Healthy Tahoe: Lifesaving screenings for Men’s Health Month
It’s Men’s Health Month – a time to remind the men in your life to take care of their health by eating right, exercising, and importantly – attending their annual wellness visit and health screenings.
Many health screenings, such as hypertension and colon cancer screenings, can be conducted during an annual wellness visit, and your care team may request separate screenings based on your health history and risk.
A screening test can detect potential health issues and provide a patient and their primary care team the best opportunity for early intervention. Common men’s health issues include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes; though many men may not be aware they have these health conditions without the corresponding screening.
Health conditions men may be screened for include:
- High blood pressure (hypertension): The higher your blood pressure levels are above normal, the more risk you have for other health problems such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
- Cholesterol: Too much cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is to get it checked – high cholesterol has no signs or symptoms.
- Diabetes: Diabetes is a chronic health condition which affects how your body turns food into energy and may lead to heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. A blood sugar test can tell us if you have diabetes or if you are at risk for developing it so that we can form a treatment plan together and avoid complications.
- Cancer: Screening tests can find some cancers early, when treatment works best. Cancer screenings can include a colonoscopy, low-dose CT scan, a visual skin examination, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, and others.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60 and has few early symptoms; regular eye exams can help your eye doctor find this disease.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm: AAA screening is a way of checking if there’s a bulge or swelling in the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from the heart down through the center of the chest and abdomen.
- Depression: Health isn’t only physical. Depression is a serious illness affecting how you think, feel, and behave. Untreated depression has a negative impact on one’s health and seeking treatment can improve one’s health significantly.
Take control of your health by making annual wellness visits and health screenings a regular practice.
Matthew Mullen, FNP-C sees patients at Barton Community Health Center. Schedule your annual wellness appointment and any overdue health screenings with your primary care provider today. Learn more about Barton Primary Care offices at BartonHealth.org/PrimaryCare.
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