Are You Caught Up on These Tests?
As people age, natural changes can affect their health. It is important to get an annual physical and this should include some basic blood work to get a fuller picture of general health. There are five blood tests everyone should plan to stay up-to-date on.
A lipid panel looks at a patient’s cholesterol level. At age 50, if patients have not yet had a lipid panel, they should have it done to see what their numbers are. This is especially important for those who have risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity or high blood pressure. If they have high cholesterol, it is typically recommended that the test be repeated yearly to keep an eye on the condition.
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition. Adults who are obese or overweight should have this test. It is also important for those with a family history of diabetes and a personal history of high blood pressure to be tested. Ideally, patients should have it about once a year if they have risk factors for this condition. There are different blood tests that can be used to measure blood glucose. The doctor will determine which test is best for their patient.
TSH for Hypothyroidism
It is very common for older adults to experience hypothyroidism. It can present with low energy and fatigue, so many people just blame these symptoms on getting older. However, there are treatments that can help people to get back some of their energy if hypothyroidism is the cause of their symptoms.
In the United States, it is estimated that about 3.5 million people have hepatitis C, but they do not know that they have it. Left untreated, it can lead to liver cancer, liver failure and cirrhosis. A simple blood test can provide information about a patient’s status.
All patients should mention these tests to their doctor when they head to their physical, especially after the age of 50. Doctors will determine the best time to perform the tests and how often they should be done.