Family Med-eZine TeamThursday, 26 Dec 2013, 12:17 pm

Most adults especially men, often tend to ignore their health needs, owing to their busy schedules and hectic lifestyles. This carelessness can cost dearly, especially if it means you have missed the symptoms of potential health problems, as most common diseases hardly show symptoms unless they reach an advanced stage. It is thus, important for men, even if they have no health problems, to undergo routine medical screenings to pick up indications of any health-related issues, which they may be unaware of. Moreover, medical screening tests are quick, simple and highly effective.

So, if you have not seen a doctor in the last year, it’s time to visit your family doctor. He or she can give you more information, guide you and even schedule your annual check-ups. A family doctor would also best know your health history, see the current status and be able to point out the tests, which would be applicable for you.

The tests/check which are usually done in an annual comprehensive review are as follows:

Height/weight checks, monitoring blood pressure, sugar and thyroid hormone levels

Annual Checks for menThe doctor will check all your vital statistics and try to detect any abnormalities as per your age. Blood pressure will also be noted and if found high, further investigations and medications for the same will be prescribed. If your sugar levels are found above normal, lifestyle modifications and medications would be recommended. Your blood test results may indicate if you have an overactive or underactive thyroid, and medication would be prescribed to get it under control.

Once an abnormality is detected, it is very important you regularly get check-ups done to keep a track on your diagnostic developments.

Screening for lipid disorders

As you age, screening for cholesterol levels become very important as abnormal levels can predispose you to heart ailments. A complete lipid assessment (HDL, LDL and TC) is recommended once every 5 years.

Electrocardiogram

Your doctor may also advice you an electrocardiogram depending upon whether you have certain risk factors for heart diseases like smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle.

Screening for prostate/testicular cancer

The doctor would do a physical examination to detect changes in size, tenderness and presence of lumps in the testes and genital area which could raise suspicion of a cancer. The doctor will also check the level of PSA (prostate specific antigen) in your blood and if found high, will recommend further assessment.

Vision and hearing examinations

Any loss in vision and hearing capacity will also be checked.

Screening for osteoporosis

With age, bone loss disorders become more common as the bone density decreases. The doctor would look for warning signs and if required would also recommend a bone mineral density scan.

Screening for sexually transmitted diseases

The doctor may also ask questions based on your sexual practices. He may also look for warts and ulcers, which could be signs of sexually-transmitted diseases like chlamydia, HIV and gonorrhoea.

Screening for depression and substance abuse

Your mental well-being will be assessed and the presence of any mood disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s will be noted. They generally do this by asking you to fill questionnaires and taking part in surveys and then assess your mental status and screen you for drug and alcohol abuse.