Medical Tests Every Woman Must Take
One of the best ways to stay on the top of your health is to undergo regular medical screening. Just like checking the tire pressure and oil to keep your car running down the highway think these medical tests as basic maintenance of your body. Following is a list of some of the most important medical tests every women should have:
Cholesterol screening/lipid profile
Cholesterol is a type of fatty protein in the blood that can be formed in the arteries. The level of cholesterol helps in determining of your risk for heart diseases.
What: Blood test for cholesterol which is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dl)
Age to start: 20
Frequency: Once in every five years. If the test reveals high level of cholesterol, chances are your doctor will recommend retest once in six months or once in a year.
Blood pressure check
Checking your blood pressure on a regular basis is one of the most important things you can do to keep your health under check.
What: Physical reading test using an arm cuff
Age to start: Any age; best during childhood
Frequency: Once in a year if the readings are normal. If you’re under medications of hypertension or if the readings are high, your doctors will most likely to recommend it once in every six months.
In order to check the risk of diabetes, doctors test the tolerance for glucose absorption in the body which means how quickly your body digests sugar.
What: Blood test performed after consuming a sugary drink. It’s a glucose tolerance test in which the person needs to fast for at least nine hours prior to this test.
Age to start: at the start of pregnancy or between age 45-50 if you have no risk factors or symptoms.
Frequency: Every three years
Bone density test
Osteoporosis mainly affects women as a result of low estrogen levels after menopause and it occurs when minerals such as calcium drain bones, weakening and thinning them.
What: It’s an X-ray called DXA (dual-energy X-ray) in which the screening of your hips, spine and wrist is done.
Age to start: Age 65
Frequency: Every five years
Thyroid is a small gland in your neck in your neck that regulates your body’s metabolic rate. Because of hormonal factors, women are at high risk of most types of thyroid.
What: The most common test, the TSH test, is a blood test that measures the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone.
Age to start: Age 35
Frequency: According to American Thyroid Association a thyroid test should be conducted once in every three to five years after the age of 35 while other doctors don’t recommend a thyroid test for midlife adults before you have symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
Colonoscopy or Sigmoidoscopy
Colorectal cancer is a cancer that occurs in lower part of the intestines and is curable in 90 percent of all cases if diagnosed early. Colonoscopy is a type of screening that look inside the colon.
What: A thorough examination of colon is done using a small scope and camera which are inserted through the rectum. A sigmoidoscopy can see only the sigmoid or the lower section of the colon while a colonoscopy can see the whole colon.
Age to start: 50 for those with no risk factors. However, if you have a family member who has had colon cancer before the age of 50, begin colonoscopy screening when you're ten years younger than the age at which your family member was diagnosed with it.
Frequency: Doctors recommend flexible sigmoidoscopies once in every five years, while a colonoscopy is recommended by doctors once in every ten years.