Get Your Bloods Done
“It’s a good idea to get a full blood screening in your twenties, which will help pick up any issues in organs like the kidney, liver and thyroid. For most guys in their 20s there will be no problems, rarely there can be genetic conditions you may not know about. For example, you could have a predisposition to high cholesterol, which could increase your risk of a future heart attack. A blood test can also pick up on nutrient deficiencies – B12, folate, ferritin and vitamin D are the most common at this stage in life. Knowing what you’re low in can help you tweak your diet for optimum health. There’s no need to get fanatical about blood tests, but a one-off can help you be more in control of your health. If all is normal, there’s no need to repeat it, but if you develop symptoms or have concerns, chat to your GP. There have been significant developments in blood testing in recent years that mean far less blood is needed. At Numan, we offer at-home blood test kits which are done with a finger prick. The tests are easy to do and once you’ve sent the test through the post to a lab, results are turned round in 24-48 hours.” – Dr Luke Pratsides, lead GP at Numan
Book An STI Check
“If you are sexually active, you should be testing for STIs on a yearly basis. If you have unprotected sex more regularly or have had multiple sexual partners, you should be testing more frequently. STIs are one of the biggest health risks facing men in their early 20s and it’s vital to detect infections as early as possible. Plus, some STIs occur without symptoms, making it even more important to get tested. For example, chlamydia is often described as a silent infection due to the fact around 50% of men (and 70% of women) with the infection don’t have symptoms. Other STIs do produce symptoms, however, so if you notice discharge from your penis, pain when you urinate, rashes or lumps around your genital area, or pain in your testicles, get an STI test straight away. Some GPs offer testing, so check there first, but if not, your local sexual health clinic can help – tests are always free. If you prefer to self-test, in some parts of the UK you can order a confidential kit to be delivered to your home – check out SH:24 and Lloyds Pharmacy online. These, however, aren’t free.” – Dr Naveen Puri, associate clinical director at Bupa Health Clinics.