June is Father’s Day and Men’s Health Month. Careteam+ urges men to make their health a priority. By following a few simple rules, you can increase not only the length, but the quality, of your life.
For starters, here are a few key screenings to safeguard your health:
- Keep your weight in check. Excess weight increases your risk for diabetes and heart disease. Your body mass index (BMI) measures your body fat based on your height and weight, and it can determine if you’re overweight or at risk for developing obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an adult BMI between 18.5 and 25 is within normal range.
- Have your cholesterol checked. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that all adults over the age of 35 have their cholesterol checked every five years. Screening should begin at age 20 if you have certain risk factors, which include:
- a body mass index (BMI) over 30
- a family history of stroke, or
- close family members who have had heart attacks
- Have your physician check your lipids. High triglyceride levels are associated with the onset of heart disease, diabetes and can cause stroke. The same blood drawn to measure your cholesterol provides a reading of your triglycerides, a type of fat.
- Keep tabs on your blood pressure. Checking your blood pressure is a simple procedure, but one that pays big dividends. If your blood pressure is high, you may require medication to control it and ward off heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
- Test for Diabetes. Diabetes results in blood sugar, or blood glucose, that rises to abnormally high levels. Over time, diabetes results in damage to blood vessels and nerves, causing a variety of symptoms, including:
- difficulty seeing
- tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, and
- increased risk for a heart attack or stroke
- Get Screened for Colorectal Cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in American men. If you’ve celebrated your 50th birthday and haven’t been screened for colorectal cancer, it’s time. You should get screened earlier if colorectal cancer runs in your family. Don’t worry; a colonoscopy is painless and takes only 15 to 20 minutes. Even better, this test can detect colon cancer early, when it’s most treatable.
- Have your physician check for an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). This is caused by an enlarged blood vessel in the stomach that ruptures suddenly. AAAs frequently have no symptoms, and they are fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, based on a study published in the American Family Physician. The good news is that an ultrasound can detect an AAA before it ruptures.The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for men between 65 and 75 who have smoked 100 or more cigarettes in their lifetime.
- Keep tabs on moles or skin abnormalities. The number of cases of melanoma has increased more rapidly over the last 40 years in the United States than any other form of cancer. Men then get melanoma twice as often as women. By age 80, men account for three times more cases of melanoma than women. As a rule of thumb, check your skin every month for moles that have changed or look abnormal. Report these to your physician immediately. If necessary, your medical provider may refer you to a dermatologist.
- Have the doctor check your PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood levels. Talk with your doctor about your risks for prostate cancer. He or she may suggest that a digital rectal exam (DRE) and the blood test PSA should be part of your physical. Remember, early detection is key. The American Cancer Society recommends prostate screening start at age 40 for high risk men (first degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer) to age 50 for men with average risk.
If you don’t have a regular source of healthcare you’re not alone. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 26 percent of men in the United States do not have a regular physician. At Careteam+ we’re here to help. Our team of physicians and healthcare professionals offer appointments within a week and expert care that includes routine exams and care for chronic conditions that include Asthma, Diabetes, Hepatitis C, and high blood pressure. They can also help with obesity and smoking cessation.
For more information on Careteam+ or to schedule an appointment, call 843-234-8238 or visit them on the web at www.careteamplus.org
All content on this website, including information presented in blogs such as this, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a diagnosis or treatment plan. Seek the advice of a Careteam+ physician on any issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of your family including your children.