Updated January 2022
Think of your body as if it were a car engine: when every piece is running together in perfect harmony, you get optimal performance.
Now suppose that one small thing—a gear, a piston, or a gauge—has malfunctioned.
Even though the problem may be with a “small” part of the engine, it affects the performance of the entire vehicle.
As internists, we believe the human body functions in a similar manner: an issue with one part affects the others. High blood pressure by itself may be mistakenly viewed as a small, isolated problem, but over time it can lead to heart disease—the number one cause of death for American men.
Another example is high blood sugar. If left untreated, over time it can lead to diabetes; this in turn can not only increase the risk of heart disease but can also lead to other serious health complications.
These issues are one reason we wanted to explore the top medical tests every man should have.
What Does a Men’s Health Check Involve?
According to information from the US Department of Health and Human Services, men need to be aware of the unique set of health risks they face.
When compared to women, men are 22 percent more likely to have neglected to watch their cholesterol levels. Men are also 24 percent less likely to have visited a doctor within the past year.
Our internal medicine physicians in Raleigh can administer medical tests and exams to address any specific health issues. We believe the following are examples of medical tests every man should have:
Medical Tests Every Man Should Have
There are some tests that we recommend men have depending upon their age, their health and their family history. This way we are able to tailor a complete plan of care for you. We’ll review some of the exams we typically recommend and why they are important.
What Blood Tests Should Men Have?
A Complete Blood Count
We usually order a complete blood count, also referred to as a CBC. This examines your red blood cells which are responsible for delivering oxygen throughout your body. It also provides insight into your number of white blood cells. These cells are used to fight infection.
By taking a closer look at these numbers, in addition to your hemoglobin, a CBC can help us detect disorders such as anemia, infections and leukemia.
Fasting Blood Sugar
Through these tests, we can evaluate your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. We’ll examine your fasting blood sugar to see if it falls within the normal range—typically 99 or lower. If the sugar level is 100 to 125, you may be prediabetic, or if it is 126 or higher, you have diabetes.
Men are 32 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for long-term complications of diabetes. They are also more than twice as likely to have leg or foot amputated as a result of complications from the disease, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This is why we believe this is one of the medical tests every man should have.
We’ll also evaluate your A1C, which is a test that measures the level of your blood sugar over the last two-to-three months.
If you’d like to get a better idea of your diabetes risk, take this useful quiz from the American Diabetes Association.
This fasting lipid profile helps us monitor cholesterol and triglycerides. High cholesterol is known to play a role in heart disease, so we’ll keep an eye on it. Typically, the good cholesterol should be between 45 and 50 and the bad cholesterol should be below 130.
Your triglycerides –the amount of fat in your blood—should be below 150.
Exams That Assess Heart Health
Because heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the United States, it is important for men to have both their blood pressure and their cholesterol levels monitored. This is also an important medical test every man should have.
In addition, if a man has a family history of heart disease, he should take a proactive role in his health by getting regular physical activity and eating nutritious foods. Men who suffer from chest pain (angina) should seek immediate medical attention, and their physician may also assess their heart function by conducting a series of stress tests or EKGs.
Exams That Assess Cancer Risk
It’s important for men between the ages of 45 and 75 to have a colon cancer screening. Men should also be regularly evaluated for cancer of the prostate, lung, or any other areas that may place them at risk due to family history or lifestyle factors.
Men should also have a skin cancer screening every year.
We’ll Help You Determine the Most Appropriate Tests
Of course, this is not a “one size fits all” list. However, we see these as the top medical tests every man should have.
Obviously, those men who have a family history of prostate cancer should speak with us about when they should start having prostate exams, and those who regularly smoke are at a higher risk of lung cancer.
The bottom line: the healthiest thing men can do for themselves, and their families, is to establish a long-term partnership with our internal medicine physicians in Raleigh, who can assist them throughout their lives.
Raleigh Medical Group is a Leader in Community Health
We’ve served the Raleigh/Triangle area for decades, and our dedication to your health extends far beyond helping you when you’re sick. It means working with you to take a proactive approach to your health care—and stopping any development of serious diseases.
We’d welcome the opportunity to care for you. It’s simple and easy to schedule an appointment by contacting us.