Why Health Screenings Are Important As We Age

It is well-documented that regular medical tests are essential for overall health and wellbeing. A focus on preventive care like getting a regular health checkup is critical to not only living longer but also healthier. Studies cite a host of health problems as people age, but it is time to change the narrative because globally, just one in three persons are looking forward to old age. Regular health checkups can identify any early signs of health issues, show a family’s history of the disease, and empower people to take charge of their healthcare. Making prevention priority also includes eating plant-based foods, increasing physical activity, and staying up-to-date on screening tests. Here are four medical tests that can help track and maintain optimal health.

Blood Pressure

 High blood pressure (hypertension) is a risk factor for heart conditions and can lead to heart, eye, brain, and kidney problems when left unchecked. One out of three Americans has hypertension, so it is critical to regularly monitor blood pressure checked regularly. Hypertension usually does not show any symptoms, so monitoring your pulse is the best way to protect potential and underlying issues. Starting in our 20s and 30s protects against preventable age-related conditions that can affect the older years.

Diabetes 

Testing for your blood sugar levels has been advised for people wh are obese or overweight aged between 40 and 70. Although specific risk factors can prompt early testing, the American Diabetes Association has recommended routine screening from age 45. Diabetes when left untreated, can result in blindness, kidney failure, and heart diseases. This test is easy and can be done at home with the right kit. The ideal time to check your sugar level is early in the morning before taking any meal. This way, you can have a better view of what’s going on overnight. 

Flu Shot 

The older you get, the weaker your immune system becomes, making you more vulnerable to complications from infections like flu, which can sometimes lead to pneumonia. It can be hard to treat, especially in people with a weak immune system. Health experts have consequently recommended getting a flu shot at least once every year. If possible, undergo a rapid flu test to identify any form of influenza in your body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also advised these tests for individuals who are at risk of flu complications, like pregnant and older people. 

Screening for Colon Cancer

At age 50, one in every twenty-one men is at risk of colorectal cancer, unlike one in twenty-three for women. Screening for colon cancer is advised when you are 50 or older and should be done once every five years. Individuals with symptoms and family history must start talking to their doctors even before turning 50. The American Cancer Society has also suggested African Americans to begin testing at age 45.

Often, people will not get an issue checked out until it becomes a critical problem that can lead to harmful consequences. While your medical records and family history may prompt your doctor to recommend several other tests, you should regularly undergo these tests to help you live a long, healthier life.

Edited by Global Health Aging

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