Does turning 30 worry you? On a regular day, it should not; but for an insurance renewal or a doctor's day - it should. Our purpose is not to scare you, but to make you aware of the need to have a health checkup regularly. Like they always say, prevention is better than cure.
Annual blood tests are a hassle-free way to help you take charge of your current and future health. They help you identify hidden risk factors allowing you to nip a problem in the bud. At this stage, measures such as nutritional changes, exercise, weight loss and medications can prevent progression of a problem into a full-blown, life-threatening disease.
1. Complete Blood Count
Also known as full blood count (FBC), or full blood exam (FBE), it is a test that gives information about the cells in a patient's blood. Abnormally high or low blood cell counts may indicate the presence of various forms of diseases, and hence CBC is amongst the primary blood tests in medicine, as it can provide an overview of a patient's health.
2. Glucose Test
A glucose test measures the amount of blood glucose, which is the main source of energy used by the blood. Normally, blood glucose levels rise slightly after a person eats but is regulated by insulin secreted by the pancreas. Constant high blood glucose levels can damage eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels.
3. HDL Cholesterol
That's the good cholesterol! HDL is short for high-density lipoprotein. A cholesterol test talks about the level of HDL cholesterol. People with HDL cholesterol levels greater than 60 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are at a lower risk for heart disease than the ones whose HDL Cholesterol levels are less than 40 mg/dL. Regular exercise and a balanced diet are the best ways to keep cholesterol levels in check.
It is an amino acid that is synthesized in the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of all the proteins synthesized in the body. Elevated levels of homocysteine, any value that's greater than 10 micromoles/liter in the blood, may be associated with hardening and narrowing of the arteries. It is also associated with increasing risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clot formation, and, in some cases, Alzheimer's.
5. C-reactive Protein
CRP is a protein produced by the liver. Its levels rise when there is an inflammation in the body. So keep a good check on random inflammations. However, low CRP levels do not mean there isn't any inflammation in the body, since in patients of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, CRP levels seldom rise.
6. Prostate Specific Antigen
It is a protein produced by the cells of prostate gland. The test measures the level of PSA in a man's blood. An elevated PSA level can lead to prostate cancer, inflammation of the prostate prostatitis and enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia).
7. DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
DHEA is a precursor to the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, and is produced by adrenal glands. DHEA levels are at peak during the twenties and decline with age. Healthy levels of DHEA support immune function, bone density, mood, sexual libido, and healthy body composition (since it reduces abdominal fat).
Stress and poor sleep are often the culprits behind thyroid imbalance in men and women. Hyperthyroidism, or an elevated thyroid level, may also be a sign of goiter and can lead to increased heart rate, anxiety and weight loss. An underactive thyroid, on the other hand, brings in hair loss, weight gain and personality changes.
It is synthesized in the testes, and its low levels are associated with diminished libido, metabolic syndrome, erectile dysfunction, loss of muscle tone, increased abdominal fat, low bone density, depression, Alzheimer's disease, type II diabetes, and atherosclerosis.
10. Aspirin Resistance
Aspirin helps in preventing platelets to form blood clots, and hence, it is called the "wonder drug". Aspirin resistance test is important because it helps to identify if a person is resistant to the drug.
A healthy lifestyle is the key to good health, and so is timely diagnosis. We cannot reverse ageing, but we can surely minimize its effects by being cautious. So whether you are fit or fat, a routine health checkup is something you should not skip.
All Photo: © Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images
Source : MensXP