Must-Have Medical Checkups For Men: The 6 Appointments You Can’t Skip

On average, men are 50% less likely to seek medical care than women, and many put off using health services as long as possible. Some doctors believe this is a major factor in men having more severe illnesses, and even dying younger than their female counterparts. Men: the truth is, you don't have to wait until you experience symptoms to see your primary care doctor. In fact, a few, straightforward yearly appointments can help you stay proactive and catch problems before they happen. After all, virtually all health concerns have a much better prognosis when caught early!

Functional Medicine for men addresses the specific needs of each patient, and is a great way to make sure that you are getting the care and attention you require. In this blog post, you will learn about the five must-have medical checkups for men that you shouldn't skip!

Here are five men's health appointments you should make to address the overall function of your mind & body.

Explore the benefits of Integrative Men’s Health at CentreSpringMD

Yearly physical for men

A yearly exam with your primary care physician allows your doctor to identify imbalances, evaluate any health concerns, and provide early treatment if necessary.

Your doctor will assess your physical health, lifestyle and diet, and any changes in your health. They may order tests to evaluate your cardiovascular health, such as getting your cholesterol checked. Other lab work may include blood or urine tests, and additional screenings based on your family history.

Tests at your yearly physical may include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Cholesterol and lipid tests (HDL, LDL, triglycerides, etc.)
  • Metabolic Panel
  • Hormone testing
  • Gut function analysis

Learn more: Advanced Testing with Functional Medicine

Skin cancer screening

It’s never too early to be proactive about skin cancer. By age 50, men are more likely than women to develop melanoma, and it's often more deadly (1). At your annual screening, your doctor will likely do a brief check up of any irregular or changing moles, freckles, or other spots. 

Skin cancer is very treatable if caught early, but it’s crucial that your doctor have the ability to intervene early. Researchers believe that it's the differences in men's skin—thicker with less fat underneath—that makes it more likely to be damaged by the sun's UV rays (2).

One study found that men’s skin reacted more intensely to UV rays than did women’s skin (2). Outside of your yearly derm visit, wear sunscreen, protective clothing, and get your vitamin D through responsible sun exposure.

Related: Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer | Sunscreen & SPF Guide

Teeth Cleaning

Men are more likely to skip regular dental checkups, but gum disease is linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease (3). So while this might not seem like a "must-have" medical appointment, it's a critical part of your health care. A simple cleaning every 6 months can help prevent the buildup of plaque that leads to tooth decay over time. During this cleaning you may also get an oral cancer screening—which is good because oral cancer incidence rates are nearly 3 times greater for males than for females (4). 

The health of your teeth and gums is connected to the rest of your body, so dental checkups should be a regular part of your annual doctor's visits. In general, try to schedule 1-2 cleanings per year

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Screen for depression and evaluate mental health

Over 6 million men suffer from depression per year, but male depression often goes underdiagnosed (5). Depression increases risk for other serious men’s health problems like heart disease and stroke, as well as chronic issues like obesity & sexual dysfunction. In fact, men with clinical depression are about twice as likely to develop ED (6). 

Your integrative doctor may ask you about your stress levels, coping mechanisms, and your general feelings about your daily life. Then, a functional medicine approach might include counseling, diet & lifestyle changes, supplement recommendations, or further testing.

Learn more about the root causes of depression & other mental health issues.

Hormone testing

Hormones are the chemical messengers that regulate sleep, mood, metabolism, and dozens more functions in men’s health. The demands of daily life, like stress, poor sleep, weight gain, and a sedentary life can wreak havoc on hormones like testosterone, which is crucial for all men to maintain lean muscle, bone density, libido, and energy.

While symptoms like fatigue, low libido, and weight gain are common, they certainly aren’t normal, and your integrative doctor will monitor your hormones and make adjustments with you to get them back into a healthy range. Hormone testing is also an integral part of treating male infertility, which is becoming increasingly commonplace.

A simple blood test will show you your hormone levels and your doctor can work with you to create a plan that focuses on nutrition, lifestyle changes, exercise & stress management techniques so that you can naturally balance hormones over time.

Shop: Men’s Health Supplements 

Prostate cancer & other cancer screenings

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men (after skin cancer) (7). Between age 40 and 50 it’s recommended to get an annual prostate screening to check for an enlarged prostate or any signs of this potentially life-threatening condition. This may involve a physical exam, urine test, and/or blood test.

Depending on your age and family history, you may also need to get other cancer screenings such as colonoscopies. Regular checkups are the best way to catch any potential issues early, when treatments are more likely to be successful.

For early warning cancer screening, thermography is a great and non-invasive way to detect the early development of cancer. Thermography is a safe, comfortable, and effective way to detect early warning signs of cancer and other health risks years before they show up on other tests.

This FDA-approved method uses cutting edge cameras to monitor circulation, neurological function, and inflammation due to slight increases in body temperature as a result of increased blood flow to areas on the body.

Learn more about effective, non-invasive cancer screening.

Meeting men’s health needs with functional medicine

At the end of the day, men’s health can be simple and straightforward. While regular checkups and screenings are important, it’s even more important to have a good primary care doctor who understands your individual needs and takes a holistic approach to your health and wellness.

Experience the difference with Integrative Men’s Health—book an appointment.

Functional medicine addresses the specific needs of each patient, and can help you create an individualized plan for maintaining good health. A functional medicine practitioner will look at what’s happening inside & outside of your body, from genetics to diet & lifestyle to assess how everything is connected. Advanced testing & diagnostics allow men’s health physicians to evaluate underlying causes of dysfunction that may be keeping you from feeling or being as healthy as possible. With this information they can create a personalized treatment plan tailored specifically to you!

Resources 

  1. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/types/common/melanoma/men-50
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407289  
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470716 
  4. https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/data-statistics/oral-cancer/incidence
  5. https://adaa.org/find-help/by-demographics/mens-mental-health  
  6. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41443-020-00405-4 
  7. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

Tags

Holistic Medicine, men's health


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