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Don’t Put off MENtioning It: Men’s Health

Don’t Put off MENtioning It: Men’s Health

According to the CDC, only about 50% of men in the United States say they consider getting an annual check-up. For various reasons, men tend to be less likely to seek medical care and wellness exams. By following this trend, the threat to poorer health outcomes and risk of chronic diseases increases. To change the culture of silence around men’s health, health experts at Lake Charles Memorial Health System suggest men take a stand to take back control of their health and ensure symptoms of conditions are managed before they become a significant health problem.

“Think of a wellness exam like a regularly scheduled ‘maintenance’ or ‘tune up’ appointment for your vehicle,” says Dr. Joshua Whatley, a family medicine physician with Lake Charles Memorial Health system. ‘You prioritize an oil change or a tire rotation on a regular basis to ensure your vehicle is in top condition to carry you through life’s activities. How much more important is your body?”

As men age, the more important it becomes to attend a regular physical to detect health issues. Not all issues in your body are obvious. A broken bone or joint pain is hard to ignore, but it may be tougher to spot something like high cholesterol or high blood sugar levels.

If an area of concern is unveiled in a wellness checkup, this provides an opportunity to treat it and prevent further damage down the line.

Each physical exam typically includes the same basic tests and gives a physician a snapshot of the overall health of the patient. You can expect for your clinician to check:

  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Body temperature
  • Breathing and heart sounds
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Height and weight

Additionally, appropriate screenings and blood tests can be ordered at an annual wellness checkup. The recommendations for various screenings for men change throughout their life and based on family history. This is why it’s important to see your physician regularly to stay on top of these recommendations.

The general recommendations include beginning screening at the following ages:

  • Physical exam: 18+ years of age
  • Blood pressure screening: 18+ years of age
  • Cholesterol test: 30+ years of age
  • Diabetes screening: 40+ years of age
  • Lung screening: 50+ years of age, depending on individual risk factors
  • Prostate exam: 50+ years of age
  • Colorectal screening (colonoscopy): 45+ years of age
  • Bone density test: 50+ years of age
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm: 60+ years of age

“Whether it’s a busy schedule or a fear of the unknown keeping you from better health, taking your health into your own hands is not just about lengthening your life, it’s also about improving your quality of life,” says Dr. Whatley.

By following recommended guidelines based on age and family history, you can proactively manage your health and prevent future complications. The return on your investment of time and your well-being pays off in improved quality of life and better health outcomes.

To find a primary care provider, or to browse a list of all physician specialists with Lake Charles Memorial Health System, visit