Health tips for the aging man

Ladies, think for a moment about the men in your life. Are they reluctant to go to the doctor for routine tests? Afraid of what they might discover?

That hesitation can have serious consequences as we get older. What tests should do men need in their 30's, 40's and 50's, and how does getting those tests could help them live longer?

"I have never taken a sick day from work," says Jeffrey Donovan a patient.

Jeff is the picture of health and he has the annual physicals to prove it. But when a new test took a microscopic look at Jeff's normal cholesterol levels, that picture turned ugly.

"It is a dangerous thing not to want to look a little deeper into some of these things," says Donovan.

A basic check finds basic problems, for better performance you need a better look.

"The worst part is conventional tests could still let the 85 percent walk out of here thinking they are okay," explains Dr. John Ott.

A standard checklist at age 30 includes a cholesterol test and a look at the thyroid, a screening for skin cancer since it occurs in men more than women, and a testicular exam because this cancer usually occurs before the age of 40.

Dr. Ott says in the 30's the name of the game is prevention, making sure the body is working efficiently. So you should add a micro-nutrient test to see what vitamins and minerals your body is absorbing.

"You can assume at 30 you are looking at preventing aging at 40 you start repairing what aging has occurred," explains Dr. Ott.

A decade later and it is time to kick it up a notch.

"It takes a lot more to make the 40's work," says Dr. Ott.

Do the same checks as 30, but add blood pressure and a diabetes screening to the mix. Also, look at vitamin D, the body doesn't collect it as well after 40.

Ott says 40 is the age to add that advanced cholesterol screening Jeff had.

"At 40 we want to find out if your building the initial blocks of heart disease, most people at 40 will still look good on conventional tests," says Dr. Ott.

Ten more years and the same tests apply but now add hearing and colon checks along with screenings for bladder and prostate cancer, and it is time to check the metabolism.

"At 50 you want the whole package," explains Dr. Ott.

Ott says age 50 is a good time to do a telemeres test. A look at aging on the DNA level which helps lay out a plan to compensate for bad genetics.

And if you're in your sixties, you should have the same tests as those recommended for your 50’s. You should also get a bone density test and an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening.

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