Questions to Ask your Doctor in your 60s
If you’ve just reached that magical number 60, you’re probably starting to focus more on your health and wellness than ever before. Among eating right and going out for walks, you’re taking a closer look at your health and seeing what you can do to increase your physical stamina and mental ability.
At the doctor’s office you’ll notice that blood monitoring, cholesterol levels and weight is especially important. Your doctor will administer the standard tests that you may have taken in your 50s.
Time for supplements?
Ask about foods and supplements that may help support and nourish your body. Bone density and osteoporosis are still a concern. If you take calcium supplements, be sure they do not contain magnesium. When taken together, the magnesium interferes with the body’s absorption of calcium. You will need to take the two a few hours apart. Your blood glucose level should be checked, as type two diabetes can take hold in your later years. Overweight individuals run a greater risk. Request your doctor to suggest an exercise program appropriate to your age and health. Even gentle exercise, like a thirty-minute walk daily can help with many health problems, help maintain your weight and overcome certain insomnias.
Time to screen for colorectal cancer?
If you haven’t had this test yet, it may be a good time to ask your doctor about a colorectal cancer screening. They are uncomfortable, but often patients are anesthetized for them. Diagnosing cancer early is very important in attaining a long, active life.
Ask your physician to check your skin for possible skin cancers. Any irregular dark patches or unusual moles, especially if they change in size or shape need to be looked at by your medical provider.
Enhanced eye checks
It is more important than ever to see an optometrist to check your eyes now. While you may have twenty-twenty vision, ask your doctor to check for glaucoma, macular degeneration, corneal dystrophy and other eye problems that may develop with age. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or other medical problems, you are at greater risk for these eye diseases that can rob you of your vision. When diagnosed early, there are more options for treatments.
If you do have problems with your eyesight, don’t wait it out. It’s better to get your eye health taken care of at the earliest opportunity than to wait it out and find out that you are no longer eligible for preventative care or other types of eye care.
Are you up to date on your shots?
Ask your medical provider when to get your flu and pneumonia shots. When you travel to tropical areas outside of the U.S., hepatitis A and B vaccines are also a good idea, as well as meningitis.
Regular routines keep your health up
Continue with regular exams as before. Even if you’ve had stellar years, it’s always worth it to go for preventative care instead of expensive medical care that could have been detected. For women: pap smear, pelvic and rectal exam. For men the rectal exam can expose problems with the prostate or colon. It’s never too late to get a second opinion. If you feel your doctor may have missed something, definitely seek a second opinion. It’s your body! Love it well.