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Tip of the Week: What Men Need to Know

As Men’s health month winds down, men should keep in mind the recommended screenings for serious conditions and diseases, to keep themselves healthy!  An article posted to FOX NEWS.com gave some great tips. Despite the advice given here, or in any other health article, you should always consult your doctor about any questions regarding your health.  These days, all healthcare professionals are turning their focus to preventative medicine; and this includes getting some of these tests done.  Don’t wait for a bad condition to manifest; act now and prevent it.   Dr. Ebanks at Alternative Healthcare in West Hartford is known for preventative care. 

Diabetes- For most Men over 45 especially if you are overweight it is important to have a diabetes screening.  You can have an A1C test or a fasting plasma glucose test done right in your doctor’s office.

Sexually transmitted infections- Some sexually transmitted infections can go undiagnosed for years so even if you are in a monogamous relationship it is a good idea to get tested.

Body mass Index (BMI)- This test can be done at home.  You can measure your body fat based on your height and weight.  Keep in mind that numbers between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered to be a normal weight.   This calculation isn’t perfect and doctors understand it can sometimes label healthy people as overweight and vise versa, they still believe it is a significant factor in assessing overall health.  You as a patient can and should ask your doctor about a healthy diet and exercise.

 Cholesterol- It is recommended that over the age of 20 men have their cholesterol levels tested every four to six years. It is measured by a blood test and it is commonly asked by your doctor not to eat for 9-12 hours beforehand.  Eggs, chicken and beef all have high levels of cholesterol.  High cholesterol puts men at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

Blood Pressure- Blood pressure really doesn’t show any symptoms however the test for it is quick and painless.  You should have it checked every time you see a doctor or at least every 2 years.  If your systolic number (top) is above 120 or your diastolic (top) number is over 85 you should monitor it annually.  If it gets too high your doctor may recommend exercising more, eating less salt, or prescribe medication.  Generally a normal bp is 120/80.

Colonoscopy- Screening for colon cancer should begin at age 50, however if the disease runs in the family it is recommended they start earlier.  If your doctor doesn’t find anything suspicious, you may not need another exam for up to 10 years. 

Prostate exam.  It is suggested that all men over 50 years of age at least discuss this procedure with their doctors.  Some feel these tests are expensive and unnecessary and they even may cause more harm than good.  While they can and do save lives they may result in false positive or false negative.  The decision to get screened should be one you make with your Doctor. 

For more information you can read the full article at http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/06/14/7-medical-tests-every-man-needs/

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