Health screenings are necessary as we get older. Doctors use health screenings as a preventative measure to identify people who have an increased risk of developing a serious health condition. It can also be a tool to prevent chronic diseases or other serious health conditions from progressing to a more severe level.
Reasons to Get Regular Screenings
Screening typically involves blood sampling, urine testing, and stool samples to identify infections, inflammation, diseases, disorders, and potential health issues. Health professionals must screen patients more often as they get older to identify any health concerns. Early detection makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of treatment. Here are a few regular health screenings you should have as you get older.
Maintaining good gastro health can be a challenge as you get older. It may be embarrassing for you to talk to your doctor about your gastric health. Yet, poor gastric health can be a sign of serious health issues, like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease, esophageal disorders, colorectal cancer, and other digestive tract issues. A typical gastrointestinal screening is a colonoscopy.
This endoscopic procedure involves a flexible tube with a camera that helps your doctor examine the inside of your body. You shouldn’t wait until you have symptoms of a gastric issue before doing a screening. Make sure you perform them annually instead.
High Blood Pressure Screening
High blood pressure is a silent killer because most people do not know they have it. High blood pressure can lead to heart failure, stroke, heart attack, and chronic disease. An intake nurse will perform a blood pressure screening every time you visit your doctor. They take two blood pressure measurements with a manual or automated sphygmomanometer with a cuff that wraps around your upper arm.
Two measurements are necessary because they give your doctor better accuracy in diagnosing hypertension. Normal blood pressure 120/80 or less. When the numbers are higher than 120/80, it means you have hypertension.
High cholesterol levels increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. Staying healthy means keeping your cholesterol level at or below 200 milligrams per deciliter. A cholesterol screening involves a simple blood test. You may need to fast and only drink water for up to 12 hours before the test. You will generally get your test results within 24 hours.
Blood Sugar Screening
It’s important to check your blood sugar from time to time. If you notice any irregularities, alert your doctor. Checking your blood sugar can help you determine if you are at risk for developing diabetes. Diabetes can be avoidable if the signs are caught early. If you have already developed diabetes, but aren’t aware of it, your doctor can tell by your blood sugar levels.
Breast Cancer Screenings
As women age, risk of breast cancer can increase. It’s recommended for women to have annual mammograms in order to catch breast cancer early. If detected early, your chances of becoming cancer-free will be higher. Talk to your gynecologist if you think it’s time for you to begin having regular breast cancer screenings. Also make sure you are aware of how to do a self-examination each time you are in the shower.
Other important screenings to detect health issues as you get older include osteoporosis, various cancers, mental health, and cognitive impairment. These screenings are necessary to keep you healthy as you get older. It also helps your doctor prevent you from having serious medical issues. Take charge of your health and take responsibility for doing the above screenings.