Many of us don’t visit our primary care providers as often as we should. In the midst of working, going to school, or taking care of our daily duties, life sometimes gets in the way. Even though most of us want to be healthy, we don’t visit the doctor as often as we should. However, going to the doctor regularly can help prevent chronic diseases and other problems. Here are a five health tests you should make sure you get done regularly.
Complete Blood Count: Monitoring for Anemia and More
The first test you need is your complete blood count or CBC. The CBC provides your doctor with information regarding whether or not you are anemic, are battling an infection, have an autoimmune disease, or have certain types of cancer. You don’t need to make any special preparations for this test. Your doctor will order some blood work and you should have the results back within a few days
Hemoglobin a1c: Looking for Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
The second test you should have done at least annually is a Hemoglobin A1C test. Checking your Hemoglobin A1C gives you a general idea of whether or not your blood sugar is under control. These results can tell you if you are at risk for or have diabetes. The more frequently you test your hemoglobin, the more likely it is you’ll catch any issues with your blood sugar before you become diabetic.
Lipid Panel: Checking for High Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Risk
The third test you should regularly do is a lipid panel. The lipid panel shows your total cholesterol, as well as your triglycerides (also important for metabolic syndrome evaluation), HDL (“good”) and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. High cholesterol increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes, so a lipid panel can tell you if you should take precautions against a stroke or heart attack.
Vitamin D: Keeping Your Bones Strong and More
The fourth test you shouldn’t skimp on is vitamin D. Knowing your vitamin D level is crucial because vitamin D has been shown to be protective against bone disorders like osteomalacia and certain types of cancer. Your doctor can have a blood test performed to check your levels. If you find that you are low, consider taking specific Vitamin D supplements to help increase your levels.
STD Tests: Preventing and Identifying Sexually-Transmitted Infections
The fifth screening you should have done at least annually is STD testing. If you are sexually active, taking an STD test to make sure you haven’t contracted a sexually transmitted disease is essential. You need to be proactive in addressing any STD you may contract to preserve fertility and quality of life, since letting one go without treatment could result in a variety of complications.
Even if you are rushed, you should try your absolute best to have a screening physical and annual lab work done each year, including a complete blood count, lipid panel, vitamin D, and STD tests if you are sexually active. Your body and your health will thank you!