Medically reviewed by Steven N. Gange, MD, Susan Kerrigan, MD and Marianne Madsen on January 21, 2023
Men have been into cars ever since the invention of the Model T. But although working on your car can be a rewarding and satisfying hobby, many men fail to put the same amount of effort into themselves. Have you ever heard the phrase “your body should be a well-oiled machine?” Well, if you’ve been spending all your time applying that phrase to your car, you may have been neglecting your own body in the process. Starting in your early 20s, it’s important to make sure you’re fit and healthy. And the only way to do that is by making a doctor’s appointment.
So why don’t you leave your garage and call up your family doctor? No matter what age you are, seeing a doctor can help put your mind at rest. And when that’s out of the way, you’re free to work on your most prized possession once again.
In your 20s, you should be making doctor’s appointments just to make sure everything is okay. And why wouldn’t it be? You’re young and healthy. To be on the safe side, your doctor will probably take a few standard tests like cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Additionally, if you’re sexually active, you may want to ask your doctor to get tested for STIs/STDs. Though uncommon, you may want to ask your doctor about testicular cancer, especially if you are of Scandanavian descent.
If there’s anything wrong, your doctor will let you know. Assuming that you’re staying in shape and eating right, you might not need to go back for a few years.
Your 30s can be a stressful time. Many men in their 30s are climbing the ladder at work or even starting families. All of this stress can impact your cardiovascular health. High blood pressure or cholesterol can lead to all sorts of damage to your heart, arteries, kidneys, and eyes. Your sexual health may even be affected.
If your cardiovascular health is good but you’re still experiencing sexual issues like problems ejaculating, you should opt for a semen analysis to make sure there’s nothing wrong with your fertility.
According to research, one-third of people over the age of 45 are prediabetic. Get your blood sugar checked even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms of diabetes, just to stay on the safe side.
It’s also crucial to get a colonoscopy to rule out any signs of colorectal cancer. Doctors today recommend that men get a colonoscopy at age 45 or earlier, as opposed to the previous recommendation of age 50.
In addition, tell your doctor if you’ve noticed any strange marks on your skin. Oddly shaped moles can be a potential sign of skin cancer.
Finally, your mental health should be examined as well. Studies show that the majority of suicides are in people aged 45 to 54–a worrying statistic. Your mental health should not be neglected at any age, but mental health issues may be more severe in your 40s. If you find yourself drinking more than usual, having anger outbursts, a persistent feeling of loneliness or worthlessness, or having thoughts of suicide, have a chat with your doctor and see what can be done.
Your 50s and beyond
If you’ve noticed any new changes in your body, such as aches and pains or vision changes–tell your doctor. These changes, although perhaps insignificant, can be a sign of age-related problems like arthritis or macular degeneration.
You want to be aware of the danger of prostate cancer, as well. Make an appointment with your doctor and schedule a prostate cancer screening test. Prostate cancer is the second deadliest cancer in men and the risk should not be ignored.
Cardiovascular issues may make a comeback in your 50s. Get your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol checked to prevent your risk of suffering a heart attack. Additionally, mention any urinary or erectile issues to your doctor. Problems urinating could be a sign of prostate issues and problems with your erection could be related to heart disease.
Visiting your doctor is important, even if you’re feeling perfectly fine. It’s very unlikely that you’ll run into any serious health problems, but the risk is always there. Your risk can be greatly mitigated, however, if you exercise frequently, eat well, and take care of yourself.
Written by Natan Rosenfeld
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- Early Risk Factors, Job Strain, and Atherosclerosis Among Men in Their 30s: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study | AJPH | Vol. 97 Issue 3
- A population‐based study of testicular cancer risk among children and young adults from Norway and Utah, USA
- Racial differences in testicular cancer in the United States: descriptive epidemiology
- Prostate Cancer Incidence 5 Years After US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations Against Screening