Let’s face it: we’re not as energetic as we used to be. After we turn thirty, our bodies start to feel the strain of years of working, doing errands, or even partying and indulging in unhealthy (but oh so delicious!) food. We get tired more easily, or are more prone to getting sick. Often, we feel little aches and pains.
That’s why it’s important to monitor our health more closely as we grow older. Getting exercise or eating properly aren’t enough. We also need to get regular check-ups and medical tests, just to make sure we’re okay. At least if there’s a problem we can correct it before it gets worse. Here are some of the tests that you may need to take, especially if you have a family history of health problems.
1. Complete Blood Count
This will test you for anemia (which is very common among women) and spot leukemia in the early stages. If you have a tendency to bleed profusely when you are injured or have your monthly period your doctor may call for a Prothrombine Time.
2. Fasting Blood Sugar
This will test you for diabetes. Most pregnant women are asked to take this to spot gestational diabetes, but it’s also good to get this if you are overweight or have a family history of the condition.
3. Serum Creatinine
If you have a family history of liver problems, this test can check your kidney function.
4. Urinalysis and Stool exams
These are often used to identify infections (such as urinary tract infection or amoebiasis) but can also spot more serious conditions such as abnormalities of the urinary tract or colon cancer.
5. Uric Acid text
Elevated uric acid has also been associated with increased risk for heart disease. The problem can be caused by diet (uric acid can be found in seafood and even some vegetables, so even eating ‘healthy’ has its risks). The test can also tell you if you are at risk for kidney stones and gouty arthritis.
This will test you for Hepatitis B which is transmitted by the exchange of bodily fluids. This is also transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy, so it is important for your OB Gyne to know if you have this so that proper treatment can be given to the baby as well.
7. Lipid Profile
This will monitor your levels of good and bad cholesterol as well as the triglycerides in your body. Your bad cholesterol levels can alert you if you are at risk for atherosclerosis, or the build-up of plaque in the arteries that can lead to stroke and heart attack.
Plaque formation can begin as early as age 20, but it takes years before it manifests itself. No wonder we hear of people having heart attacks at age 29.
8. Pap Smear
Pap smears check the cells of the cervix and can identify infections and spot cervical cancer. Women with who are sexually active are advised to take this test, especially those who have had more than 2 sexual partners and who were sexually active below age 18. Most oby-gynecologists recommend having a pap smear every year after turning 30.
This is a special kind of x-ray that detects tumor lesions two years ahead or before it would have been seen or felt by the patient.
10. HPV DNA Testing
Tests for the human papilloma virus in sexually active females. This virus which comes in 100 types can cause changes in the cells of the cervix which may lead to cervical cancer. Again, it is worthy to note that early detection is crucial in treating cancer.
11. Transvaginal ultrasound
This checks abnormalities in the female genital tract which may cause absence of or prolonged menstruation and extremely painful menstrual cramps. This test also screens for possible problems with the ovaries and uterus.
12. Chest X-ray
This will test for tuberculosis and possible RTI (respiratory tract infections) like bronchitis or pneumonia. This may also detect the possibility of lung cancer.