I'm a big believer in keeping on top of your health by visiting your doctor regularly; for me that means at least annually. So, since I did just turn 50 I decided to go for my annual checkup and see what's what. My doctor checked me over, asked me a lot of questions. She said that now that I am 50 I need to have a bunch of standard blood tests, Okay. Fine. I guess my body is like a car, once it gets a certain number of miles on it, I need to take it in for a tune-up. So here are some things that I recommend you get checked when you go in for your next physical,
Blood pressure - This is a quick and easy check right in your doctor's office. It's important to know what your blood pressure is to ensure a healthy heart.
Cholesterol - Cholesterol consists of LDL, HDL, and Tryglicerides. Unfortunately for me I had high levels of my bad cholesterol (LDL) but both my good cholesterol (HDL) and Tryglicerides were fine. If any of your numbers are too high in this area, like mine, you'll be asked to adjust your diet, and see the doctor periodically to see if the levels have dropped.
Hemoglobin - Getting your hemoglobin checked will ensure that you are not deficient in iron, vitamin B12 or other essentials. If you are, your doctor may recommend dietary change or vitamin supplements.
Blood Sugars - It's crucial to check to see if diabetes is a risk for you. Diabetes is a disease that causes many other difficulties as we age, so it's really important to know where you stand.
Thyroid - Your doctor will probably want to check your thyroid as well to see what your levels are. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) are both irregularities that would need to be investigated further.
Stool Sample - This test is very helpful to check for colon irregularities. If you have blood in your stool, don't wait until you turn 50 or until next year's appointment, get in and get checked right away.
Pap Smear - This is a test you should be having annually to screen for cervical cancer. Your doctor will most likely do this test right in the office.
Mammogram - A mammogram is a test that checks for breast cancer. There are differing views on how often you should be screened but once you turn 50 you should go in at least every year or two. It is well worth the time.
These are some of the basic screening tests they do, but don't rely on me, make an appointment today to go and see your doctor and get your levels checked. Hopefully everything will come back all clear, but if there is a problem, the sooner you find out, the better.