Blood test… oh my god!! This is how most of us react the moment we hear this. Almost all of us are scared of these tests. We usually are not in a habit of going for regular checkups. It’s only when we have a fever, cold or any other reason for that matter. But after a certain age, it’s important to undergo tests so that many health issues can be tackled initially before it takes its toll.
Here, are few tests that will definitely help you:
Fasting glucose test and hemoglobin A1C test for diabetes:
You may be healthy but after the age of 45 people should opt for a fasting glucose test and haemoglobin A1C test. It can be used to diagnosis diabetes and monitor the disease. A1C tests can be used in combination with a fasting test or alone and it doesn’t need fasting before.
Fasting blood sugar level less than 100mg/dL is considered as normal. Between 100 to 125 mg/dL is considered prediabetes. Above 126 mg/dL or higher is considered as diabetes.
|Normal||below 5.7 percent|
|Prediabetes||5.7 to 6.4 percent|
|Diabetes||6.5 percent or above|
The American Heart Association recommends that cholesterol levels should be tested every four to six years after the age of 20. The risk of men having cardiovascular disease is higher than women. Cholesterol is measured by a blood test which shows HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Blood tests are painful but getting your blood pressure checked is fast and painless. Getting blood pressure checked should start from the age of 18. Normal blood pressure range is 120/80 mmHg (top reading is systolic and bottom reading is diastolic).
The symptoms can be a frequent headache, nausea, and fatigue. It may be recommended to change lifestyle by exercising more or taking less salt which can bring pressure to normal but in case of very high readings medications are prescribed.
Most men at the beginning of 50 years should be screened for colon cancer. But in the case of previous family history, this should be done earlier than 50 years. A small camera is used to inspect the large intestine for polyps or any other signs. For the test, the person will have to be empty stomach before the examination and will only have clear liquids and no solid foods or laxatives are given.
Sexually Transmitted Infections:
We are never comfortable talking about this topic and many times it may go undiagnosed for years. For example, people with HIV can be symptomless for almost 10 years and later start having more adverse effects like a decrease in immunity, loss of weight, swollen lymph nodes and so on. It is advised that from the age of 18 to 65 years people should undergo these tests at least once.
Tests like ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) antibody blood test, western blotting test, and HIV nucleic acid test for HIV infections. Others tests like virus blood test and culture, VDRL (Venereal disease research laboratory) and RPR (rapid plasma region) blood test can be done.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer. It can be aggressive, fast or slow growing and if diagnosed early treatments can be very effective. The test may include a digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve of the eye and causes blindness. During the eye check up abnormally high pressure in the eye that may cause damage to optic nerve should be treated. The tests should be done at the age of 40 years and above.
Breast cancer is very common in females and it is important to diagnosis it earlier. The test for breast cancer is taking an x-ray of each breast it is called mammogram. Women, as they reach the age of 50, should opt for breast examination to rule out any possibility.
These are the few tests that will help to rule out diabetes, hypertension, cancer, or heart problems that can be associated with them. It is important to consult a doctor if you have any symptoms or go for a routine examination with a full body check up as a preventive measure. Only undergoing tests and taking medications will not solve the purpose but making healthy lifestyle modification and following them religiously will help you in achieving fruitful results.