If you’re someone who likes to look after themselves, it’s important to make sure that you get yourself into the routine of taking regular tests to detect underlying health problems. Although nobody likes to think of serious illness affecting them in the future, prevention is by far the best medicine – and by being proactive and by using a testing program to look for problems before they become serious, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of avoiding the condition developing. Here are some tips on the most common health tests and why they’re useful for making sure you stay fit and healthy for years to come.
Start with the high-profile ones
If you’re a generally healthy person, you might not be sure where to start when it comes to health testing if you don’t have any specific symptoms. If that applies to you, why not begin with some tests for some of the major health problems facing many Americans today? The symptoms of diabetes, for example, can sometimes be detected – or at least suspected – from a blood pressure test, while taking other tests like the hemoglobin A1C can also help find it. Once you’ve been tested for the major illnesses, it’s wise to keep an eye on any emerging symptoms so that you and your physician can zero in on other, relevant tests to do in the future.
Test at home
You don’t need to go into your physician’s office or even send off a sample to do some simple tests. If you’re concerned about the effect of weight gain or the complications it might cause, for example, you can measure your body mass index (BMI) at home and see if you’re within a healthy weight range for your age and your height. In that way, you can take control of your own health and carry out an important test at a time and in a place that suits you – meaning less hassle for both you and your physician.
Beat the cholesterol epidemic
Many Americans are known to suffer from problems with their cholesterol levels. When left unchecked, high cholesterol can lead to all sorts of problems including strokes and coronary artery disease – and that’s why there’s a lot to be said for taking the initiative and having a test. Luckily, there are tests that you can take to ensure that you aren’t falling victim to the cholesterol curse. A lipid profile test measures both the level of cholesterol and the level of triglycerides in your body for a comprehensive overview, and you can even order online.
Do you smoke?
If – like 15% or so of Americans – you’re a smoker, there are certain extra health tests it’s wise to do to make sure that you’re on top of any health conditions that you may be experiencing. A chest X-ray, for example, is useful for making sure that any issues with your blood vessels caused by tobacco are not getting worse, while it’s also useful to get some cancer checks to make sure that you’re not suffering from any growths or other cancer-related issues.
Don’t forget embarrassing tests
We’re all guilty of putting off going to the doctor if we’re worried it’s going to be a little bit awkward. But in some cases, it can be lethal to leave going to visit the physician until it’s too late for treatment. That’s because some diseases can be detected and treated more effectively if they’re found early – and that’s especially true for some of the more embarrassing tests and illnesses out there.
Colon cancer, for example, is a leading cause of deaths for Americans, but because a colonoscopy is considered embarrassing, people sometimes put off having the procedure. The same goes for cervical smear tests. But by being brave and having the test no matter how embarrassing it may seem, you could be saving your life – and by encouraging others in your life to take the step of going to visit a health professional, you could be doing them a life-saving favor too.
Getting yourself tested is vital for keeping yourself fit and healthy well into your old age. By making sure you do the basic regular tests required for general health while also zooming in on any problems as they emerge and getting a test to rule out serious problems, you can make sure you don’t let your health slide, giving yourself the best possible chance of staying healthy and well for many years to come.