Sometimes, especially if we have others to care for, we can let our attention on ourselves slip. When’s the last time you met with your healthcare provider?
Is it time to catch up on your preventive screenings and diagnostic tests?
Achieving our best health depends on making healthy lifestyle choices – what we eat and drink, how we move and sleep, how we handle stress.
But we also need to know our numbers and where we stand sometimes.
So yearly checkups, preventive screenings, and diagnostic tests can help identify problem areas and diseases. Then we can make informed decisions about whether we’re on the right track with our lifestyle choices.
What Preventive Screenings and Diagnostic Tests Do You Need?
Healthcare providers commonly recommend these preventive and diagnostic tests.
A lipoprotein profile, a blood test, measures cholesterol levels. All people between 20 and 79 should be tested every 4-6 years. And those with elevated levels should be tested more often.
Blood pressure should be checked every two years if yours falls within the normal range of less than 120/80. And if it’s between 120/80 and 139/89, get it checked once a year. If it’s over 140/90, discuss treatment with your doctor.
Figure out your Body Mass Index (BMI). It’s an estimate of body fat and can gauge your risk of disease that occur with more body fat. You can calculate it online or with your healthcare provider.
Mammograms are recommended annually for women age 45-55, and every other year once they turn 55, according to new screening guidelines from the American Cancer Society. Women with a family history of breast cancer may want to consider getting screened before age 45. For those concerned about radiation from mammograms or wanting a different source of information, breast thermography also is an option.
Women also should have a pap test every three years from age 21 to 65, to screen for cervical cancer. If you’re age 30 or older, you can have a pap test and an HPV (human papilloma virus) test together every five years.
Women age 65 or older should also have a bone mineral density test at least once.
Screening for colon cancer is recommended for those age 50-75. Your health care provider can discuss options.
Get your teeth examined and cleaned twice a year, or more frequently if necessary.
Take Care of You
Become your own best health advocate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers an online prevention checklist tool that can list suggestions based on your gender and age. Partner with your healthcare provider to get preventive screenings and diagnostic tests. And then continue making healthy lifestyle choices that lead to your optimal health.
Which appointments do you need to schedule today?
Welcome! I’m Amy, an integrative health coach, offering grace and space for a healthier you. This article is Step 29 in the “31 Steps to a Healthier You” series. You can access all posts in the series here. And I hope you’ll want to stick around for a while. If so, please subscribe at this link so you’ll get updates.