How to Conduct Your Own Male Health Check

So you want to be more proactive in looking after your health? Here are some important areas you need to be keeping an eye on.

Blood pressure. Most people have high blood pressure at some time or another with little or no symptoms at all. It’s when this continues over time, that it acts as a major cardiovascular risk factor home depot health check. This risk increases with age and is further increased if you smoke, are over weight, have high cholesterol &/or diabetes. Health problems associated with high blood pressure are a heart attack, eye damage, leading to visual problems, kidney damage, which is irreparable and a stroke which can damage your brain, leading to paralysis.

A blood pressure reading between 110/70 and 140/90 is considered to be “within the normal range”. However anyone with a reading in the higher level of this range needs to be making changes to get this down ASAP. Lifestyle changes will make a big difference and should include stopping ALL caffeinated beverages. This includes coffee, tea, green tea, any product that contains cocoa and any soft drink that contains caffeine. Start drinking more water, as dehydration causes all tissues and fluids to become thicker and more viscous. Sip on water consistently throughout the day and drink no less than 1.5 and 2 litres a day. Start doing some regular exercise. If you do not participate already, start by going for a walk each day. Take it easy to start with and work from here. You will benefit from any improvement. Take a magnesium supplement. This mineral works with muscle relaxation and is vital for anyone with a cardiovascular problem. Omega 3 fish oil is also beneficial. Get your own blood pressure monitor, so you can keep a better eye on what’s happening. Remember that if you rush to the GP’s and also had a cup of coffee within 1 hour of having your blood pressure checked; it will probably be higher, just due to these 2 factors.

Ferritin. Many men find their iron, or more rightly Ferritin levels increase as they get older. Ferritin is an iron binding protein and the higher this is, the more iron your body is going to store. High levels of iron can cause just as many problems as low levels of iron. Iron has been referred to as an anti antioxidant. This is because excess iron produces the exact opposite effect of antioxidants like vitamin C and E. It will cause the formation of free radicals that can seriously damage your body. So ensure you get your ferritin levels checked once a year, to help prevent this damage. If you find these levels are high you need to seek advice & change your lifestyle immediately. Alcohol consumption and poor liver function has been linked to high iron stores, so avoiding this and completing a liver cleanse would be beneficial.

Testosterone. This is the muscle building, anti-aging, sex drive and mental sharpness hormone. Its levels are highest in a mans early 20s, however studies show that up to 20% of all men who are 50 yrs old, have testosterone levels well below the normal range. Pesticides and preservatives in foods have been shown to act as “hormonal disruptors” and may be a contributor to these declining levels. Medical literature states that low levels of testosterone are directly associated with heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer (yes, low levels are a higher risk), senile dementia, osteoporosis and hip fracture.

You can have blood tests to specifically test your testosterone levels. Your GP can arrange these for you and then discuss your options. There are also a number of herbs available that have been used to help boost testosterone levels. These include tribulus, sarsparilla & Korean ginseng.

Your PSA levels. PSA refers to a protein which is made by both normal and cancerous prostate cells. It is found in the blood and can be measured with a blood test, which should be tested once a year, after the age of 50. PSA levels can rise if a man has prostate cancer, but a high PSA is not always proof of cancer. Other things can also make PSA levels go up, such as inflammation. These may give a false positive test result. Also, some prostate glands produce more PSA than others. PSA levels go up with age. Zinc is a mineral that is VITAL for a healthy prostate gland, however it is deficient in New Zealand soil, so needs to be taken in a supplement form. Many health shops offer a free zinc test, an easy way to determine your existing zinc levels. The herbs Saw palmetto, Nettle, Pygeum & Vitex have all been used to help with better prostate health and can often be found combined together.

C – reactive protein (CRP). The New England Journal of Medicine states that testing for CRP surpasses ALL other commonly taken tests, including LDL cholesterol, in predicting cardiovascular events. The presence of C – reactive protein in your blood indicates the presence of inflammation. Studies have shown that a high level of this inflammation is an accurate predictor of future heart problems. It has been shown that elevated levels of this marker more than double your risk of a stroke. Many insurance companies now use this test when completing medicals. Natural products that can help reduce this inflammation are Fish oil or an Omega 3 supplement, Turmeric, Quercetin & Ginger.