True that most of us have our to-do lists and in this humdrum of life, we often get tempted to let regular health checkups slip away. In this way, we often forget that “Health is wealth” and tend to focus more on other joys in life. However, it has been found that regular checkups and health screenings can help you stay away from hospitals to a great extent. Women, especially those who have crossed the age of 30, are in a real need to get certain medical tests done. While heart health, diabetes, skin tests, colonoscopy, and eye tests are common in both men and women, certain tests are only done in women, which include gynecological tests, breast exams, etc. However, some tests must never be ignored, which might be common for both men and women. Look at the tests below and learn about some important tests you must not ignore.
1. Complete Gynecological Check
The complete gynecological check-up includes manual pelvic tests and breast exams along with a Pap smear test. Sometimes, HPV (human papillomavirus) test is also included in it to detect strains of HPV virus known for its role in cervical cancer. While pelvic tests check for abnormalities and abnormal growths, breast exams identify rashes, dimpling, lumps, and abnormal discharge. The Pap smear and HPV tests help in screening cervical cancer.
All women who are aged 30 or more must do the complete gynecological checkup annually. However, if Pap smear or both Pap and HPV tests are consecutively normal for a couple of years, the next couple of years may be skipped.
2. Heart-Health Check
To check heart health, doctors generally recommend you to check blood pressure, lipid profile, and blood tests to check cholesterol levels and triglycerides. People who are genetically prone to heart diseases are also recommended a high-sensitivity CRP test(hs-CRP) to detect any kind of inflammation in the cardiovascular system. These tests help you determine how prone you are to heart diseases and heart stroke.
If your blood pressure is normal(120 over 80 or slightly less), get it checked once in two years. Cholesterol can be checked after every five years and the CRP test must be redone according to your doctor’s advice.
3. Skin-Health Check
A dermatologist checks your body from head to toe for any suspicious growth of moles or other skin growth. Skin checkup is recommended as melanoma, which is regarded as the deadliest form of skin cancer, often begins with a mole and this disease often attacks women.
Skin check must be done once or twice in a year and must not be ignored.
4. Diabetes Test
Diabetes test can determine one’s levels of blood-glucose and help detect both prediabetes and diabetes. Diabetes has been found to affect more than 23 million Americans and increase the risk of heart diseases and stroke and can also lead to kidney diseases and blindness.
Doctors recommend you to check your blood-glucose levels annually after 45 years of age. However, people with high blood pressure and hypertension need to check with a doctor about how often it needs to be done.
Mammogram is an X-ray test that helps in screening cancer. Both traditional and digital mammograms help spot tumors in the breasts.
After the age of 40, mammograms must be done annually. However, if there is a history of breast cancer, younger women are also recommended to get mammograms done. In such a case, it must especially be done 5 to 10 years earlier than the age when the relative was detected with breast cancer.
6. Vitamin D Test
Vitamin D test checks the levels of the nutrient, Vitamin D. This vitamin helps in protecting the bones and is a nutrient that defends against diabetes, heart diseases, and certain cancers as well.
Only your doctor can tell you how often you need to check your levels of vitamin D. With age, the levels deplete and supplements are recommended.
7. Thyroid Profile Test
Checking the thyroid profile helps you check the levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). This test is important as high TSH levels are associated with weight gain, dry skin, and fatigue, while low TSH levels are marked by insomnia, fast pulse, weight loss, etc.
Thyroid levels must be checked after every five years. However, if one notices the symptoms early, it needs to be checked earlier as well. Once detected, TSH levels must be checked at least quarterly in a year.