If you are like the majority of men, you might be avoiding the doctor for routine health screenings before turning 40. Getting regular checkups not only helps improve your overall health, but your doctor could also catch potential health hazards early on. So, which health screenings are essential for men in their 20s and 30s? To answer that question, our healthcare practitioners are sharing six highly-recommended medical checkups and tests you should get before reaching your roaring 40s.
1. Physical Exam
Whether you are in your 20s or 30s, annual physical exams provide an overview of your current state of health and alert your doctor of any warning signs. Think of these tests as a complete head-to-toe assessment of your well-being. Even if you aren’t presenting any physical symptoms before or during a visit, getting an annual physical exam could detect a variety of men’s health problems you may not know you have before getting one.
Keep in mind that symptoms of chronic diseases don’t always become apparent immediately, but early detection during a physical exam could allow your health care provider to make recommendations that could save your life or improve your wellness overall. To make sure you never forget to schedule a Portland annual exam, we recommend planning to do it right around your birthday to make things habitual and consistent.
2. Blood Pressure Test
What’s a blood pressure test? This easy and painless test measures your blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer, which is also known as a blood pressure cuff. Getting your blood pressure taken only takes a few seconds to determine if you’re suffering from hypertension and is an easy health screening for men to get in their 20s or 30s.
Why should you get a blood pressure test before your 40s? High blood pressure is linked to a variety of health issues, like heart disease, liver and kidney problems, making it a critical test to get at any point in your life. Most men in their 20s or 30s with high blood pressure never experience signs or symptoms until later, even when blood pressure readings are extremely high. This is why it’s crucial to have your doctor perform a blood pressure test during your annual exam or any other visit. Early detection can help manage hypertension through diet recommendations, lifestyle changes, and/or medications at any stage or age in your life.
3. Cholesterol Screening
Cholesterol is a naturally occurring wax-like substance found in all of our cells. Cholesterol builds up either from having a poor diet, genetics, or living a sedentary lifestyle. Problematically for men and women, high-cholesterol increases your chances of heart disease. For a complete cholesterol profile, your doctor will require a blood test. For men in their 20s and 30s, it is recommended to have cholesterol screenings every 4-6 years. Patients with a genetic predisposition of high cholesterol should see your doctor more frequently.
4. Mental Health Screening
Men often forget to include their mental health into their wellness routines. In fact, stats suggest that men prioritize their mental health and visit a counselor far less than women do. So, it’s essential for men to arrange and prioritize mental health screenings in their 20s and 30s even if you don’t think you need to.
Depression and anxiety not only take a toll on your mental health, but they also tend to cause physical health problems too. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or acute stress, we recommend meeting with your Portland doctor to perform a mental health assessment. Doing so will not only make you feel better, but your doctor will give you a game plan that will help you work towards a sustainable mental health plan that will improve your well-being holistically.
5. Diabetes Test
You can be a diabetic at nearly any age. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose is too high and it presents itself as either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Why get tested for diabetes before 40? High blood sugar is known to cause nerve damage, stomach, and intestinal problems, as well as damage to your blood vessels, kidneys, and eyes, so it’s important to get tested even when you’re younger. In men, it can cause erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, and decreased sex drive. To determine your blood sugar levels, your doctor might administer a blood sugar test or a fasting blood sugar test, which requires drawing blood. For men in their 20s and 30s, it’s recommended to get tested every few years. However, there are a few risk factors that might warrant more frequent screenings, such as:
- A family history of diabetes
- If you live a sedentary lifestyle
- Have a history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or vascular disease
While Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes share symptoms, men with Type 2 may not experience signs until their 40s. Nevertheless, screening for diabetes in your 20s or 30s is still important so that doctors can give you the right treatment and reduce your risks of diabetes-related complications. If you are diagnosed with either Type I or Type II diabetes, it’s crucial to understand the difference between the two, and begin working with your Portland practitioner to find the appropriate treatment options designed for you.
6. Updating Immunizations
Some associate immunizations with younger children, but managing your vaccinations in your 20s and 30s is still an essential step in maintaining your wellness. Remember, it’s important to get vaccinated even when you’re healthy or need travel immunizations in Portland before studying abroad. To protect yourself, make sure you are up to date on all your vaccinations by:
- Getting the flu shot right before flu season begins
- Ask your doctor about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and see if you have one already
- If you haven’t had chickenpox, consider the Varicella vaccine
- Get a Tetanus-diphtheria booster every ten years
- Schedule an appointment to get your travel vaccines before traveling internationally
- Check which vaccinations you need to enroll in school
Start a Men’s Health Screening Checklist Today at NWPC
Our qualified Portland doctors and practitioners are here to help men meet all of your health care needs and goals. For men curious about which medical tests they need in their 20s and 30s, we have a variety of services and health care screenings available to keep your well-being in solid shape at any age. Call and make an appointment at one of our Portland, Oregon offices today!