Women often joke that getting a man to go to a doctor is almost as difficult as getting him to ask for directions when he’s lost. In both situations, men tough it out until they feel better or gotten where they are going, even if it took twice as long as it needed to. When it comes to their health, that stereotype isn’t always wrong. According to the CDC, women are 100 percent more likely than men to visit the doctor for annual exams and preventative services.
To help address this, June is Men’s Health Month. It’s a good time to take a look at some of the risks you may not even realize you’re taking. There are some simple things you can do to be healthier. Any Lab Test Now can help you see places you need to make changes, and you can do it without even needing a doctor’s appointment.
Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in men. Many of the risk factors for it are things that we can control. If you smoke, drink too much, eat a diet high in saturated fat (think: cheeseburgers and fries), lead a sedentary lifestyle and are overweight, you can change those things. Hey, no one said it would be easy! Stress can also be an important factor in heart disease.
Your cholesterol numbers are also a factor. Cholesterol is fat produced by your liver. You also get it from the foods you eat. Low levels of HDL (sometimes called “good cholesterol”) and high levels of LDL (sometimes called “bad cholesterol”) are the opposite of what you’re after. Any Lab Test Now has a Lipid Panel available that screens for HDL, LDL, the ratio of the two as well as your triglyceride levels. The result will let you and your doctor see if your cholesterol levels need attention.
If you want even more information, you might consider the Cardiac Risk Panel. It looks at inflammation in the body, blood counts, electrolytes, kidney and liver functions. Like the Lipid Panel, it can be a useful tool for you and your doctor in determining how best to keep your heart healthy.
Your chances of having a heart attack are also greater if you have diabetes. Diabetes is easy to ignore because at first you feel just fine. But the disease affects other organs: your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Left unchecked, the long-term complications can be disabling or even life-threatening. In addition to heart disease, diabetes can cause blood vessel damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage, hearing loss, and possibly increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The symptoms develop slowly — often a person has type 2 diabetes and doesn’t know it. Symptoms include: increased thirst and frequent urination, increased hunger, weight loss despite eating more, and fatigue. If you think you might have diabetes, or if you have diabetes and want to get a check on your blood levels, you can use the Diabetes Maintenance Panel at Any Lab Test Now.
Heart disease and diabetes aren’t embarrassing to talk about. But two men’s health issues that can lead to both of those can be uncomfortable to discuss — prostates and testosterone. After you hit the age of 40, your prostate starts to grow. The symptoms you notice are a slower urinary stream or the sudden urge to go. But an enlarged prostate is also linked to metabolic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Another issue men face as they age is a drop in testosterone. The symptoms are a decreased sex drive, erectile difficulty, mood changes and even memory problems. Low testosterone increases the risk of developing diabetes and hypertension. You can find out what your levels are with a simple testosterone test from Any Lab Test Now.
Men, it’s time to take control of your health and well-being! The first step in leading a healthier lifestyle is knowing what changes you need to make. Along with your local Any Lab Test Now, it’s easy to find out what areas you and your doctor can focus on as you make a roadmap to follow for better health.