When you go for your annual physical, make sure your doctor performs or recommends these simple tests that may save your health — and your life — later. (Note that your doctor may recommend additional tests based on your personal health profile.)
Thyroid hormone test. Your thyroid, that innocuous looking gland in your neck, is the body’s powerhouse, producing hormones needed for metabolism. Aging (and an erratic immune system) can wreak havoc causing a variety of problems, especially in women. That’s why women should get a thyroid test at age 50 and then every five years. Walk-in Lab’s anti-aging hormone panels include thyroid testing and gender specific hormone testing for men and women.
The rectal exam. Dread it, hate it, joke with your friends about it. Just make sure you get one — every year. Along with other tests your doctor may recommend, it may give clues to treatable problems in your colon (think colon cancer) or prostate for men.
Stepping on the scales. This is the age when most people start gaining weight. Watch this weight gain carefully, and fight back with healthier eating and exercise. Being overweight puts you at high risk for developing a number of diseases — and studies show that weight loss can improve your odds. Walk in Lab offers lab tests that test for specific medical conditions that may impede your weight loss goals. Click here to see Walk-in Lab’s weight loss panels for women and men.
Blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure is an equal opportunity killer — it kills your heart, your brain, your eyes and your kidneys. Don’t let hypertension sneak up on you. Get the test. It’s simple, it’s cheap and it’s quick. Click here to save on heart health testing.
Cholesterol profile. Do you have high cholesterol? Find out — at least once every five years (more if you’re at risk for a heart attack). Controlling your cholesterol can add years to your life. Walk-in Lab offers heart health panels that includes: Lipid Panel With Total Cholesterol: HDL Ratio, Thyroid Panel with Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH), Complete Blood Count (CBC) With Differential & Plateletes, Kidney Panel, Liver Panel, Glucose, Fluids and Electrolytes, Mineral and Bone, C-Reactive Protein (Cardiac Assessment), Homocysteine, Lipoprotein-assoc. Phos A2 (PLAC), NMR LipoProfile, Vertical Auto Profile (VAP)
Blood Sugar. Untreated diabetes can destroy your health, causing heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness. Don’t let it. Get a fasting blood sugar test at least once every three years and take control of diabetes early. Walk-in Lab also offers a diabetes panel that includes Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP-14) with Glucose, Complete Blood Count (CBC)’s, Hemoglobin A1C plus Insulin, Urinalysis, Microalbumin, and C-Peptide.
For Women Only: Pelvic Exam and Pap. You may think you have suffered enough — at least 20 years of pelvic exams and Paps! But you still need these — especially if you’re sexually active. Ten minutes of mild discomfort once every one to three years pays big dividends in protecting you from ovarian cancer and sexually transmitted diseases (men can benefit from STD screen as well).
For Women Only: Breast Exam and Mammogram. At this age, don’t ever let a year go by without getting a mammogram and having your doctor examine your breasts for any changes. Early detection of breast cancer can save your breast and your life.
Looking for moles. Love your skin. Check your skin monthly for any unusual spots or moles. Be sure to ask your doctor to check your skin once a year, as well.
Protecting your eyes. Vision-robbing diseases become more common as you age. Be sure to get your eyes examined regularly — every one to two years. (Go more often if you have vision problems).
Checking your immunizations. People over age 50 should get a flu shot every year. And don’t forget, even healthy people need a tetanus booster shot every 10 years. Be sure to ask your doctor to update any immunizations that you might need.
Use your birthday as a gentle reminder to schedule a visit to your dentist, and call your doctor to see if there are important tests you should take. By investing an hour or two now, you may be able to add years to your life.