Celebrating Father’s Day: The Gift of Good Health for Dad

Father’s Day is a special time to honour the fathers and father figures in our lives, celebrating their love, dedication, and hard work. And while we often celebrate with gifts and family gatherings, there’s one priceless gift that often goes overlooked: the gift of good health. Encouraging the men in our lives to prioritise their health is one of the most meaningful ways to show we care. Regular blood tests and medical checkups can be the best gift of all, ensuring they stay healthy and vibrant for years to come.

Men are notoriously less likely to visit the doctor regularly compared to women. Whether it’s due to busy schedules, a tendency to downplay health issues, or simply not making it a priority, this can lead to preventable health problems going undetected. Regular checkups can help catch potential issues early when they are most treatable. So this Father’s Day, let’s talk about the importance of blood tests and regular medical checkups for men’s health.

Full blood count: This common test checks for various disorders, such as anemia, infection, and many other diseases. It provides a broad overview of overall health.

Lipid profile : Measures cholesterol levels (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides) to assess heart disease risk. At the Blackwell Clinic we can additionally test for apolipoproteins which are proteins that assist transport and metabolism of fats/ lipids. Apolipoprotein A is linked to “good” cholesterol whereas Apolipoprotein B is linked to the “bad” cholesterol that cause plaque buildup in your blood vessels, which can lead to damage and heart disease. Therefore this specialist test can allow doctors to analyse if there is a higher-than-normal risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Monitoring these levels is crucial for preventing heart attacks and strokes.

Blood Glucose and HBA1C blood test: Used to detect diabetes or prediabetes, these tests respectively measures the level of glucose in the blood currently and over the past 3months. Early detection of diabetes can prevent serious complications.

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test: Important for men over 50 or younger if there’s a family history of prostate cancer, this test screens for prostate cancer by measuring PSA levels in the blood. Please note that a raised PSA doesn’t always mean cancer, as an enlarged prostate can also produce increased amounts of PSA in the bloodstream. So if you or the man in your life is also experiencing lower urinary tract symptoms such as hesitation when trying to urinate, poor flow / stream of urine, incomplete emptying of the bladder which can lead to soiling of the underwear due to dribbling of urine; then these can be signs of an enlarged prostate. I recommend that a PSA blood test is paired with a gentle digital rectal examination of the prostate.

Testosterone : This hormone is made by the testes ( side note: women also make testosterone from their ovaries but in smaller amounts). In the higher concentrations as seen in men, it is responsible for many of their secondary sex characteristics such as deep voice, hair on the chest, muscle mass and important for sexual health in men. Symptoms of deficiency include decreased libido, loss of morning erections and erectile dysfunction but may also involve decline in physical energy and strength resulting in tiredness or weakness and depression. Testosterone blood tests are best done early in the morning before 11am and as a fasted sample as testosterone levels may be suppressed by intake of food. 

So to conclude, let’s encouraging regular blood tests and medical checkups for the well-being of the men who mean so much to us. Check out The Blackwell Clinics’ special packages that include a variety of tests tailored for men’s health and consider purchasing a health package as a more thoughtful and practical gift over another pair of Father’s Day socks. This year, let’s celebrate Father’s Day with a commitment to men’s health and longevity. 

Cheers to all the amazing fathers out there—here’s to many more happy, healthy years ahead!

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