When you hit your 50’s, you may notice all kinds of changes taking place. It’s harder to read things close-up, you have less energy, and you may be more sensitive to certain foods. Some changes are inevitable effects of aging; others may be due to impending health issues or lifestyle issues you can change. You can improve your health today and lower your chances of health problems later with some simple annual health checks:
- Have an annual physical exam by your general practitioner, including blood pressure, and track your height and weight.
- Get a blood test for cholesterol, triglycerides and other lipid disorders, diabetes, and thyroid function.
- Have screenings for common cancers: Skin, lung, oral, and colorectal.
- Your colorectal screening should include fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or a colonoscopy.
- If you have had a sexually active life, get an STD panel and an HIV screening.
- Have your vision and eye health checked by an ophthalmologist.
- Have your hearing tested.
- See a cardiologist for an electrocardiogram and other coronary testing.
- Have your testosterone checked. Low testosterone can lead to many health issues, and loss of testosterone is common in men over 50.
- Have an evaluation done for depression. Declining health and loss of sleep can affect your mental health.
Many problems that plague old age are preventable with the right combination of treatment, diet, and exercise. Regular testing helps you avoid big health issues by identifying and addressing the early signs and keep you healthy well into old age.
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