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Dr. Zach’s Guide to Staying healthy in your 40s and 50s

BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, Oct 25th, 2016

The body is changing… So do the best with what you can control it through diet, exercise, moderate alcohol, no smoking.

Issues for both women and men in this age group:

Weight gain — slowed metabolism, replace muscle with fat

Diet (plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats (omega 3s), whole grains,

fiber) and exercise

Stress and burnout — job, kids, parents to take care of.  Take time for self, vacation (see SD)

Cancer No. 1 killer in this age group


For Men:

Testis melanoma bowel brain nhl

Prostate/urinary issues, erectile dysfunction


For Women:

Breast melanoma cervix ovary brain; as of 50 breast then lung in women and prostate then lung in men

Cardiovascular disease catching up and becomes #1 in the 50s

There may be issues with skin, digestive system, vision, hearing

Menopause — bone loss, hot flashes, mood swings/depression, vaginal dryness, sexual dysfunction, Urinary incontinence


Check-ups — talk to your doctor about how often

Screening — testing for things before they are symptomatic:


Blood pressure at appropriate visits

Check height and weight at appropriate visits

Lipids (cholesterol) every 1-3 years in men 40+, in women 50+, and in people who are postmenopausal, diabetic, smokers, overweight, high blood pressure, men with erectile dysfunction, chronic kidney disease, atherosclerosis,

Screen for diabetes every 3yrs as of 40 years old

Optometric testing — no evidence based guidelines, consider every 1-2 yrs

Oral (dental) 1-2x/yr

Cancer screening:  do you have a family history? That changes things.


If of average risk:

For breast cancer — starting at 50, mammogram every 2-3 years

Colorectal cancer screen — starting at 50, fecal occult blood test every year (or flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years or colonoscopy)

Cervical Cancer — pap test every 3years (between 25-69 years)

Prostate cancer — PSA is not necessarily recommended as a screening test — talk to your doctor


Baseline EKG

Vaccines – Flu, Tetanus every 10 years


Stay active! Exercise for all — weight bearing and strengthening for bones, more muscle, and cardiovascular for weight loss and cardiovascular health


Dr. Zach’s tips for staying healthy in your Twenties & Thirties

BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, Oct 18th, 2016

These are generally healthy years, especially the Twenties. Still, you can always do things to maintain good health.

• Get into healthy lifestyle: Eating well and good fat and fruits and vegetables and exercising, incorporate exercises (see below for specifics re diet and exercise) into life, do things you enjoy and with people you enjoy spending time with.

Don’t smoke.

• It’s a good time to sign up with a family doctor, someone who will know you when you have issues.  No prescribed regularity of check-ups.

• Know your family history; if you don’t know it, learn it.


Some specific issues people in their Twenties & Thirties should be aware of, checked for:

Sexual healthSTI’s (test yearly for Chlamydia Gonorrhea until 25 ), fertility & contraception, pap test every 3 years (from 25-69).

• Women who have reached a child-bearing age should take 400 to 800 mcg or micrograms of folic acid every day to prevent spina bifida (by pill or in enriched breakfast cereals, breads, pasta, rice).

Obesity: balanced diet and regular exercise.

Cancer is not common at this age but deadly when not properly treated. Protect yourself from skin cancer (and skin aging) with sunscreen, shade.

Bone density peaks in the Twenties and then begins to decrease. Stay topped-up with calcium (1000mg/d, ideally from foods — dairy, leafy greens, almonds) and vitamin D (600iu/d from sun (but not healthy) or through pills or foods such as fatty fish – tuna mackerel salmon, cheese, egg yolks.


Most common causes of death during the Twenties and Thirties:

Unintentional injuries: Wear a helmet when cycling! Wear your seatbelt. Don’t drink and drive.

Intentional injuries: Get mental health help.

Cancers: especially melanoma, lymphoma, testicular; talk to your doctor regarding the risk and what signs to look out for.

Assault: Stay safe, be careful and vigilant.

Heart disease: Risk starts to creep up towards 40, so lifestyle choices are key here.


Other things to check or do:

• Vision exam at least once between 20-40 or if having trouble seeing clearly.

• Dental: visit the dentist once to twice per year.

Vaccines: get the flu shot every year, especially if you suffer from chronic illness; a  Tetanus booster every 5-10 years; Hep A if you are travelling; Hep B if IV drug use, multiple sexual partners, work in healthcare.

Blood sugar, cholesterol, breast cancer screening are not recommended in your Twenties and Thirties unless you have a strong family history or other factors that make you at higher risk. Talk to your doctor.

Questions or comments for Dr. Zach? Send them to comments@btmontreal.ca