“As iron sharpens iron, so too does one man sharpen another.” - Proverbs 27:17

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Health Screening for Men: What Are The Most Important Tests?

By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer at The Fit Father Project

If you’re not checking in with your primary care physician at least annually now’s the time to do so, as routine health screening for men is saving lives. Properly managing chronic conditions, such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and depression can prevent serious complications. Use the health screenings for men checklist below to achieve or maintain optimal health and wellness today!

#1 Body Mass Index Screening

Tracking your body mass index (BMI) helps your doctor determine your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. To calculate your body mass index, your doctor weighs you and uses the following formula: body mass index
  • Multiply your body weight in pounds by 703
  • Divide that number by your height in inches
  • Divide by your height in inches again
You can use an online BMI calculator to figure out your BMI in between doctor's visits. An optimal BMI is 18.5-24.9, as staying within this range significantly reduces your disease risks. If your BMI is too high, try the Fit Father Project 30X (FF30X) weight loss program for men to begin your journey toward a healthier weight and life today!
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#2 Waist Circumference Screening

Measuring your waist circumference is another important health screening for men and a good indicator of disease risks. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), type 2 diabetes and heart disease risks increase if your waist circumference is more than 40 inches in men. Measure your waist circumference with a tape measure by placing it right above your hips. If your waist is larger than you’d like, try the Fit Father Project's free 1-day meal plan or free fat-burning workout.

#3 Low Testosterone Screening

It’s important to get screened for low testosterone in men, or male hypogonadism, because this health condition is common and can significantly reduce your quality of life. In fact, nearly 40% of men who are 45 or older have low testosterone, or low T. Symptoms of low T include: testosterone screening
  • A decreased sense of well-being
  • Depression
  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreases in muscle and strength
  • Increases in body fat
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Infertility
  • Decreases in bone mass
Routine hormone screenings for low testosterone and other hormone imbalances helps you doctor establish a personalized treatment plan for you. They use a simple blood test to check testosterone levels. If you have low T, they may offer you hormone replacement therapy, which involves injections, skin patches, creams, gels, pellets, or other methods for boosting testosterone to reduce unpleasant symptoms.

#4 Blood Pressure Screening

Blood pressure screening for men is important, as high blood pressure is a contributor to heart attacks, strokes, and other heart or blood vessel problems. blood pressure screening for menHeart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but your risk of developing it is greatly reduced with routine health screenings for men. Your doctor or nurse will check your blood pressure using a blood pressure cuff and machine or a stethoscope. An optimal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg. Get your blood pressure checked at least every year or more often if your doctor recommends it. Common high blood pressure treatments include taking medications or making lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, dietary changes, more sleep, stress reduction, and regular exercise.

#5 Cholesterol Screening

High cholesterol increases your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. However, with early detection and treatment, you can properly manage cholesterol to keep disease risks as low as possible. Your doctor may check the following numbers during cholesterol screenings:
  • Total cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), or “good” cholesterol
  • Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
They complete cholesterol screenings using a simple blood test and let you know if your levels are outside of the desirable range. For example, an ideal total cholesterol number is less than 200 mg/dL, and a goal for HDL cholesterol is 60 mg/dL or greater. If you have high cholesterol your doctor might suggest medications, dietary supplements, or making lifestyle changes to get your levels back on track.

#6 Blood Sugar Screening

Diabetes is a common chronic disease in men, as it's the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. blood sugar screening for menWhy? Because uncontrolled diabetes (uncontrolled blood sugar) can cause complications associated with diabetes. Examples include kidney problems, heart disease, nerve damage, dementia, skin problems, and eye damage. Symptoms of diabetes include:
  • Frequent infections
  • Increases in thirst or urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Irritability
  • Slow-healing sores
If you experience symptoms or are at risk of developing diabetes, your doctor screens you using a simple blood test. Treatment for prediabetes, which includes making healthy lifestyle changes, helps prevent you from developing diabetes. To properly control blood sugar when you have diabetes, your doctor might recommend taking oral medications, using insulin injections, losing weight, other healthy lifestyle changes, or multiple treatments.
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#7 Testicular Cancer Screening

About 1 in 250 males are diagnosed with testicular cancer during their lifetime and the average age of diagnosis is 33. While there’s no standard test for testicular cancer screening, you or your doctor may discover it during a self-exam or routine physical exam. Symptoms of testicular cancer in men include: Testicular cancer screening
  • A lump in either testicle
  • A dull ache in the groin area
  • Discomfort in the scrotum or testicle
  • Heaviness in the scrotum
  • Testicle enlargement
  • Collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement
If you feel a lump or experience other symptoms of testicular cancer, your doctor can use imaging tests to make a diagnosis. Treatment often includes removing the cancerous testicle and possibly nearby lymph nodes, and radiation therapy or chemotherapy. The earlier testicular cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat.

#8 Prostate Cancer Screening

Prostate cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in American men. When you’re 50 or older or at risk of prostate cancer, your doctor may complete prostate cancer screening to detect or rule out the disease. If you experience symptoms, your provider might recommend a blood test or a rectal exam. Prostate cancer symptoms include:
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Bone pain
  • Blood in the semen
  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreases in the force of urine streams
  • Pelvic discomfort
Your doctor can diagnose prostate cancer using imaging tests or a biopsy. Treatment might include monitoring your condition, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, cryosurgery (freezing cancer cells), or immunotherapy.

