When it comes to your health and wellbeing, it is better to be proactive than struggling to combat problems that could have been prevented. A positive lifestyle can go a long way toward better health, but it is not the end-all-be-all.
Sometimes, health issues can be present despite healthy habits and without noticeable symptoms. In situations such as these, preventative tests are one of the only ways in which the problem can be uncovered and subsequently addressed.
It is impossible to run every test on a regular basis, creating a dilemma—what tests should be done, and when?
Screenings for Young Adults
For healthy adults under the age of 40, there are a handful of basic tests that should be done on an annual basis. These screenings are typically done in conjunction with annual physical exams and include body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, skin condition, family medical issues, diabetes, vaccines, mental health, and blood work.
Men and women in this age bracket should also be screened for gender-specific issues such as cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infections, and breast/testicular cancer.
Tests for Middle-Aged Adults
The regular tests established as a young adult do not stop when the threshold to midlife is crossed. For those aged 40 to 64, additional tests are added to the base tests done in young adults. While there is no set age at which these particular tests are introduced, they typically coincide with the increased risk of certain conditions that accompany the aging process.
An annual flu shot, the administration of the shingles vaccine, blood work, mammograms, pelvic exams, and prostate exams are all examples of additional tests and procedures that should be performed regularly as you age. Other conditions, such as osteoporosis and lung cancer, may be screened for if your doctor determines that there is a need.
Screenings for Older Adults
Once you hit the age of 65, some tests that were optional in years past will be upgraded to recommended. The good news is that your insurance is more likely to cover these tests now.
The screenings performed in your younger years will continue, and tests such as fall prevention and colorectal cancer screening will be added to the list of recommendations.
No matter what your age may be or what risk factors you may possess, finding a physician you trust to perform comprehensive wellness checks and screenings is key to living a long, healthy life. By opting to undergo the tests above—and any others that your doctor may recommend—you can set yourself up for success and catch any potential issues before they become serious problems.
Preventative testing is highly effective in stopping illnesses and other issues before they can get started. When combined with a healthy, active lifestyle, these screenings help ensure you and your doctor are not caught off-guard.