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When you’re healthy, young and fit, medical tests are the least of your concerns. You just don’t want to think about potential hazards to your health when you have a life ahead of you, you run three times a week and do your best to eat healthily. If you don’t have healthy habits you want to think about it even less. Nonetheless there are plenty of tests that you should take every other year, regardless of age, gender or health status. Most serious illnesses have to be discovered in their inceptive state to be properly treated so don’t reschedule a doctor’s appointment just because you feel great. Here is a list of ten tests that you should take biennially.
Ten Tests That You Should Take Biennially
Blood Pressure is one of the most important health parameters that you should check every two years. Hypertension can lead to heart attacks or heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, arteriosclerosis and similar arterial or aortic related condition like aortic aneurysms. Furthermore there is a host of aggravating factors that can trigger or worsen hypertension. A family history of high blood pressure, high stress levels, obesity and high alcohol intake are all aggravating factors and a few years of ‘letting yourself go’ can significantly increase your risk condition. If you present any risk factors or have borderline high pressure (120/80 or above) you should check your blood pressure at least once a year.
Cholesterol is one of the great killers of the modern age. While cholesterol is a necessary part of your diet and High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) seems to be good for your heart the majority of cholesterol is LDL, Low-Density Lipoprotein that builds up on arteries, thickening them and causing Arterosclerosis. It is important to test your cholesterol levels at least once every two years, even during your twenties in order to avoid any risks later on. Your doctor will test you and recommend a course of action depending on the results.
Diabetes is a growing threat throughout the western world, particularly type 2 diabetes which is a associated with obesity and generally unhealthy food habits. Blood sugar tests are quick and easy to perform, with self-test devices quite affordable and readily available. People who aren’t at direct risk should still take a blood sugar test at least once every two years, perhaps as part of their general blood panel.
While you’re not likely to start developing serious eye problems like glaucoma from an early age it is still quite important to have a biennial eye exam. If you already wear glasses your eyesight might have deteriorated, requiring you to switch for a new prescription. If you do not wear glasses but work with computers a lot you might need a prescription as well or at least an exam so the doctor can give you a right course of action before you start developing any issues.
While you do not need a dental exam each year if you practice good oral hygiene it is recommended that you go see a dentist at least every two years even if there is nothing bothering you directly. Cavities often take long times to develop and if you catch one in its infancy you might not need a costly and painful intervention later on. Furthermore, things like bacterial plaque and its advanced form called tartar can form in places that are not regularly visible and that you don’t reach properly with either toothbrush or floss. Plaque can lead to gingivitis and more serions problems so it is recommended that you tackle it early on. A dental clean-up and exam once a year can spare you a lot of trouble down the road. An exam every two years is mandatory.:
While many doctors do not stress immunization, particularly seasonal immunization there are a couple of shots that you should always take and a few more that are recommended. Tetanus shots are absolutely crucial and they last for about 10 years before they have to be retaken and for women the HPV vaccine is very effective in preventing a dangerous condition that might otherwise seriously affect your health. You might also want to consider getting a flu shot every year. While a lot of peole have come out against vaccines lately physicians recommend that you always immunize against influenza. There is no need to put your system through unnecessary stress when it can all be avoided with a vaccine.
Melanoma is one of the leading causes of cancer death for young women so you should always get a proper skin examination with a dermatologist at least once every two years. While things like breast cancer examinations can be done on your own, skin cancer is hard to identify and a dermatologist should always examine potential problem areas. If you regularly use tanning beds, spend a lot of time in the sun or have a family history of skin cancer schedule a dermatologist visit at least once a year.
If you’re sexually active, especially if you have had more than three partners in the last two years you should get a full STD panel. As sexual health is considered a matter of great importance by authorities you might be able to get a full STD panel done anonymously for free or cheap at a local clinic. It doesn’t matter how careful you are in screening partners or using contraception, you should still get an STD panel done once in a while if you are sexually active.
While many doctors recommend you do a complete bloodwork analysis only once every 5 years or so, particularly if otherwise healthy you should consider this more often, every other year or so, especially if it is covered by your insurance. This is important for two reasons. First of all, a complete blood panel can identify ‘silent killers’ like leukemia or other forms of cancer early on, especially if you also opt to get a full set of the most common tumoral markers. Secondly, if you are completely healthy you can donate blood which is something that every healthy adult should do.
Pap Smear or Prostate Exam
Cervical cancer and prostate cancer respectively are some of the most dangerous forms of cancer there are. The former is a silent killer, hard to identify unless you actively search for it, quick to progress to an untreatable state and incredibly aggressive. The latter is one of the most common forms of cancer: the risk for an adult male developing prostate cancer equates to 1% per year. A 40 yr old has a 40 percent chance of getting prostate cancer whereas an 80 year old has an 80% chance. This is why these two conditions should be constantly tested for, at least once every two years preferably two times a year.
There are many conditions that you can and will have to test for during your lifetime. The most important part, however is to be relaxed and not to live with a permanent fear of falling ill. Test for everything but fear nothing. Modern medicine can treat and cure almost everything provided you identify it quickly.
This is a guest post by Mara Fuchs from HealthTestingCenters.com If you are also interested to write for HealthResource4u, Please check our guest posting guidelines at write for us.