- If you have a car, you diligently take it to the service centre when needed and take it to the garage to fix the crack and creaks. You take care of your bike just the same, and the same goes for your gadgets. But when it comes to something more valuable and important, your own health, you wait until your reports are screaming out loud about diabetes or heart disease or until your loved ones drag you to the hospital for a check-up. Most health problems in men occur due to the late diagnosis and lack of timely treatment, especially when silent killer diseases like cancer and hypertension are filing up medical records for men, it is all the more important to keep a constant watch on the signals your body is trying to send to you. If you’re a man in your forties, following is a list of blood tests that are a must-do to make sure everything’s okay before it’s too late:
- Lipid profile: A lipid profile is a panel that tests for various parameters around fats. The profile provides data of the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol), and low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) in the blood. High cholesterol levels can lead to major heart diseases like heart attack and stroke as well as diabetes. Results of this test will help you know if you should opt for another cooking oil or go for completely oil-free snacks. With increasing age, cholesterol levels tend to increase and become difficult to control with dietary changes alone. If there is a family history of heart disease and diabetes, or if you are bit chubby, this should be at the top of your to-do list.
- PSA: Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is an antigen produced by the prostate gland. If present in higher amounts than normal, your doctor would advise you to do to a prostate biopsy to rule out prostate cancer. A study confirmed that a PSA test reduced the death cases among men with prostate cancer. If there is a family history of prostate troubles, then this test is a must do.
- Blood sugar: People tend to have diabetes if they have a family history of diabetes. But, the lip-smacking “gulab jamuns” and the umpteen sweets that are so readily available today have put even others on the verge of diabetes. Check your blood for high sugar levels that indicate diabetes. If your blood test confirms diabetes, get suitable treatment on time because untreated diabetes can affect your health by causing conditions like blindness, kidney failure, and heart diseases. To reduce the extra glucose from the blood, shed some calories, eat healthier, and skip the dessert page on the menu. You can also use glucose monitoring devices at home to keep a regular check on your sugar levels if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes.
- Vitamin D: If you are lactose intolerant or vegan, and if you don’t soak up much sun, you may not have enough of vitamin D. Lack of vitamin D not only weakens your bones but also reduces testosterone levels and increases your risk of acquiring heart disease and cancer. So get this quick blood test done to find out if you need to sunbathe more often. If you test low on vitamin D, oral or injectable supplements can rapidly help correct the deficiency. Include egg yolks, dairy products, and fatty fishes like mackerel and tuna in your diet to amp up your vitamin D levels. If you are not a meat eater, soy products are a good option for you.
- Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is a major part of the red blood cell production assembly line. Deficiency of vitamin B12 leads to deformed, large and immature red blood cells, which ultimately leads to anaemia. Usually, vitamin B12 deficiency does not show any symptoms, which makes it difficult to identify in the early stages. Therefore, keeping a track on the vitamin B12 levels by performing a methylmalonic acid blood test will help detect deficiency of vitamin B12. If your test results detect low vitamin B12, include animal kidneys and liver, sardines, and salmon in your diet. If you are a vegetarian, fortified cereals are a good option for you.
- Based on test results, doctors at the HealthAssure primary healthcare centres will provide you with a tailor-made treatment regimen, lifestyle changes or recommend further tests to improve your health.
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