Your body is a lot like a car that has just completed 50,000 miles; it may have run perfectly in the past and will probably continue to do so in the future, but it definitely needs regular checkups. When you grow older, your immunity may decrease and your body can become susceptible to various health problems. The sooner you get a condition diagnosed, the more successful the treatment is likely to be. Therefore, speak to your healthcare expert about all the tests you should undergo regularly, in addition to your routine checkup.
Given below are some of the most commonly recommended tests for people who have crossed 50 -
The thyroid is a gland in your neck, which produces the hormones required by your body, for metabolism. Any problem affecting this gland can lead to an imbalance of hormones and subsequently, drastic weight gain or weight loss. Thyroid problems are a lot more common in women than in men. Therefore, all women should undergo a thyroid test when they reach 50. This test can then be conducted once every 5 years for both men and women.
To carry out this test, your doctor will just withdraw a sample of blood from a vein in your arm. You may experience a small amount of pain for a few minutes.
The medication you take could affect the results of the Thyroid Hormone Test. Therefore, speak to your doctor about all the medication you are taking and may need to avoid for a few days.
As much as you dread or hate this test, make sure that you undergo a rectal exam once every year after the age of 50. This test alerts your doctor to colon and prostate (in men) problems.
A rectal test lasts no more than a few minutes. Men are asked to bend forward or lie down on their sides with their knees bent, while a doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to check for abnormalities. Pressure is applied on the abdomen, using the other hand, to check for discomfort. The procedure is almost the same for women, except they are asked to lie down, with their feet in stirrups.
The risks of hypertension increase with age, especially if you are suffering from other health conditions, such as diabetes or heart diseases. Ideally, you should go through a blood pressure test every time you visit a doctor.
Checking your blood pressure takes no more than a couple of minutes and the procedure is painless. Your doctor will use a device known as a sphygmomanometer, which consists of a rubber cuff and a gauge.
Advancing age increases the risks of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. To avoid this, get your cholesterol levels checked once every five years, through the lipid profile. Your doctor may ask you to undergo the test more frequently if your cholesterol levels are high.
Before the lipid profile test, you will need to fast for at least 8 hours or so. This procedure comprises of a simple blood test, where a small sample of blood is taken from a vein in your arm.
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to numerous health complications, some of which include kidney diseases and heart failure. Therefore, it is best to undergo a blood sugar test once every 3 years, to nip the problem in the bud.
You need to fast for at least 8 hours before you undergo the test. A small amount of blood will be taken (probably from your finger) and analyzed through a glucose meter. For a more accurate analysis the procedure will be repeated after you have eaten a full meal.
The above mentioned tests are just the common ones that people above 50 should go through. Your doctor may suggest any other test, depending upon your age and overall health.