Movember! Men’s Health Month!
November is Movember, a movement to inspire men to think about their health. I’m not going to nag you into going to the doctor, but I am going to encourage you to go and get the check-ups that you need. I have written about prostate & testicular cancer, chronic illness, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and COPD for Wellness Works NW. I’m not going to rehash what you can read in them. What I am going to do in this article is to share what tests you need to get done regularly.
Who doesn’t hate going to the doctor? I feel your pain there. I hate it. Yet, I know that in order for me to have a wellness type of lifestyle, going for annual check-ups is a big part of my wellness plan. I’m going to list the common ones and how often.
Blood pressure check:
If you don’t have diabetes, heart disease, kidney issues, or any other conditions then you can get this check up every 3 years. If you do have these issues, you need to check it every 3 months.
Cholesterol and Heart disease:
If you have diabetes, kidney disease, or are obese, or already have cholesterol issues you need to get this test done every 3 to 6 months. If you don’t, then every 8 years.
If you are not obese or already have diabetes then you can get this check-up every 3 years. If you do, then every 3 to 6 months.
There are two types of procedures to test for colon cancer. The stool occult blood test, where they take a sample of your tool and run tests on it. The second is the flexible sigmoidoscopy. If you have no family history of colon cancer and are not the age of 45 or older then you only need this done every 5 year’s. If you are 45 and older then you need this test done every two years.
Once or twice a year you need to have your teeth cleaned and checked out. I wrote an article about this explaining the reasons why.
If you have diabetes, heart disease, or any other type of chronic illness, you need your eyes checked every 6 months to year. If you don’t, then every 2 to 3 years.
This is a blood test that needs to be done yearly for men from age 35 and older.
I hate going to the doctor. It’s a chore. It is also embarrassing to talk about my medical conditions and to show off my body parts to people. Since becoming sick, I now understand that in order for me to be at my best I need to get these tests done. I’m not happy about it. It’s uncomfortable. One thing I would like to share with you, both men and women, is that our medical team should be like talking to a family member. They are there to help us. They are there to make sure we are doing well. I am fortunate enough to have a great medical team. I am building a relationship with each and every one of them. Communication becomes and intricate part of this relationship. That is why as soon as I notice something that is not right with my body I talked to my medical team about it. I had to teach myself how to be this way. I’m not one who airs their business with every single person I know. I protect my privacy. Yet, I know that sometimes my privacy needs to open up to those who I want on my team to aide me in my wellness.
In conclusion, I hope that you, my dear reader, have the medical team that you want and need for your own wellness journey.
Here are some links for you:
- Jamie Holloway at Jamie Chases Butterflies: The Importance of Oral Health
- Mayo Clinic: Prostate Cancer
- Medicine Plus: Health screening – men – ages 40 to 64
- National Cancer Institute: Testicular Cancer Patient Version
- The Movember Foundation
Jamie Holloway lives in the Portland, Oregon area. Since October 2011 she has been sharing her Journey Toward Health and Wellness with Vasculitis through her blog at JamieChasesButterflies.com. As most of her articles will be about Men’s Health, Jamie intends to write her articles as though she was sharing important information with her brother, nephews and friends. We hope you are as inspired as we are with the raw candor Jamie uses in her writing.