Your life is full of responsibilities irrespective of where you are, at work or at home. As you grow older, it is obvious that you can be exposed to the risk of disease. But do you think over your responsibilities and how will you find time to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Although going to the doctor might be the last thing on your mind, but regular checkups may save your health and even your life. What are the doctors looking for during these visits? Your doctor performs or recommends some diagnostic tests to look for problems that can raid people of their health. They look to catch certain diseases or disorders before they start showing symptoms, helping you take precautionary measures and sustain optimal health.
What are the recommended Health Checkup in the thirties?
Your thirties are the perfect time to focus on some good habits and get tested for some important medical issues. So here is a list of some essential health checkup you should consider:
1. Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A complete blood count (CBC) is a blood investigation used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection, and leukemia. The investigation is done to monitor a medical condition and also monitor medical treatment. If the CBC is okay, it may be repeated once a year.
2. Monitoring blood pressure
When you are in your 30s, the first thing your primary care physician is going to check is your blood pressure. Close monitoring of blood pressure is a simple, quick and easy way to determine underlying cardiac disorders. If anything looks out of the ordinary, your physician will provide you some advice and guidance on how to keep it under control.
3. Investigating blood sugar levels
A blood sugar test is another important screening test that not only helps detect diabetes, but it can also confirm if you have prediabetes. If you have prediabetes, you will have to take an additional HbA1C test to indicate the average blood sugar levels over the last three months. If the readings are normal, a yearly test is enough.
4. Lipid profile test
Once you reach your thirties, you need to consider getting a regular lipid profile test. It investigates the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. These levels provide you with an accurate indication of your overall heart health. Investigation of lipid profile also helps to screen for (dyslipidemia) the presence of abnormal amounts of cholesterol or fat. The lipid profile test usually gives results for
- Total cholesterol
- LDL, commonly known as ‘bad cholesterol’
- HDL, also known as ‘good cholesterol’
5. Electrocardiogram test
An electrocardiogram (ECG) test is suggested after age 35. It checks for the risk of heart disease. If the report is normal, it can be repeated annually.
6. Liver Function Test (LFT)
Another important test to determine liver function is the LFT test. This is done annually to screen for liver conditions, such as alcohol-induced liver damage, fatty liver, Hepatitis C and B.
7. Urine analysis
Analysis of urine helps check for the presence of proteins, sugar, and blood (especially in smokers who are at a higher risk for bladder cancer) in the urine sample, which could indicate kidney disease, among other conditions. If the reports are normal, the test can be conducted annually.
8. Kidney Function Test
Did you know, high serum creatinine may indicate impaired kidney function. Even though a reading of 0.3-1.2 is considered normal, the body type of an individual also needs to be taken into account.
9. Thyroid Function Tests
Thyroid function tests are important in detecting underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
10. Test for Vitamin D Deficiency
An extremely common condition, Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis in later years, among other things. A reading < 30 in the blood test indicates a deficiency.
11. Pap Smear Test (For Women)
It can catch pre-cancerous changes in the cervix, and is recommended for every sexually-active woman after age 21. In their 30s, if 3 consecutive, yearly test results are normal, the test can be repeated every 3-5 years. Ideally, it should be combined with the HPV test.
12. Test for Prostate Cancer (For Men)
The Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) blood test evaluates the risk of prostate cancer. PSA level < 4 is normal, but a higher level doesn’t necessarily indicate cancer, so let the doc do the evaluation.
13. BMI assessment
Another important health checkup which your physician checks for is BMI. BMI is your Body Mass Index, a value that assesses the relationship between your height and weight. This number indicates how healthy your weight is. During the assessment, the physician also conducts an obesity screening. If your BMI is high, counseling will be provided in terms of:
- Physical activity: Including some exercise tips and activities
- Nutrition: Like eating habits (consuming 5 or more servings of fruits or vegetables daily)
14. Evaluation of back and spinal health
Sitting for long periods at a desk can be seriously detrimental for your spinal health. If you are experiencing significant back pain or any other unusual symptoms, it is very important to consult an orthopedic to decide the best line of treatment.
15. Regular eye checkup
As the risk of many vision-threatening diseases increases with age, your thirties are an ideal time to start scheduling regular eye exams. It has been observed that many people think that there is nothing wrong with their eyes, as long as their vision isn’t impaired. However, many eye problems aren’t noticeable but cause problems. Apart from checking your vision, an ophthalmologist will also perform a detailed examination of your eyes to rule out any serious health issues like cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.
Thus, screening tests can help to predict a health condition even before it starts showing symptoms. To avoid further complications, every year around your birthday give yourself a gift by scheduling a visit to your doctor to see if there are any important tests and screenings you should take. A simple investment of a few hours might be able to add years to your life. Remember that your health truly depends on it.