Men: 5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor When You Turn 40
40 is a huge milestone and should be celebrated properly. While turning 40 brings many benefits, it also brings many health complications that you should be aware of. Knowing your family’s health history is important to keep in mind while talking to your doctor. We thought turning 30 was scary, but at the age of 40, our body really begins to feel certain changes. It is also essential to keep in mind is our yearly doctor visit. Having our blood work up-to-date is crucial.
Question #1: Is my heart healthy?
Heart attacks are possible for men at the age of 40 or younger. This question is important to know because it dictates what type of diet you should be following. Men tend to gain weight the older they get, and 40 is far too young to have a heart attack and leave behind a loving family. What does your diet currently look like? Are you exercising regularly or at least walking around the neighborhood? Exercising is tough, but it does not mean going to the gym 5 times a week. Avoid fast food and substitute with some greens to maintain a healthy and happy heart. People who didn’t have any major risk factors in their 40s not only lived longer, but also lived more years without heart disease or chronic illnesses. So, even if you’re not concerned about heart problems now, taking care of yourself can help make sure it’s not a problem down the line.
Question #2: Do I need to go on a diet?
No man wants to admit he is overweight. Honestly, it’s embarrassing to hear from our doctor that we need to go on a diet. Having a healthy diet during your 40s is a great preventative matter to other complications. Your diet plays a huge role in your health. By the time you enter your 40s, you may begin to experience health issues because of what you’ve been putting on your plate all these years. Ask your doctor what your diet should look like. If you need to control your blood sugar, you might be told to eat more fruits, veggies, and whole grains. And if you need to improve your cholesterol, you’ll probably be told to avoid foods high in unhealthy fats.
Question #3: Can I still have kids?
The short and easy answer is yes. Are you and your partner in good health to raise a newborn? Both parents need to be responsible if both desire to bring a new life to the world. “If you’re over 40 and are still interested in having a baby, talk to your doctor about your options—but remember that time is of the essence when it comes to reproductive health. “As long as you’re producing sperm, it’s still possible to still have children, but as you get older the quality of the sperm decreases,” says Dr. Janette Nesheiwat. “Having children later in life can sometimes lead to more problems in your offspring because your body can produce defective sperm, which can result in mutations in the DNA.”
Question #4: Am I at risk for high/low blood pressure?
While only four percent of Americans between 18 and 44 have diabetes, that number dramatically increases throughout your 40s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For Americans 45 to 64, that rate goes up to 17 percent. Because of that, the American Diabetes Association recommends screening for type 2 diabetes every three years after the age of 45—and it’s essential to know your prediabetes status, too.
Question #5: Do I need to be screened for prostate cancer?
Once you reach your 40s, it’s time to ask your doctor how often you need to be screened for prostate cancer—especially if you have a family history of the disease or are African American. Since one in nine men are diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, the Prostate Cancer Foundation says it’s recommended that every male get a baseline PSA (prostate-specific antigen), a test that identifies those who are at a higher risk.