With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, and appointments for non-urgent care more difficult to access, home blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health.
It’s an unfortunate truth that men in the UK tend not to take good care of their health. Men are more likely to ignore injuries and avoid going to the GP for health concerns. This attitude may contribute to the sobering statistic that 1 in 5 men die before reaching 65, with cancer being the biggest killer and circulatory disease being the second.
Having a good understanding of our health and wellbeing is important at any age, but different stages of life can change the likelihood of developing particular conditions.
The risk factors you may have at twenty generally look different to those in your 60s, so it’s a good idea to be aware of what to look out for throughout your life, so you can take the best care of yourself.
Here’s what to watch out for …
… In your 20s
Men may not have many age-based issues to worry about in their 20s, but that doesn’t mean they should be complacent. That feeling of invincibility can cause bad habits to form, leading to more serious health problems later down the line.
In particular, it’s important to watch out for:
Your twenties are the age when you’re most likely to binge drink regularly. While you might bounce back from those hangovers relatively unscathed, damage is still being done. Excessive alcohol consumption can trigger heart disease later in life so it’s important to drink in moderation.
In your twenties, you tend to benefit from a high metabolism, which goes a long way to counteract the impact of a bad diet. But this only stores up problems for later. If you’re not eating a balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, you’re likely to experience problems when you hit your 30s.
Not getting checked.
It’s often the case that men put off seeing their doctor until they have problems. We don’t tend to factor in regular check-ups, instead opting for advice once symptoms appear. But it’s important to get into the habit of attending routine check-ups, which can detect health conditions before they develop, and give you a much better chance of catching and treating them early.
… In your 30s and 40s
The 30s and 40s are ages when men need to pay special attention to preventative care, particularly around heart health. The habits that form in these years can increase the risk of heart disease in the late 40s and 50s. It’s especially important to keep an eye on:
It’s recommended that men have their blood pressure screened every three to five years until age 40, when they should have it checked every year. Many men don’t know they have an issues as high blood pressure is symptomless, so it’s important to get checked as uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.
Men over age 35 should have their cholesterol checked every five years as cholesterol levels are closely related to risk of heart disease.
Career and life related stress can be high in your 30s and 40s as pressures and responsibilities increase. Stress can lead to a host of problems, including increased risk of developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease so it’s vital to try and manage stress as much as possible.
… In your 50s and beyond
As you reach your 50s, it’s time to pay attention to the risk of different types of cancers. Lifestyle factors and family health history play a big part in this so it’s a good idea to get checked out.
From 50, men should start to be screened for prostate cancer. Almost half of men aged 50 to 60 experience an enlarged prostate, which is considered the most common health problem among men of this age.
More than 90% of colon cancers occur in people over age 50. Thankfully, if caught early, colon cancer it is treatable, but it’s incredibly important to keep on top of check-ups and to be aware of any warning signs and symptoms.
Keeping an eye on your heart health remains a priority in your 50s and beyond. Poor diet, stress, and lack of exercise in younger years can turn into heart issues at this age, so men should assess their risk level with their doctor to determine frequency of screenings for things like cholesterol, blood pressure, and general cardiovascular health.
Prevention is better than the cure
Checking in on our health is so important. Many conditions which go on to be serious and debilitating, if caught early, are easily managed through diet or lifestyle changes, supplements, or a temporary course of treatment.
With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, and appointments for non-urgent care more difficult to access, private blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health.
Our Core Wellman test is a great option for those looking for a broad snapshot of their overall health, as it tests the blood for a number of key health indicators, deficiencies, and disease markers, removing a lot of guess work and flagging any potential problems.
The test looks at health indicators for:
- heart disease
- liver and kidney function
- iron levels
- bowel checks
- vitamin B12 levels
You can choose whether to have a home visit from a qualified nurse or visit one of our BMI hospital partners to have your blood sample collected for testing. You can also choose a vacutainer sample collection option if you prefer.