Often times men slack off when it comes to visiting the doctor for their health issues or even routine checkups. They either let the illness run its course or rely on home remedies and self medication to feel better. It is important, however, especially for men over the age of 50, to make regular visits to the doctor even if they feel physically healthy. The following medical tests for men over 50 can help identify grave health problems that can be treated and controlled in their early stages. Early detection of health conditions through medical tests can save lives.
The PSA test determines the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. A high PSA is an indicator of prostate cancer or such a similar health problem. PSA is one of the most important blood tests for men over 50 which helps pin down the health of the prostate. Men should get this blood test done every year after 50.
2. Bone Density:
The DEXA test is to measure the bone mineral density. While osteoporosis is more prevalent in women, men over 50, especially those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, smoke and have a history of the disease in the family are susceptible to osteoporosis as well. A bone density scan helps identify the chances of fracture so you can mitigate its risks and take necessary precautions against easy bone breakage.
With age, the testosterone levels in males begin to decline. This can give result to issues like fatigue, increasing weight, declining libido, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, bone loss, poor sleep quality, behavioral changes, etc. This is one of the most urged blood tests for men over 50, especially those who complain of the aforementioned issues.
4. Blood Sugar:
A blood sugar test is a blood test that determines the level of glucose in the blood, and, therefore, the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance. If left untreated, diabetes can even impact heart, eyes, skin and mental health, and result in many other issues like kidney disease and nerve damage. The repercussions of insulin resistance include high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, increased weight, bloating, and elevated blood sugar. If you are a male over 50, make sure you get your blood sugar checked once in every 3 years.
Another important medical test for men over 50 is colonoscopy – a test that screens patients for colorectal cancer. Other tests like sigmoidoscopy and fecal occult blood test are also used to determine colorectal health.
One of the most crucial medical tests for men after 50 is the cholesterol blood test. In fact, doctors recommend all males who are over 35 (in case of smokers, diabetics and obese patients, over 20) to get their cholesterol checked every five years.
Individuals over 50 must get a flu shot every year and a tetanus-diphtheria booster vaccination every 10 years. In case you haven’t gotten Hepatitis A and B vaccines, then you must get them. After the age of 60, you should get a shingles or herpes zoster vaccination once.
8. Lung Cancer Screening:
Lung cancer screening is a must for all those men over 50 who have a history of smoking 30 packs per year, who currently smoke or have quit smoking only in the last 15 years.
9. Dental Checkup:
Every individual must visit the dentist once or twice every year for a dental checkup and cleaning. This helps the dentist evaluate the signs of inflammation and infection.
10. Eye Checkup:
The risk of developing diseases like glaucoma increases with age. Individuals below the age of 50 must get an eye examination done every 2 to 4 years. After 50, they should visit the ophthalmologist every 1 to 3 years.
Apart from these tests, men must also check their skin every month for new and abnormal moles and visit the skin doctor once every year to check for signs of skin cancer. Additionally, you can keep your mental health in great shape by maintaining an active social life, sleeping 7-8 hours every day, participating in daily physical activity and avoiding stress. Remember, your health and well being is in your hands. Taking proper care and precaution can protect you from a myriad of serious health problems and give you a long and healthy life.
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