Does Your Man Need a Tune-Up?
Jun 18, 2013 - 3:31:21 PM
Dr. David Marks is the Chief Medical Officer of InBalance Health with offices in Manhattan, Westchester and Connecticut. He states that, "Regular exams and screening tests are important. They might detect problems while they are more easily treated or provide you with information that can be used to make small but important changes. Commit to having them done and know that you've done all you can for yourself and your loved ones."
Some of the key items Dr. Marks believes every man over 40 should have on his checklist include:
Normal blood pressure is 120/80. If the first number is higher than 120 or the second number is higher than 80, you may have high blood pressure (hypertension). This puts you at increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
Your blood should be tested for:
Men over 50-and those over 40 with a family history of colon or rectal cancer-should have a colonoscopy. By using a colonoscope, a gastroenterologist can see and typically remove precancerous polyps in your colon. Colon cancer can often be prevented if detected early.
Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death among men; annual screenings are recommended after age 40. Since early prostate cancer most often has no symptoms at all, men who are at risk need to talk to their doctors. The good news is, there are signs to be alert for such as difficulty urinating, blood in semen, chronic constipation and other intestinal issues and frequent pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs. If you notice any of these changes, it's important to head to the doctor for a checkup sooner rather than later. Your doctor performs a rectal exam to feel if your prostate is enlarged, and will also evaluate the absolute level of prostate-specific antigen in your blood and relative changes over time.
Approximately 40% of men over the age of 45 who visit their primary care physician have testosterone levels in the blood low enough for the Endocrine Society to recommend treatment.
There is a simple questionnaire that can help you recognize if you have low testosterone, commonly called "low t." Assuming you have low t, there is a 97% chance the questionnaire will alert you to it.
1. Do you have a decrease in sex drive?
2. Do you have a lack of energy?
3. Do you have a decrease in strength or endurance?
4. Have you lost height?
5. Have you noticed a decreased "enjoyment of life"?
6. Are you sad or grumpy?
7. Are your erections less strong?
8. Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?
9. Do you fall asleep after dinner?
10. Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?
If you answered "yes" to question 1 or 7, or if you answered "yes" to any 3 other questions, you should talk to your doctor about a testosterone blood test.
Dr. Marks explains: "Low testosterone is associated with metabolic syndrome-a combination of medical problems including increased fat, cholesterol and blood sugar-which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It is also associated with prostate cancer. More doctors need to screen for it in men who are at risk-those over 40 and those who use statins and painkillers."
About Dr. David Marks
Chief Medical Officer of InBalance Health
Dr. Marks received his M.D. from the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Marks completed an internship and residency at the Yale University School of Medicine/Greenwich Hospital program in internal medicine, where he also served as Chief Resident. He then served as a fellow in allergy and clinical immunology at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
He spent years caring for patients of all ages and for those undergoing short term physical rehabilitation. While doing so, Dr. Marks became interested in the medical, physical, nutritional, and psychological factors that negatively impact patients' health, lifestyle, and sense of well-being. This led him to study and to appreciate the therapeutic and preventive benefits of diet, exercise and, when clinically indicated, hormone replacement, to decrease the risk of age-related diseases. He has dedicated his professional career to helping his patients stay healthier, feel better, and enjoy life more.
Dr. David Marks was the Health & Science Editor and chief medical reporter for CBS News in New York. Prior to that, he was the full time health reporter for NBC News, appearing every morning on "Today in New York" as well as on many of the station's evening newscasts. Dr. Marks has been featured on "Today," "Good Morning America," MSNBC, Court TV and the Fox News Channel. He also frequently hosts shows for WebMD and Medscape.
Dr. Marks has authored numerous articles for magazines, newspapers and scientific journals. His first book, "The Headache Prevention Cookbook: Eating Right To Prevent Migraines and Other Headaches" (Houghton Mifflin) was published in July 2000.
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