- Limit alcohol consumption to less than two drinks per day to help to control blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Limit caffeine intake, including coffee, tea and soft drinks, to no more than four servings per day.
- Need a reason to stop smoking? Men who quit between the ages of 35 to 39 could add an average of five years to their lives.
- As little as 30 minutes a day of accumulated physical activity three days a week can help control weight and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Choose leaner meats, poultry and fish and reduce portions to no larger than a deck of cards.
- Incorporate more vegetables, fruit and whole grains.
Regular Tests to Consider
- Cholesterol: Baseline test should start at age 20 with normal baseline tests every five years. This test helps to evaluate the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.
- Blood Pressure: Screening should take place every two years after age 18, or as recommended by a doctor. Early detection of hypertension can help reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, Erectile Difficulties, diabetes and kidney damage.
- Hemoglobin: A glycated hemoglobin test should be done at least every 6 months for men managing diabetes by diet or oral medication and every 3 to 4 months for men taking insulin. Keep glycated hemoglobin levels in the normal or near-normal range to help prevent some problems associated with diabetes, such as blindness, kidney and nerve problems.
- Testicular Cancer: Consult your doctor if you notice a painless lump or swelling, an enlargement or change in the way the testicles feel, or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum. With early detection the treatment can be less aggressive with fewer side effects.
Annual Screening Tests
- Cholesterol and Lipids (Fats) Test: Be aware of cholesterol and lipid levels. Ask your doctor to check your LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol) and triglyceride levels and ensure that your cholesterol measures less than 3.5 on a consistent basis. Learn how to manage high cholesterol with regular diet and exercise.
- Blood Pressure Test: Target should be less than 130/80.
- Blood Sugar Level: Strive for target levels of 4-6 mmol/L
(millimoles per Litre) before meals. Elevated blood sugar levels can be an indicator of Type 2 diabetes.
- If you are over 45, you should be tested for diabetes every 3 years. More frequent or earlier screening (or both) may be needed for people who have a family member with diabetes, who are of Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian or African descent or who have other risk factors.
- Weight Control: Eat a balanced diet and stay physically active. Ask your doctor to do a Body Mass Index (BMI) test to find out if you are overweight, which can put you at greater risk for a heart attack or diabetes.
- Stress: Chronic high stress elevates blood pressure, which constricts blood flow and can lead to heart failure, chronic illness and Erectile Difficulties. Talk to your doctor about ways to effectively manage stress in your life.
- Screening for Erectile Difficulties: Erectile Difficulties may indicate more serious conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing Erectile Difficulties.
- Prostate Exam: While most doctors recommend prostate screening begin after the age of 50, men with a family history of prostate cancer should ask for a digital rectal exam and PSA blood test to detect an early growth or tumour in the prostate gland. Ask your doctor if you are in a high-risk category.
Body System Check
- Ask your doctor about a routine electrocardiogram (ECG). The ECG helps detect damage to the heart muscle or abnormal rhythms that may indicate a heart attack.
- Colonoscopy: Talk to you doctor if you have a family history of colon disease or have a history of polyps. Early detection of colon cancer through regular screenings is essential for effective treatment and recovery.
Modify Your Diet
- Decrease your intake of sugar, salt and greasy, fatty foods to manage weight and decrease your chance of developing serious conditions such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
- Switch to high-fibre breads and whole grains and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables to maintain regularity and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Talk to Your Doctor
- Frank and open dialogue with your doctor is essential for effective diagnosis and treatment of disease.
- Erectile Difficulties and sexual satisfaction: Talk to your doctor if you experience Erectile Difficulties as it may be an indicator of more serious conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- Andropause: By the time men are between the ages of 40 and 55, they can experience a phenomenon similar to the female menopause, called andropause. The bodily changes occur very gradually in men and may be accompanied by changes in attitudes and moods, fatigue, a loss of energy, sex drive and physical agility. Talk to your doctor if you experience the symptoms of andropause.