Hectic work schedules and unhealthy eating habits have taken a toll on our health, resulting in the increase in lifestyle diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, particularly in men. These conditions can be debilitating and fatal at the same time unless intervened and managed in a timely manner. Which is why it is extremely important for everyone, including men, to take care of their health and get a thorough preventive checkup done at regular intervals.
Health risks vary with age, gender, family history and past medical conditions. “Integrating healthy habits into one’s lifestyle and getting regular checkups for possible health conditions are the two pillars of a robust preventive health regime,” says Dr Ramananda Srikantiah Nadig, Head of the Clinical Advisory Board, healthi.
# Physical Activity: Consistent physical activity of moderate vigor for about 30 minutes every day can help prevent many chronic lifestyle diseases.
# Proper diet: A balanced diet rich in all essential nutrients — proteins, fats and carbohydrates — keeps the body functioning properly and prevents the onset of diseases.
# Sleep: Sleep deprivation can cause several metabolic disorders to develop, affecting the body’s natural immunity. Optimal sleep duration of 6-8 hours must be maintained for healthy living.
# Stress management: The adoption of stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga can help ward off long-term conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Preventive health check-up:
Getting checked for health conditions at the appropriate age and time can help in early diagnosis and timely treatment.
Preventive care has to be viewed as a long-term investment, since it can avert many serious health problems, and also help you reach your personal health and wellness goals.
Men and preventive check ups
In men, every age and stage comes with its own set of health conditions. Thus, it is a good idea to get yourself checked in a timely manner. Here is a list of simple preventive tests that men in their 30s should get regularly.
Cholesterol: Monitoring your cholesterol levels will help determine whether you have a tendency to develop high cholesterol later in life. It will also tell you whether your dietary intake is right or needs improvement. Screening is imperative for those with certain risk factors including diabetes, smoking, BMI over 30, family history of stroke, and first-degree relatives who’ve had heart attacks. High triglycerides are also associated with metabolic syndrome increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Diabetes: Today, this is a major lifestyle disorder causing many metabolic issues in an individual. Undertaking a simple blood sugar (fasting) test will tell you if you are predisposed to this condition in any way.
Weight: Given the drastic shift in lifestyle, the weight that an individual piles on serves as the genesis of metabolic and cardiac problems. So watching and managing weight is critical right from an early stage.
Blood pressure: The stressful lives people lead today has made blood pressure as common as cough and cold. Monitor your blood pressure and keep a note of the readings to detect any abnormality. A high blood pressure may require medication to ward off the risk for heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD): Getting screened for STD is beneficial for even those men who have had only one partner throughout. Sexually transmitted diseases may not have very obvious symptoms and may therefore go undiagnosed for years.
Tuberculosis (TB): Screening for TB in Indian men is important. Doctor’s use the chest X-ray to screen and look for other anomalies. However, there is a need for this to be balanced with the risk of over-radiation, and is not recommended annually. Doctors diagnose active TB in the lungs (pulmonary TB) by using a medical history and physical exam, and by checking symptoms such as an ongoing cough, fatigue, fever, or night sweats. Testing mucus from the lungs (sputum culture) is the best way to diagnose active TB.
Liver Function Test: It is advised for those who regularly consume alcohol or those with a genetic pre-disposition to non-alcoholic fatty liver.
Vitamin D (25 Hydroxy Cholecalciferol): Most men today are deficient in Vitamin D due to the fact that they work in a closed office environment and have limited exposure to sunlight. This makes them susceptible to osteoporosis and other health conditions.
Eye check-up: Eye exams on a regular basis are critical for detecting conditions such as glaucoma, Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), cataract, and diabetic retinopathy. Getting an eye check up on a regular basis is also recommended given the fact that men spend a lot of time in front of computers and on mobile phones, be it in office or at home.
Dental check-up: It is recommended to get your teeth checked and cleaned at least once a year.
Research has shown that men are more likely to ignore any possible health conditions due to various reasons. Often, many dangerous conditions do not show clear signs and symptoms until they become severe. A timely diagnosis can not only keep a check on health but also help address any potential health condition in a timely manner.