#9 Colon Cancer Screening

Your lifetime risk of colorectal cancer as a man is 1 in 22, or nearly 4.5%. You should be screened for colorectal cancer between ages 50 and 75, or younger if you’re at risk of developing colon cancer or experience symptoms of the disease. Examples include changes in bowel habits, abdominal discomfort, or rectal bleeding. Your doctor might recommend a stool test or colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer, and lets you know how often to undergo screening. During a colonoscopy, your doctor removes polyps or other abnormal tissue using special surgical tools and a long, flexible tube with a tiny camera. Prior to the procedure, you’ll be asked to use a bowel prep to clean out your colon.

#10 Sexually Transmitted Disease Screening

If you’re at risk of a sexually transmitted disease (STD), your doctor may recommend STD screening using a physical exam and blood tests to check for chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, or other sexually transmitted infections. STD treatment often includes medications that cure or help you manage symptoms of a disease.

#11 Osteoporosis Screening

If you’re at risk of osteoporosis and between the ages of 50-70, you should ask your doctor about getting screened. Osteoporosis risk factors include low body weight, long-term steroid use, heavy alcohol use, smoking, family history of osteoporosis, and having fractures after age 50. A bone density machine uses X-rays to help your doctor determine if you have osteoporosis. If you do, they can prescribe medications to help you better manage the disease and prevent complications.

#12 Eye Exams

Don’t neglect your eyes when scheduling health screenings for men! eyeball health problems for men over 40Vision tests and an eye exam help your eye doctor detect vision problems and eye diseases before they become serious. Examples include macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic eye problems. If you have poor vision, glasses, contacts, or vision correction surgery helps restore your quality of life. Medications, eye drops, and eye surgery are treatments your doctor might recommend if you have an eye disease.

#13 Skin Cancer Screening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Skin cancer screeningThat's why skin exams are important health screenings for men. They help your doctor prevent the spread of skin cancer before it becomes serious or even life-threatening. Complete skin exams on yourself to look for signs of abnormal tissue. During wellness checkups, your doctor can evaluate your skin, too. They make take a biopsy of suspicious-looking tissue to send to a lab for evaluation. Signs of skin cancer include tissue that changes size, shape, or color; scar-like lesions, crusting or bleeding sores that don’t go away, and moles with irregular size or color patterns. Skin cancer treatment includes removing the affected tissue and possibly chemotherapy, radiation therapy, photodynamic therapy, or biological therapy.

#14 Lung Cancer Screening

Your doctor might recommend lung cancer screening with lose-dose computed tomography (LDCT) if you’re 55-80 years old and have a history of smoking or you currently smoke. LDCT uses X-rays to take detailed pictures of your lungs and detect cancer. Lung cancer treatment includes surgery and radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted drug therapy.

#15 Dental Exams

Dental screenings are just as important as routine physical exams, as oral health is associated with overall health and wellness. dental examThe Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion reports that dental problems, particularly gum disease, are linked with diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart problems. See a dentist regularly for routine cleanings, exams, and treatment for tooth decay or gum disease. Scheduling an appointment every six months, or more often if your dentist recommends it, is a good rule of thumb. A healthy, aesthetically pleasing smile gives you the boost of confidence you deserve, too.

#16 Depression Evaluations

Almost one-third of men suffer from depression at some point during their lifetime. If constant sadness negatively affects your life or makes you lose the will to live, seek help from a mental healthcare professional right away. They ask you questions about your physical and mental health, examine you, and may use blood tests to check hormone levels. Your provider reviews treatment options with you including medications, support groups, counseling, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) using magnetic pulses.

How Can I Reduce Chronic Disease Risks?

If you’re at risk of a chronic disease or experience symptoms of one, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor as soon as possible. Self-care strategies that reduce disease risks include:
  1. Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night
  2. Stay active throughout the day by moving your body
  3. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise in daily
  4. Eat a variety of fiber-rich vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, healthy fats, lean protein foods, and low-fat dairy foods or calcium-rich equivalents
  5. Relive stress with regular exercise, spending time outdoors, massage, yoga, or meditation
  6. Avoid alcohol or reduce your intake
  7. Don’t smoke
  8. Limit sodium to 1,500-2,300 milligrams per day
  9. Consume at least 38 grams of fiber each day
  10. Avoid highly processed foods, fast foods, refined grains, fried foods, baked goods, sweets, and sugar-sweetened drinks
  11. Take dietary supplements for men
  12. Lose weight if you’re overweight
  13. Try FF30X
If you’re struggling to get and keep excess weight off to lower chronic disease risks, the experts at The Fit Father Project can help! They offer a highly effective weight loss plan for men over 40 called FF30X.
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The program has helped thousands of busy dads get and keep excess weight off for life using custom meal plans, fat-burning and muscle-building workouts, healthy lifestyle tips, health coaching, motivational and social support, and much more. Give FF30X a try or sign up for the FREE 1-day meal plan or FREE metabolism-boosting workout today! Beginning your journey toward a healthier life has never been easier. Don’t forget to schedule health screenings for men as part of your regular routine! Your new friend & health coach,

Erin Coleman B.S. – Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer at The Fit Father Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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Our Fit Father Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Father Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

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Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality. – The Fit Father Project Team

 

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