Five decades make half a century and if you are celebrating your 50th birthday, know you have achieved a milestone. The occasion calls for a pat-on-your-back if you are in good physical health, alive and kicking. However, feting fifty also need you to watch out for some health conditions because, after all, you are not getting any younger by the day.
Being fifty means, you have crossed the border between young and old. Where you have trekked some serious life miles, it also means your body has faced its ups and downs. Generally, men avoid seeking healthcare unless it is a compulsion. About 38 percent of men admit to going to a clinic in extreme sickness, and that too if the symptoms do not go away on their own.
The fact that men avoid routine checkups and duck away doctor’s visits is risky behavior. It is unfortunate at the same time because many of these conditions that men suffer are preventable if timely diagnosed.
Why is it important for men over 50 to be health-vigilant?
Men over the big Five-Oh must cater to screen test their bodies for some conditions that might be lying in wait for an encounter. Men are prone to chronic diseases that are gender-specific for their age. Where family and personal history and lifestyle routines contribute, the hormone testosterone’s changing levels also play its role.
Here are some health problems that men over fifty should keep a check on via regular screen tests.
Certain kinds of cancers are more prevalent in men. These include cancers of the colon, lung, prostate, testicles, and skin. Prostate cancer is the most common, while lung cancer is the most prevalent cause of cancer-related death in men.
Lung cancer is almost always associated with smoking, while prostate cancer grows symptomatically and is usually diagnosed at the last stages or may never be diagnosed at all. There is a vaccine available for human papillomaviruses (HPV), which causes cancer in men. in all these cases, either early diagnosis, lifestyle changes, or vaccine can prevent or cut back the risk of disease.
- Heart disease
About 25 percent of men die of heart diseases in the U.S., and out of these, half of them die a sudden death with no prior signs and symptoms of heart disease. Early screening and detection of causative factors of cardiovascular disease can cut back these alarming figures. These include the detection of factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. Identification and elimination of high-risk factors like smoking, excessive drinking, sedentary lifestyles, and unhealthy eating habits can save many lives.
- Sexual health
Declining sexual health is often an underlying cause of anxiety and depression in men over fifty. The falling testosterone levels affect the sexual drive and impact the fertility levels in men over fifty. Condition like erectile dysfunction indicates low sexual endurance and serves as a red flag of serious heart disease.
Health experts suggest early screening for diabetes in men because it remains the root cause of many health complications. Prompt diagnosis of diabetes may encourage men to make lifestyle modifications. Such measures help ward off chronic disease processes early on.
The fifties bring itself the midlife crises when men may begin to think and act old. However, there is no reason why the menfolk should consider themselves on a downhill journey. Paying attention to fundamental aspects of life as healthy diets, a bit of exercise, avoiding drugs, and ditching unnecessary supplements can keep them fit as a fiddle. However, the importance of screening and early detection cannot be emphasized enough. Overlooking the societal taboos and labels and following up with routine health checkups can help detect gender-specific diseases. Such measures go a long way in maintaining a healthy life for men over fifty.
Dr. Maimoona Gul
PGD Diet and Nutrition