4 Point Plan for Men’s Best Health

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Everyone wants great health. There are now many modern lifestyle diseases to navigate alongside the natural aging process. For example, type 2 diabetes is one of the top ten health issues for men, with risks increasing from the age of 35, and making it 3 to 4 times more likely to have strokes and heart attacks. Many diseases progress slowly over decades, often with silent symptoms. Issues such as being overweight, stress, poor sleep, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are common modern lifestyle diseases to keep an eye on and manage.

Here’s the 4-point plan if you’re a man to change your risk factors to avoid a health storm in your well-deserved retirement.

1. Notice symptoms – what you need to know

Be aware of subtle symptoms due to changes in insulin regulation that comes with metabolic diseases:

Increased thirst

Frequent urination

Increased hunger

Unintended weight loss or gain

Fatigue

Blurred vision

Slow-healing sores

Frequent infections

Erectile dysfunction, retrograde ejaculation, low testosterone and decreased sex drive.

An extra word about erectile dysfunction

If erectile issues are present, make sure screening for cardiovascular disease is done, as it is an early indicator of this risk. The erectile dysfunction symptom is directly linked to vascular damage, correlating with cardiovascular function. Additionally, it may also indicate nerve damage. With erectile dysfunction, blood flow becomes limited and the small blood vessels to the genitals are damaged.

2. Regularly visit your doctor for a health check

It is important to see the doctor for regular health checks, even with no particular health concerns. Men’s reluctance to visit the doctor is common. As much as you may want to avoid it, it’s ideal to commit to an annual trip to the doctor for basic lab tests – it’s a no brainer guys!

Many diseases are progressive, silent and develop over many years. It is easy for subtle symptoms to be overlooked and unchecked. Delays in a diagnosis allow damage to progress. Most of the metabolic diseases take decades to develop and much can be done using nutrition and lifestyle medicine to mitigate them.

Not all symptoms will appear in the same way for different people, so allowing your doctor to run a health check will help catch any changes early.

 3. Be in charge of your own health results

Establish your baseline test results from your doctor visits and know your risks, learn what the results mean and track them as you age. This will allow you and your doctor to spot any changes that may be heading in the wrong direction and most importantly, put you in charge of your own health. 

One lab test to include annually is a blood glucose test (HbA1c) which measures the average blood sugar levels in the blood over a 54-day period. High HbA1c levels can indicate insulin resistance, which is the common denominator for all of the metabolic diseases (diabetes, obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides). Check for fatty liver disease, uric acid levels, vitamin D levels (needed to indicate cardio and cognitive health and cancer prevention) and ask your doctor about any other tests they recommend for you. They will get serious about your health when they see that you are.

4. Reduce your risk factors

Reduce your risks of the many lifestyle diseases by focusing on the following areas:

Weight gain or obesity

Weight distribution around the middle of your body

Inactivity, lack of exercise

Stay informed about the diseases in the family history

High blood pressure

High cholesterol

Smoking

Excess alcohol

Poor sleep

Many of these risks (outside of genetics and age), can be decreased with lifestyle changes.  

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