June is Men’s Health Month — a good time to remember that prevention can go a long way to keeping you healthy. Preventive screenings can help you catch health problems early when they may be more easily treatable.
Body mass index, or BMI, is a way to determine if you’re at a healthy weight for your height. BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters.
A BMI from 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be healthy.
- If your BMI is below 18.5, you are probably underweight.
- If your BMI is 25 or over, you are probably overweight.
- If your BMI is over 30, you are classified as obese.
BMI is not a magic formula. It does not diagnose body fat or health. Your doctor will look at other factors as well.
Colorectal cancer is the third-most commonly occurring cancer in men. Screening can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they become cancer. If you are 50 years or older, get screened. Your doctor will tell you what test is right for you and how often to get tested.
The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to measure it. High blood pressure raises your risk for heart disease and stroke. Your doctor examines your systolic and diastolic pressures, which are measured in millimeters of mercury (abbreviated as mmHg).
The normal range is:
- Systolic: less than 120 mmHg
- Diastolic: less than 80 mmHg
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication and lifestyle changes.
There are several types of blood-sugar tests to determine if you have prediabetes, Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Normal nonfasting blood glucose readings are between 70 and 140 milligrams per deciliter.
If you're diagnosed with diabetes, a diabetes educator can help you:
- Develop a healthy eating plan.
- Learn to test your blood sugar and record the results.
- Recognize the signs of high or low blood sugar and what to do about it.
- Monitor your feet, skin and eyes.
- Manage stress and deal with diabetes care.
Lower Back Pain
About 80 percent of adults experience back pain at some point. Most back pain is short term, lasting a few days to a few weeks. It tends to get better on its own. Unnecessary imaging studies, such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, are not associated with improved outcomes. Your doctor should avoid imaging unless there is evidence of an underlying condition.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and National Committee for Quality Assurance are independent organizations that offer health information that members of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina may find helpful.
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