Eating well and staying active are great ways to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, they’re just one part of your total health picture. It’s also important to know what medical conditions you may be at risk for. Does diabetes or prostate cancer run in your family? Do you have high cholesterol? Knowing if you’re prone to these medical conditions can help you create a plan of action to treat them.
Below is a list of conditions to discuss with your doctor and learn how often you should be screened.
High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. High blood pressure can cause serious health problems like strokes and heart attacks. Have your blood pressure checked at every doctor’s visit or at least annually.
Cholesterol and other lipids
High cholesterol and other lipids (fats) can cause strokes and heart attacks. Men age 35 and older should be screened for lipid disorders. It is recommended that men ages 20-35 be checked for lipid disorders if they are at increased risk for coronary heart disease.
High blood sugar can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys and nerves. Adults who are overweight, have family history of diabetes or have other risk factors should be screened for diabetes annually.
Overweight or obesity
Being overweight or obese can lead to diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Excess fat around the waist is a marker for increased risk. Body mass index (BMI) also is helpful to know. If your waist circumference is greater than 40 or your BMI is 30 or higher, talk to your doctor about getting help with changing your behaviors to lose weight.
Get a flu shot every year. If you are 65 years or older or have a chronic condition like diabetes, get a pneumonia shot. A tetanus booster is recommended every 10 years and should include the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination if you are around small children. The one-time shingles vaccine is recommended for all adults 60 years and older.
Have a screening test or exam for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to be checked earlier.
If detected early, testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer. Speak with your physician about testicular self-exams and any risk factors you may have.
Men in good health and without risks, should talk to their doctor at age 50 about screening. If you have a family history of prostate cancer or are African-American, begin these discussions at age 40.
This guide is based on published literature by nationally recognized authorities in health care and the expressed opinions of participating network physicians. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice nor as a listing of preventive services with no-cost sharing as required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Please consult your doctor for advice about changes that may affect your health. Some services may not be covered under your health plan. Please refer to your benefit plan document for details concerning benefits, procedures and exclusions.