When talking about men’s health you could be talking about a lot of things. Men’s health can cover diet, nutrition, exercise, screening tests, sex drive and holistic medicine. There are dozens of magazines that discuss the common wants and needs of the common man in America. It could be said that it’s about trying to be the perfect man. One aspect that one must consider is the health of a man can be improved through routine laboratory testing. This is testing that will occur once or twice a year.
The total health status of a man can be determined depending on the age of the man. For men that are between the ages of twenty and forty, it’s fairly basic. The biological tests one would order to determine men’s health status are the following. You would want to know the body chemistry status. These are chemistry tests that cover the major organs of a man. The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is a group of fourteen tests that gives you information about the current status of your kidneys, liver, and electrolyte and acid/base balance as well as of your blood sugar and blood proteins. The tests measured include Glucose, Calcium, Albumin, Total Protein, Sodium, Potassium, CO2, Chloride, BUN, Creatinine, ALP, ALT, AST, and Bilirubin.
As we continue the evaluation of men’s health status, the status of ones blood cells is very important. The Complete Blood Count with Differential (CBC) screens for blood abnormalities including red and white blood cells, hemoglobin and platelets. The CBC is used as a screening test to check for possible disorders such as anemia, infection, and many other diseases.
When dealing with men’s health over the age of forty, we start to look at the endocrine system which involves hormones. The number one hormone would be Testosterone. Total Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is primarily secreted in the testes of males, although small amounts of testosterone are also secreted by the adrenal glands. Testosterone is the principal male sex hormone and an anabolic (help builds up lean tissues) steroid.
When evaluating a mans testosterone status, it’s important to correlate it to SHBG. Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) test is prescribed in order to evaluate the status of a patient’s androgens, the male hormones. The purpose of this test in relation to men’s health is to evaluate the level of SHBG in blood in order to evaluate whether the concentration of SHBG is affecting the amount of testosterone available to the body’s tissues. With men, the concern is testosterone deficiency, while with women the concern is excess testosterone production. SHBG and testosterone levels may be ordered on an adult male to help determine the cause of infertility. The final test to measure the viral status of a man is the growth hormone status. You can’t really measure growth hormone directly but you do measure a by product. Insulin Growth Factor 1 (IGF1) is a surrogate marker for Growth Hormone. Levels of IGF1 have been shown to correlate closely with growth hormone levels in men’s health. Growth Hormone deficiencies in adults have been shown to correlate with increased total body fat, decreased lean muscle mass, decreased energy and decreased mental acuity. In men’s health, these three hormones are very common to monitor.
The Cortisol levels in men’s health over the age of forty are important to monitor as well. Cortisol is the primary hormone secreted by the adrenal gland which has a broad spectrum of physiological effects, ranging from supporting blood pressure and promoting normal circulation to helping the body to defend itself against outside stress. Cortisol is also important in regulating the body’s glucose and fat metabolism. It is a catabolic hormone, which in excess, promotes the breakdown of lean body mass and the accumulation of body fat. In several men’s health publications, the Cortisol measurement is considered a must have test at least once a year. Another important men’s health profile is the vitamin b12 and folate. The measurement of Vitamin B12 and Folate is a very useful biomarker for ones overall health. To measure the Folate levels in blood is used to help diagnose the cause of anemia or neuropathy. It is also used to evaluate nutritional status in some patients or to check effectiveness of treatment for B12 or folate deficiency. These tests measure the concentration of folate and vitamin B12 in the liquid portion of the blood (serum) or inside the red blood cell (RBC). It will normally be at a higher concentration inside the cells than in the serum either a serum or RBC folate test may be used to help detect a deficiency.
rewarding if one is able to digest and process what should be monitored. Men’s health status can be complex but who ever said understanding men was easy?