Most people understand it\’s important to have your car checked and screened for preventative maintenance. Even if nothing is overtly wrong with your driving experience, we all know bad things can happen and it\’s good to stop it early.
So, if we’re that concerned for the health of our cars, why would we be just as concerned – if not more – for our own bodies?
If you\’ve recently crossed over that hill of 40 and are looking out for your overall health, then you\’ll want to look into health tests and screenings. We know of seven crucial health tests that you\’ll particularly want to look into, and we\’ll share them with you here.
Before setting out screening for health, it\’s good to know yourself and be realistic with your situation. Especially if you\’ve crossed that threshold and are over the age of 40, consider your own circumstances.
Ask yourself these important questions:
How much do you weigh?
Do you smoke?
Do you drink alcohol?
Do you do drugs?
What does your normal diet look like?
Do you experience any obvious health issues?
Obviously, you don\’t want to self-diagnose yourself. That could be a recipe for making a bad situation worse. But being honest with yourself and your life is the first step to good healthcare.
From there, it\’s important to find a qualified medical practitioner that you trust. While you can perform some of the health tests on this list, a medical professional will be able to take more accurate readings. They should also have the ability to make qualified conclusions about these findings and give useful next-step information.
Everyone is different.
You may be experiencing specific symptoms or worried about specific health issues based on your background. But today, we\’d like to discuss some general testing that would be good for anyone over the age of 40.
Think of this list as a solid jumping off point.
The great thing about this particular health test is that you can easily perform it yourself. Go to just about any drug store, supermarket, grocery store, etc. and they\’ve probably got a blood pressure tester somewhere near the pharmacy.
Still, it\’s a good idea to have your blood pressure measured by a trained professional for evaluation. Knowing it on your own at any given time is a great benefit, though.
A good blood pressure reading would be under 120/80 and above 90/60.
120/80 and above is considered high blood pressure and is definitely a reason to be concerned. It can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, strokes, and more. Low blood pressure – or hypertension – isn\’t quite as much reason for concern but it can still be an issue and it\’s important to consult with your doctor.
Blood pressure is easy enough to test that everyone should do it as often as they can, but it\’s especially important if you\’re over the age of 40.
Your weight and heigh both determine your body mass index (BMI) and it\’s easy to check yourself with a simple calculator.
BMI is important to check on a regular basis, especially over the age of 40, because low or high BMI can determine other issues. High BMI puts you at risk of obesity, diabetes, or heart disease. A low BMI can compromise your immune system and deteriorate your bone health.
We all hear about the importance of cholesterol and watching \”our levels,\” but maybe we don\’t totally understand why.
If you\’re over the age of 40, you should be checking your cholesterol every 5 years at least. You should be doing this as early as 20, depending on other factors, such as smoking, a BMI of 30 or higher, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease.
A doctor will take a sample of your blood and measure HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol), and triglycerides. That last one, triglycerides, is a type of fat that\’s also important to keep in check.
Too high levels of LDL or triglycerides can lead to heart disease and increases the risk of developing diabetes or strokes.
Sexual health isn\’t only a concern for hormone-driven teenagers and college students. Even over the age of 40, you should still be concerned and testing for your sexual health if you are sexually active.
Every year you should consider testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, and you should test for HIV at least once.
Almost 10 percent of the U.S. population tests positive for diabetes and it remains the seventh leading cause of death. It\’s a prevalent disease and there is a significant number of people that go undiagnosed.
High blood pressure is a sign of developing diabetes, but there are other tests that diagnose diabetes specifically, including:
A hemoglobin blood test
Fasting plasma glucose test
Oral glucose test
No matter which avenue you or your doctor chooses, two separate tests are needed to confirm and truly diagnose diabetes.
Both men and women should strongly consider a colonoscopy over the age of 40. There is a stigma in society that the test is painful, but it\’s actually quite painless and takes less than half an hour.
Discovering colon cancer early is actually quite easy and important to do. Detecting it early makes it a lot easier to treat.
Women should considerÂ both mammogram testing and having a doctor personally test for breast cancer yearly.
Finally, mental health is one that a lot of people tend to forget about or skip over. If you\’re so adamant about measuring your blood pressure, or checking for sexually transmitted diseases, etc., why wouldn\’t you be as concerned for your mind?
In the United States, millions of people are diagnosed with depression every year and for many more, it goes undiagnosed. Too often do people try to simply \”tough it out.\” Doctors can perform health screenings for depression and other mental disorders where therapy and medication can help.
In our social circles, we make a big deal about turning 40. We give it the \”over the hill\” nickname and everything.
The reality is that you\’ve hit a sort of halfway point where you\’re not elderly yet, but you\’re no spring chicken either. It\’s important to look into crucial health tests to maintain your overall health and take on any preventative measures. You don\’t want to make a bad situation worse.
If you are concerned about your overall health and would like to discuss options with a functional medicine practitioner, feel free to contact us for a free consultation right away!
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