10 Medical Tests To Grade Your Health
We should all make it a point to regularly give our doctors a visit and talk to him about medical tests that can help us prevent future health problems, as well as, tell us how we can better take care of ourselves.
Here’s a list of ten medical tests to consider the next time we go to our doctor.
1. Blood pressure screen test
This is a run-of-the-mill diagnostic test that determines your blood pressure levels to monitor your vascular health. High blood pressure levels are related to heart disease and stroke. However, screening your blood pressure at the clinic may not show reliable results because most people have raised levels of blood pressure when they get nervous, which they often do when they visit their doctor. You can also monitor your blood pressure yourself at home using portable blood pressure machines you can purchase from drugstores. This is especially important for people who are on blood pressure medication, like a beta-blocker.
2. Stress test
People who are over 50 and those who are at risk for heart disease should regularly get stress tests. The test involves walking or jogging on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike to determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart. An electrocardiogram monitors your heart rate and blood pressure and your doctor can determine, from the results, if you are at risk for coronary artery disease.
3. Diabetes screening
There are two simple and inexpensive tests to screen for type II diabetes. The fasting plasma glucose test or the oral glucose tolerance test measures blood glucose levels to determine whether or not an individual has a normal metabolism, pre-diabetes, or diabetes. People who are 45 and older should get routine screening for diabetes, as well as those who are 20% over their healthy body weight.
There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that the use of carefully chosen herbal and homeopathic remedies and dietary supplements can help to both prevent the disease and keep signs and symptoms of diabetes under control in those who have already developed it. Along with the correct lifestyle changes, herbal remedies and dietary supplements can reduce or eliminate the need for prescription medication and can also aid in preventing some of the tissue and organ damage associated with uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
4. Lipid profiling
Routine cholesterol screening is important to detect vascular problems and manager vascular health. Testing your cholesterol levels should not only be limited to measuring the “bad” low-density lipoprotein and the “good” high-density lipoprotein. Your doctor can also screen for blood markers like lipoprotein particle size and apolipoprotein, both of which determines whether you are at risk for cardiovascular diseases or not. You can request for the VAP cholesterol test as this is covered by most insurance companies.
High cholesterol can be well controlled by combining a healthy lifestyle with the correct medical treatment. Research has demonstrated that a combination of natural remedies, regular exercise and dietary changes can make a significant difference to LDL levels and reduce or even eliminate the need for prescription drugs.
5. C-reactive protein test
C-reactive protein is a blood marker that determines the amount of inflammation in the body. Testing for c-reactive protein goes hand in hand with other diagnostic procedures for cardiovascular problems, especially when there are other health risks present, like high levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. The test is not specific to the heart, but arterial inflammation is linked to heart diseases and stroke and, therefore, can help determine whether or not someone is at risk for developing heart problems.
Many people have begun to turn to herbal and homeopathic remedies to reduce the chances of heart complications, and to help support heart health once problems have surfaced. The ingredients not only act as tonics for optimal heart health, but also assist in treating the underlying triggers of many heart conditions.
If you are 50 years of age or older, and whether or not you are at risk, you should start getting regular screening for colorectal cancer. Colon and rectal cancers are one of the most common cancers in both men and women. Colonoscopy involves inserting a long, thin, and flexible tube with a scope inside the colon to look for polyps. A less invasive and discomfort-causing procedure is virtual colonoscopy. The technique uses computed tomography scans, or CT scans, to generate computer images of the colon. However, this technique is not as reliable as the traditional colonoscopy procedure because it can sometimes miss the existence of polyps.
7. CYP450 test
CYP450 are enzymatic genes in the liver which determines how drugs that enter the body are metabolized and their effectiveness. The test tells doctors the right dosage to prescribe for your medicines, depending on the levels of this enzyme in your body. They will also know whether or not you are immune to a particular drug. This test has FDA approval but is relatively more expensive than other regular diagnostic procedures ($500 in the US).
8. Pap smear
Pap smear is a simple test that detects changes in the cells of the cervix which can mean cancer of the cervix or precancerous conditions that may eventually lead to cervical cancer. All women who are over 21 and those who are sexually active should get an annual Pap smear.
9. Prostate-specific antigen screening
Screening for levels of prostate-specific antigen, a substance that the prostate gland releases into the blood, can help detect prostate cancer. A sharp increase in levels of the antigen usually points to this condition. PSA test is a simple blood test that should be undergone once every year by men who are over 50. However, there is a high rate of false-negative and false-positive results, as well as risk factors that go with the test. Ask your doctor for advice regarding the procedure.
10. Test for skin cancer
You can get a yearly skin exam done by a dermatologist to detect the early symptoms of any of the three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. The first signs you should watch out for are any changes in the shape, color, or size of an existing more, and if your mole is asymmetrical in shape.