Health tips for men over 40As if making it “over the hill” was not bad enough, men older than 40 are at risk of a number of health complications that may require less-than-desirable doctor visits.
By: Heidi Bounphithack, Grand Forks Herald
As if making it “over the hill” was not bad enough, men older than 40 are at risk of a number of health complications that may require less-than-desirable doctor visits.
This stage in life may require conversations and exams about areas of heath that some men may find uncomfortable or downright embarrassing. Nonetheless, they are still very important because feeling healthy does not guarantee men are in tip-top shape.
“Forty is the big one,” said Dr. Matt Stayman, department chair at Sanford Health.
And because it can be hard to teach old dogs new tricks, he added, 40 is a good time to get into the habit of routine checkups.
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death among men.
Stayman said it’s not uncommon for a young man with a family history of heart problems to have high cholesterol in his 20s. For that reason, men should begin testing in their 20s, continuing every five years.
According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, about one in three adults have high blood pressure (HBP). Men should be screened every two years, unless otherwise directed. Tests can be administered by a doctor or from automated machines.
It is also recommended that men start paying closer attention to their diet by limiting the amount of fatty foods they eat, although, “everything is OK in moderation,” he said.
In addition to incorporating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into diets, men should participate in at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity. Working out is a great way to reduce stress and an assortment of harmful health conditions.
That is why Stayman believes it is so important to keep diet and weight under control.
“Prostate cancer is the second most-common cancer in men,” said Xenofon Papadopoulos, urologist at Altru.
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) examination process is usually complete within a matter of minutes and while also uncomfortable, it is fairly painless. During the examination, doctors check for abnormalities of the prostate gland.
“A good exam with a normal PSA goes a long way,” said Stayman.
There have been recent controversies over the necessity of the procedure by government agencies who speculate that people being diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer do not necessarily need the treatment.
Still, Papadopoulos recommends the early screenings.
“Typically early stages of prostate cancer do not cause symptoms,” said Papadopoulos. And if detected right away, “it is a relatively easy cancer to cure.”
Men should consult their doctor about any questions or concerns they might have regarding their health, because timely exams are every man’s best ally against kicking the bucket.