Whether you’re a man in your 20s, 30, 40s, or 50-plus, there are many reasons to regularly see a doctor. First and foremost, your doctor can help identify health concerns early, when they’re easier to treat.
As a urologist, I meet with patients all the time who are thankful they kept up with recommended preventive care. When your doctor identifies a health issue early, it makes treatment and recovery so much easier. I’m still waiting for a patient to tell me he wishes he waited just a few more months before seeing his doctor.
Every 10 years you’ll encounter a few new health recommendations. Here’s an overview of some of the changes to expect each decade.
Men’s health in your 20s
Even if you feel healthy, it’s important to establish a relationship with a primary care doctor. This can be your go-to doctor for every question and concern. Lots of changes happen in your 20s. Many men are on their own after previously living at home or college. That means a new diet. Maybe some long, eight-hour workdays sitting in front of a computer. Dramatic diet and exercise changes can affect your health.
Your doctor will let you know if a physical exam is needed every year. Also, whether your blood pressure should be checked every year (or two). Remember to get a flu shot every year.
Men’s health in your 30s
Many men in their 30s start encountering some orthopedic problems. The body stops doesn’t heal quite as quickly as it used to. You’ll also notice some metabolism changes. You might have to work a little harder to maintain muscle mass and to keep off the extra pounds. Your doctor will help you stay active and healthy.
Starting at age 35, it’s important to check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels every five years. You should also continue the physical exams and blood pressure checks you started in your 20s. And keep getting those flu shots.
Men’s health in your 40s
When you hit your 40s, you’re likely to start noticing changes with your vision. You’re also more likely to encounter acute injuries, like hernias.
Talk to your doctor about prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and prostate exams. Most men start colon cancer screenings at age 50, but you may need to start earlier if you have a parent or sibling with colon cancer. And remember to keep up with physical exams, blood pressure checks and cholesterol screenings.
Men’s health when you’re 50-plus
When you turn 50, that’s usually the magic age to start colon cancer screenings. It’s also time to start paying much closer attention to your heart. Continue to make regular visits to your doctor so you can stay ahead of any serious health conditions. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t wait. Your doctor is always there to help.