Even if you feel healthy, your overall health report can give you a realistic picture of important parameters, advises Dr Divya Gopal.
Medical experts often suggest individuals to get a full body check-up done once a year. Even if you feel healthy, your overall health report can give you a realistic picture of important parameters.
If you don’t know where to start, this is a list of 10 important screening tests you must do at least once a year:
1. Complete blood count
This is mainly required to check for anemia (drop in hemoglobin levels), any infection.
The results can also pick up rarer conditions like polycythemia (raised hemoglobin), leukemia (alteration in number of leucocytes), immune thrombocytopenia (reduced platelets).
Eosinophil counts are significant for allergies or parasitic infections.
2. Renal profile
This report is useful to pick up early kidney disease especially for diabetic, hypertensive individuals.
Autoimmune conditions in younger adults can be diagnosed at an early stage.
Electrolyte imbalances like drop in sodium levels, abnormal potassium levels in elderly population can also be screened.
3. Lipid profile
Considering the unhealthy lifestyle and habits we’ve all subscribed to, this is an important test to help determine cholesterol (good and bad cholesterol with their ratio) and triglyceride levels which are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
4. Liver function test
A healthy liver is a sign your body is able to filter out toxins and control your level of sugar.
Increase in bilirubin, liver enzymes diagnose liver disease like fatty liver, cirrhosis early.
They are also important for any obstructive causes in the liver or gall bladder which includes stones or tumors.
5. Urine routine
Urine analysis involves checking the form, content and appearance of urine to check for any possible urine infection.
Presence of blood or protein in urine is helpful to diagnose kidney diseases early.
6. Random blood sugar level
Diabetes is another lifestyle condition that is affecting teens and young individuals.
A random blood sugar test can enable early detection of Diabetes Mellitus which can present at any age.
7. Prostate specific antigen (for males > 50 years)
Yearly check for PSA is important for early detection of prostate cancer.
8. Pap smear (for females > 50 years)
Pap smear, better known as Pap test is important for early detection of cervical cancer.
9. Mammogram (for females > 40 years)
Taking a mammogram, which is essentially an X-ray of the chest, annually is important for early detection of breast cancer.
10. Vitamin D and B12
Vitamin D deficiency is very common among the urban population. Vitamin B12 is usually deficient in vegetarians.
Checking your vitamin D and B12 levels will help you determine deficiencies so you can accordingly alter or manage your diet, lifestyle and food patterns.
Dr Divya Gopal is a Consultant, Internal Medicine, Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital.
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Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com
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