5 Blood Tests Women Should Get at Age 50
Once women reach their 50th birthday, there is a lot to celebrate. However, this is also a time to get a check on your health. There are five blood tests that you definitely want to inquire about at your physical during this milestone.
Hepatitis C Testing
In the United States, it is estimated that 3.5 million people have hepatitis C without knowing it. This condition often does not cause symptoms, so patients are unaware that there is anything wrong with their liver. When it is allowed to continue without treatment, it may lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis and liver failure. A simple blood test is all it takes to determine if this form of hepatitis is present.
Blood Glucose Testing
If by age 50, women have not had this screening and they have risk factors, it is important to schedule the test. Common risk factors include high blood pressure, being overweight, and having a family history of diabetes. Your doctor might opt to perform A1C testing or just a fasting glucose to determine your levels.
For this test, the doctor will perform a lipid panel. This will tell you about the fats present in your blood. Even without any risk factors, it is a good idea to have this test at age 50 just to see where you stand. There are things you can do to balance your cholesterol levels if it is determined that they are abnormal.
This test will help to evaluate your thyroid to see if it is underactive. The symptoms that come along with hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and dry skin, can be rather non-specific making them difficult to diagnose. Some people just think these are normal signs of aging. Knowing the health of your thyroid can provide important clues as to what could be causing these symptoms.
Vitamin D Testing
One of the primary nutrients associated with bone strength and infection protection is vitamin D. Being deficient is common, so it is important to know what your levels are. If this simple blood test shows that your vitamin D is low, supplementation can be prescribed to boost your levels.
After the testing, your doctor will let you know when any follow up testing is needed. There are also other tests women might also talk to their doctor about at this age, such as bone density testing and a mammogram.