An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure they say and nowhere is this truer than in the field of healthcare. Preventing illness is easily the better option than curing it. However disease is not always possible to prevent because it tends to creep up on you. Its build up is a gradual process and often goes unnoticed until the situation becomes serious.
This highlights the importance of health testing and screening to prevent disease and to control a condition before it worsens. Considering the type of ailments and disease that are most common in the general populace, the following screening tests or health checkups are the most important to undergo:
- The Lipid Profile test checks various parameters of blood, such as cholesterol (good or high density lipoprotein as well as bad or low density lipoprotein) and triglyceride levels. These help to predict serious health issues so that you can take corrective steps.
- STD testing using blood or urine samples can detect several sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia, herpes, HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, etc is very important particularly for those with multiple sexual partners. It is vitally important particularly since some STDs have no discernible symptoms.
- Blood pressure check is important to do regularly particularly for those individuals who have ailments such as high blood sugar, hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease.
- Heart health screening includes several tests such as a stress test, an echo cardiogram (ECG) and others that can be customized to the individual patient. This test is particularly important for post menopausal women and men with a family history of heart disease.
- Thyroid and other hormone testing – Thyroid imbalances can cause a host of problems ranging from fatigue, to weight loss or gain to hair loss. Similarly other hormonal imbalances could be behind various chronic symptoms that you cannot explain any other way.
- Pap smear / Mammogram – These tests are very important for women, after a certain age. Women who have family history of breast cancer or cervical cancer should undergo these tests more frequently than recommended for the general female populace.
- Dental checkup – Healthy teeth are important not just for a beautiful smile, but also other reasons. Poor tooth health could indicate high blood sugar, heart disease and other problems. So get your teeth checked every 6 months.
- Bone Density Testing – This will predict your chances of getting problems like osteoporosis later in life. This is particularly important for people with a genetic predisposition to fractures and other bone related issues.
- Colorectal cancer screening – As with some of the more common types of cancer, the best chance of cure or recovery from cancers of the colon and rectal is through early detection.
- Self exam – Apart from medical tests, it is important to be vigilant about your own body. Examine your skin for any new spots, moles or bumps. Self exam of breasts by women and self exam of testicles by men is also important. Don’t ignore anything unusual or worrying – even if you catch the flu too frequently – report it and get it examined to find out what is the reason for impaired immunity.
Sarah Jacobs believes in living and promoting a naturally healthy lifestyle. Stay fit and maintain a healthy weight. This is where I go to test my vitamin D levels and conduct other tests.