Health checks for every age

The Health Checklist

Health checks for every ageJust like your car gets regular services, so should your body. These are the recommended health check-ups every man should have.

Your 20’s

Your twenties are the decade of your sexual peak. You need to get an HIV and STI test every six to twelve months. Head of chronic business at pharmaceutical company Sandoz, Heidre Ferreira, says due to your diet and lifestyle, you should have an annual general check-up. It must include blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, blood sugar, throat, ears and eye tests. Heidre adds that a blood and urine analysis is needed to screen for illnesses like diabetes, kidney and thyroid dysfunction at least once every three years. From the age of 18, every man needs to do a testicular self-examination (TSE) to identify any unusual lumps and bumps, which could be a sign of testicular cancer.

Your 30’s

Enter your 30s having done the same check-ups you did in your 20s. It’s also important to have a cholesterol and diabetes test annually. Heidre adds that the first electrocardiogram (ECG) is required at age 30, and once every four years thereafter. This test will determine if your heart is working properly and pumping blood to all parts of your body. A rectal exam is also recommended in order to keep clear of health conditions such as rectal injuries, haemorrhoids and any cancers. It’s uncomfortable, but a few moments of discomfort are better than a lifetime of disease.

Your 40’s

Blood tests and urine analysis are required every six months to screen for kidney or thyroid dysfunction, diabetes and cholesterol. Heidre says a blood pressure test will ensure that you don’t suffer from hypertension; this test needs to be done every six months. A physical cancer exam and an exercise stress test needs to be done annually if you suffer from chest pain or have a family history of coronary heart disease. At this stage, you should be doing regular HIV tests and self-examining your testicles.

Your 50’s

This is the age where the focus is on pre-emptive cancer screening and cardiovascular health, so an ECG is required every three years. Heidre advises doing a colonoscopy, which is a test that allows a doctor to look at the inner lining of your large intestines to help find ulcers, tumours and any inflammation or bleeding. This test is performed once every 10 years. Every year you need to get a faecal occult blood test, which checks for blood in the stools. In your 50s, this test is accompanied by a blood and urine analysis, a general health check-up and a monthly testicular exam.

Your 60’s

Once you’re in your 60s, a sigmoidoscopy (procedure used to see inside the sigmoid colon and rectum), faecal occult blood test (detects early signs of bowel cancer) and a double-contrast barium enema (x-rays of the colon and rectum) is required every five years if you will not be having another colonoscopy. A general overall health check-up help detect if your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol need to be monitored or not. Like in your 50s, an ECG is necessary every three years to help monitor your heart.

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