"This is the time when the wheels they start to get out of the car! "says Dr. David K. Spindell, an internal medicine practitioner and vice president of the division of medical affairs at Abbott Diagnostics, and if you are already in this decade you know what he is referring to. Even if you're still in shape, you do not recover as quickly after, say, a Sunday watching a football game with a giant bucket of chicken wings or a game of weekend tennis.
If you have gained weight and put aside exercise, it is time to go back to the routine because the risk of conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer increases in this decade.
Most primary care physicians encourage annual physical exams for men in their 40s, since any problem that is detected early is easier to treat. You should also take your family history into account, and base exam decisions and preventive care on that, says Dr. Gary Rogg, an intern at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York.
Let's take prostate cancer as an example. The American Cancer Society recommends an initial examination at 50 years of age. But if your father contracted this disease before age 65, or if you are of African descent, you should start testing (a blood test for a specific antigen of the prostate) in this decade, says Rogg. Otherwise, the best thing you can do to stay healthy is to control your eating habits and perform annual medical exams, especially the cholesterol test that you have probably avoided before.
If you already wear glasses, monitor your vision regularly. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that those who have never had a complete eye exam should do so now, because the early signs of certain age-related eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration) may be appearing without any symptoms. Visit an ophthalmologist for a basic exam, which will include an eye pressure test, dilation of pupils so that the doctor can see your retina and optic nerve and a visual acuity test.
Meanwhile, if you find yourself holding the pages of a sports magazine or your phone an arm's length away, you probably have presbyopia, a normal loss of focus related to middle age, also known as short arm syndrome.. Ask your doctor for an updated prescription or, if you do not use prescription glasses, a pair of glasses from the pharmacy will do the job.
Blood pressure test
Any time you visit your doctor, you will have a blood pressure test.But 40 is a good time to handle those numbers, since high blood pressure is a strong indicator of an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, especially if there are other risk factors, such as being overweight or if the person is a smoker, says Rogg. The numbers that should worry you are: a systolic or maximum reading of between 120 and 139 and a diastolic or minimum of between 80 and 89, these put you in a prehypertensive state, according to the American Heart Association. Hypertension is defined by a blood pressure of 140/90 or higher.
Blood Sugar / Diabetes Screening
Statistics from the Centers for Disease and Prevention show that more than one third of adults living in the United States are considered obese, so it is not surprising that Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult diabetes, causes a growing health concern, so discovering if you are in danger of developing diabetes is critical. If you think being thin protects you from this disease, you are wrong.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that by the age of 45 men get tested for type 2 diabetes, usually with a fasting blood glucose test. A normal level is below 100 mg / dl. If your numbers are between 100 and 125 mg / dl, you are considered pre-diabetic and you should take it as a wake-up call. According to the ADA, lowering a few pounds (7% of your body weight) can put you back in the safe area, but talk to your doctor about other lifestyle changes. If your FPG exam is 126 mg / dl or greater, you have diabetes, a condition that becomes chronic and sometimes fatal.
A more accurate diabetes test is the A1C hemoglobin test. While the fasting blood test captures a moment in time, the A1C observes the blood proteins that change in the presence of too much blood sugar and gives your healthcare provider an indicator of your blood glucose level in a period of between three and four months. An A1C in 5, 6 percent, the percentage of sugar in your blood, is normal; the prediabetic range is between 5, 7 and 6, 4 percent. Anything about that indicates diabetes.