests
With age, men, and women, will notice changes in their vision, most often not for the best. Vision screen tests can detect abnormal high pressure within the eye, which is usually a sign of glaucoma. This group of eye diseases gradually damages the optic nerve and may lead to blindness. Screening tests can catch and treat the condition before damaging the optic nerve.