Taking care of your health is crucial, and regular health screenings can help you stay ahead of any potential health issues. In this article, we’ll discuss the five essential health screenings you need to take every year to maintain a healthy life. By getting these health screenings, you can detect any issues early on and manage them before they become more severe.
Blood Pressure Screening
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls, and if it’s consistently high, it can cause damage to your blood vessels and organs. The good news is that high blood pressure is preventable and manageable.
Getting your blood pressure checked every year is essential to maintaining good health. Your doctor or healthcare provider will measure your blood pressure using a cuff and a stethoscope or an automatic monitor. A normal blood pressure reading is below 120/80 mmHg. If your blood pressure is high, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management techniques. In some cases, medication may be necessary to manage high blood pressure.
Cholesterol is a type of fat that your body needs to function correctly. However, too much cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries, which can cause heart disease and stroke. A cholesterol screening can help you determine if you have high cholesterol and if you need to make any lifestyle changes.
During a cholesterol screening, your healthcare provider will take a blood sample and measure your levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, and triglycerides. A healthy cholesterol level is less than 200 mg/dL. If your cholesterol levels are high, your healthcare provider may recommend lifestyle changes like eating a healthier diet and exercising more. In some cases, medication may be necessary to manage high cholesterol.
Skin Cancer Screening
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. It’s caused by the abnormal growth of skin cells, and it can be deadly if not detected early. A skin cancer screening can help you detect any suspicious moles or spots on your skin before they become cancerous.
During a skin cancer screening, your healthcare provider will examine your skin for any signs of skin cancer. They may use a dermatoscope, which is a handheld device that magnifies the skin’s surface. If they find any suspicious spots, they may take a biopsy, which involves removing a small piece of skin for testing. The earlier skin cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat and manage.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of Americans. It occurs when your body can’t produce or use insulin correctly, which leads to high blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause damage to your blood vessels and organs, leading to serious health problems like heart disease, kidney disease, and blindness.
A diabetes screening can help you detect any issues with your blood sugar levels and manage your condition before it becomes a more significant health concern. There are two types of diabetes screenings: fasting plasma glucose test and A1C test. The fasting plasma glucose test involves fasting for at least eight hours before having your blood drawn. A healthy blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL. The A1C test measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months. A healthy A1C level is less than 5.7%.
Colon Cancer Screening
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, and it’s also one of the most preventable. A colon cancer screening can help you detect any abnormalities in your colon before they become cancerous. The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get screened for colon cancer starting at age 45.
During a colon cancer screening, your healthcare provider will examine your colon for any polyps or abnormal growths using a colonoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end. If they find any polyps, they may remove them during the screening to prevent them from becoming cancerous. The earlier colon cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat and manage.
In conclusion, getting regular health screenings is crucial to maintaining good health. By getting the five essential health screenings we’ve discussed in this article, you can detect any issues early on and manage them before they become more severe. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting these health screenings and any other screenings that may be necessary based on your age, gender, and medical history. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to your health, and these health screenings can help you stay healthy for years to come.
About The Author
Dr. Krisca is a highly-educated and skilled physician who has obtained a BS Public Health degree from the University of the Philippines Manila and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute. She is a licensed physician and also a Registered Medical Technologist. She has received additional training in Hemodialysis for Non-Nephro Physicians on duty and has completed online courses in related fields like depression in populations from John Hopkins University and positive psychiatry from The University of Sydney. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of International Health in the University of the Philippines.
Dr. Krisca is known for her outstanding skills and compassionate approach to healthcare that make a positive impact on people’s lives. Through her passion for healthcare, she hopes to make a difference in the world and help people lead healthier, happier lives.