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Monthly Health Topics

Schedule Your Doctor's Appointment this Father's Day

For most of us men, we know we should eat well and exercise to stay healthy, but we also never seem to make time for that important annual checkup. The best gift you can give yourself for Father’s Day this year is a visit to your doctor for necessary preventive health screenings.
For the women out there, if you have a special man in your life, keep him feeling his best. You know it can be a challenge to get him to see a doctor—so take charge! Arrange the appointment, and make the occasion special with some kind of reward.
I know you guys are busy and may not have a lot of time to visit the doctor. But even if you’re healthy, it’s important to have regular screening tests done. These tests help your doctor find health problems early so they can be treated before they become too harmful. Here are some of the most important tests for adults under the age of 65:
Blood pressure. A recent federal study shows that men die from heart disease at nearly twice the rate of women, so it’s important to maintain a healthy blood pressure. High blood pressure can raise your risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. Low blood pressure can be a sign of infection, gland disorders, or dehydration. Adults 18 to 64 should get their blood pressure checked every two years.
Cholesterol. All adults should have their cholesterol checked every five years. Get checked more often if you smoke, are obese, have high blood pressure, or have a family history of heart disease.
Colorectal cancer screening. Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., and getting a test after you’re 50 can help you prevent the disease. Talk to your doctor about getting tested earlier if a close relative has had colorectal cancer. In a colorectal screening, your intestinal tract is checked to make sure the tissues are healthy and normal. And if you have an issue, in most cases it can be treated during the exam.
Diabetes. People age 45 and older should be tested for diabetes. Get tested younger if you are obese, not physically active, have high blood pressure, or have a close relative with the disease. There are several blood tests doctors can use to help diagnose diabetes, including a random glucose test, a fasting glucose test, and an A1C blood test.
George Hulse is Vice President of External Affairs at Healthfirst. For more tips on leading a healthier lifestyle, visit the Healthfirst website at www.healthfirst.org

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