Help fight three of the most deadly diseases that affect men by getting these simple, lifesaving tests.
Blood Pressure Reading
High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among men in the US. Ideally, blood pressure should be under 115/75. For every increase of 20 points in the top number or 10 points in that bottom number, you’re twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
New science indicates that checking both arms gives a more accurate blood pressure reading. Men whose top number varies by 15 points between both arms are at a greater risk for vascular disease than those who have similar readings from each arm.
Diets high in salt are linked to higher blood pressure. To keep your blood pressure under control, eliminate hidden salt traps from your diet. Excess sodium can often come from surprising sources – the CDC’s newest findings reveal bread as the #1 source of salt in our diets! In addition to bread, be mindful of these seven words on food labels that reveal hidden sources of salt:
- Soy sauce
- Msg (monosodium glutamate)
- Baking soda
You should never consume more than 2300 mg of salt a day. Dr. Oz recommends staying under 1500 mg, especially if you’re older than 50.
After lung cancer, prostate cancer is the deadliest cancer in men. Men over the age of 50 should have a prostate exam each year, but you should start sooner if you have a family history.
During the exam, a health-care provider inserts a finger into the rectum about 1-2 inches to feel for the prostate. It should feel smooth and symmetrical if it’s healthy. A prostate that feels irregular could indicate an issue that requires further testing.
Blood Glucose Test
While death rates for cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer have been declining, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise. Diets high in sugar have been linked to an increased diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Your blood delivers all kinds of rich nutrients to the brain. But if you have a lot of sugar in your blood, it can cause inflammation. This allows plaque to collect on your neurons, which are where you store your memories. The plaque makes it harder for neurons to fire off signals and causes them to freeze up. Eventually, they are prevented from talking to each other; the information those neurons carry can’t be transmitted or retrieved. When these synapses begin to fail, we begin to see the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
A fasting blood sugar greater than 100 puts you at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease.