Many people rarely visit their doctor unless they are unwell or something feels wrong. Is there a need for a check-up when you feel perfectly well? Getting a health screening helps to unearth any underlying conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol that are largely symptomless but can affect the quality of your life. A simple blood test is enough to flag any lurking illnesses you may not beware of.
While the idea of taking a needle is uncomfortable for many people, recent advancements in blood test procedures have made it possible to take the tests at home. With a home blood test kit, you can extract a small blood sample by pricking your finger and sending the sample to a medical laboratory near you.
Results can reveal your liver or kidney condition, mineral deficiencies, and hormonal imbalance. Read on to uncover why you need a health screening in every decade of your life.
Clinical health screenings are also crucial in identifying any nutrient deficiencies in your diet. Only through screening can you fully understand whether your body is absorbing essential vitamins, proteins, and macronutrients.
Health checkups in your 30s
Like the 20s, most people experience a few health issues in their 30s. Conditions like rising cholesterol levels are common even among the young and physically fit and can be difficult to detect, especially when you show no symptoms of the condition.
At this age, some men begin to develop first physical and mental symptoms of low testosterone, which affect their daily life. If you exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet in your 30s, you can lower the risk of cancer and other chronic illnesses. However, men over 30 are still at risk of developing testicular cancer and hypertension.
Regular health checks will lead to early detection of these conditions, thus paving the way for treatment and control. Testicular cancer starts as a tiny lump in the testicle region and is initially painless.
If you notice any unusual lumps, you should consider taking an ultrasound examination to determine the possibility of cancer. If it turns out to be cancer, early detection can help with disease management and lead to a better health outcome for you in the future.
Health checkups in your 40s
The risk of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases increases with age. In your 40s, it becomes necessary to monitor your blood sugar and pressure by taking blood tests. The HbA1c test monitors blood sugar to help determine your risk of developing diabetes. Apart from blood tests, you should also monitor blood pressure, height, and overall body weight to understand your risk of stroke and cardiovascular attack.
If your family has a history of cardiovascular disease, you should also take a heart rhythm test. This test helps determine if you have an irregular heartbeat or any condition restricting normal blood flow. On top of the health screenings, regular exercise and a low-fat diet are crucial in preventing chronic health conditions.
Chest pains in your 40s can be a sign of an impending stroke. Persistent chest pains should always be examined because they can be a sign of blocked arteries which can eventually trigger a heart attack. Consider investing in a blood pressure monitor device to keep track of your average blood pressure levels.
These devices are affordable and can relay results through your smartphone. You should seek medical intervention anytime your blood pressure rises or falls below the recommended level.
Health checkups in your 50s
The 50s are characterized by swings in hormonal balance and a heightened risk of cardiovascular complications. Some men also tend to experience a dip in testosterone levels once they hit 50. For most men, this testosterone deficiency is likely to lead to a manifestation of low T symptoms like erectile dysfunction, mood swings, and low libido.
The risk of developing cancer also rises when you hit 50. Men at this age are also particularly vulnerable to bowel and prostate cancer. About one-fifth of men aged 50 and over develop benign prostate hyperplasia, affecting bladder health.
You can take different blood tests to diagnose various critical conditions. For example, HbA1c tests for diabetes, ferritin tests for ferritin deficiency, TFT blood test checks your thyroid functions, and eGFR assesses your kidney functions.
Health checkups in your 60s
If you are above 60, it is advisable to undergo health screening at least once each year. At this stage, you are better off having home screening kits to regularly monitor your health condition at the comfort of your home. Additionally, it helps to take a PSA blood test to identify any underlying signs of prostate cancer.
To sum up
Today, more people are developing chronic illnesses at young ages due to changing lifestyles and poor diet choices. The older you get, the more vulnerable you become to chronic disease. A comprehensive health screening is crucial at all stages of life and helps build a medical history that your doctors can rely on for future treatment.
Gregory Lindson, MD is a practising endocrinologist in Miami, FL for over 20 years and has a reputation of a high-quality specialist with a great approach to the patient. Author of over 40 published in Endocrinology and Medical professional magazine articles.