As we grow past 30, we may not feel or look very different, but our body is changing slowly. Some of these changes are a normal part of growing older. Additionally, Most of us today live a hectic life due to pressing deadlines and tiring social engagements. In all this hustle and bustle, we tend to neglect our own health. Therefore, periodic health checkups are important since they help in the early diagnosis of some common diseases and timely intervention.
Here are a few important tests that should be taken once you cross the 30’s:
1. Keep an eye on your blood fats – Owing to the sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits and excessive intake of alcohol, many people in their 20’s and 30’s have high blood cholesterol levels. Keeping your cholesterol levels under check is a great way to keep your heart healthy. LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are considered as bad cholesterols while HDL is the good cholesterol. It is important to get this test done annually especially if you have a history of heart disease in the family or if you are a smoker.
2. Learn your sugar score – The incidence of Diabetes Mellitus is increasing exponentially over the past few years. Previously, it was a disease predominantly seen in middle age to elderly people but in recent years, the age of onset has decreased and it is now commonly seen in adolescents. It is important to get yourself tested for blood sugar annually. Early diagnosis can help in reducing the complications associated with diabetes like heart, kidney or eye problems.
3. Don’t forget your thyroid – Thyroid hormone imbalance is a common problem in India. These disorders are more common in females as compared to males. Getting a thyroid function test done annually is advisable especially if you have a family history of thyroid disease.
4. Vitamin score – Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients important for maintaining the growth and development of our body. While vitamin D is primarily responsible for the development of bones, vitamin B12 helps in the maturation of red blood cells and neurons. The main source of vitamin D is the sunlight, therefore people working in corporates for long hours are at more risk of developing the deficiency. Always keep a check on your vitamin score.
5. Blood Pressure check – Our stressful and unhealthy lifestyle is a culprit for high blood pressure or hypertension. A blood pressure reading below 120/80 is ideal. Any variation in reading should be reported to a doctor.
The additional tests for women
1. Breast examination – Due to the rapidly changing lifestyle, the incidence of breast cancer is growing. So, you should get your breasts examined either by a trained doctor or you can also do a breast self-examination at home.
2. Pap smear and HPV testing – Get a pap smear test done every two years or a combined Pap test and HPV test every 5 years to screen for cervical cancer and infections.
So, whether you consider yourself old or young, make sure you are keeping a track of your health and are getting yourself checked periodically.
Remember, “A stitch in time saves nine”.