most important medical exams

Medical tests: Which ones are most important? How often should I be tested?

One of the questions medical doctors are asked most is some variation of this: "How often should I be checked for high blood pressure?" -- or bone density or colorectal cancer, or any of several other standard health tests. You name the type of screening, and chances are that many people are unsure how often to have these important tests.

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Regular check-ups are very important. If you're overdue for an annual physical, why not make an appointment today? The chart on this page will give you a quick, handy reference you can discuss with your healthcare provider. Remember: you and your health are unique, so use this guide as a starting point. And be sure to ask if any other tests are needed, based on your age, as well as your health history and that of family members.

Each test is designed to see a problem in its earliest stages. This is a good thing! Catching problems early avoids the damage advanced disease can do to your health.

An even better solution is identifying a needed lifestyle change early enough to avoid a problem altogether. For instance, if you have high blood pressure, your condition probably did not appear overnight. High blood pressure may be officially diagnosed when the top number (systolic) reaches 140, but damage is occurring when the number exceeds 132. And this is a far cry from the "ideal" number of 115. So, you should strive for 115, not just a number below 140.

Another example is LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol. This is the "bad" or "lethal" cholesterol. Some laboratories report that this value is "high" when it exceeds 130. Unfortunately, the reality is that damage is occurring when your level is above 110. And the worldwide average of LDL cholesterol is 70! Many countries with the lowest levels are not plagued with heart disease and Alzheimer's as we are. So 70 becomes your ideal measurement goal.

One last example of a disease that may "sneak up on you" is diabetes. Most labs report that you have diabetes if your blood sugar (glucose) is above 125. Endocrinologists recognize that damage is occurring when your sugar reaches 110. And the median number for blood sugar in healthy people is around 85. People with a fasting glucose that is 5 points higher or lower than 85 are likely having symptoms of disturbed blood sugar.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so early detection is your best solution to effectively treating a potentially life-threatening diagnosis. Add years to your life and life to your years by getting a checkup today!

Blood Pressure Checks At least every two years, if normal
Cholesterol Test Checked at least once, then regularly as determined by your healthcare provider and depending upon family history
Homocysteine Test Checked at least once, then regularly as determined by your healthcare provider
Physical Exam Every three years from age 20-39, every two years from age 40-49, and annually after age 50
Diabetes Screening During physical exam, or annually if at high risk for diabetes
Bone Density Test (for osteoporosis) At-risk patients should begin scans at age 40, at menopause or as directed by healthcare provider
Pap Smears For women every 1-3 years
Mammograms For healthy women every 1-2 years after age 40; if concerned see your healthcare provider immediately
PSA Blood Test Annually after age 50; if at high risk or African American, annually after age 40
Colorectal Cancer Screening Regular screening for men and women at age 50 or if at high risk (family history of colorectal cancer or diagnosis of ulcerative colitis). This test may include sigmoidoscopy,colonoscopy, rectal exam and a fecal occult blood test.

Source: VitaJournal Special Edition. Dr. Scott Conrad, M.D., Founder of TienaHealth Medical Group

Healthy Aging Tips...

Chocolate lovers, rejoice: you may have a healthier heart

Perth, Australia - Heart problems may be less likely in older women who eat chocolate, say researchers in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

chocolate and heart healthScientists followed 1,216 women over the age of 70 for 10 years. They found that those who ate chocolate at least once a week (one serving was equal to the amount of cocoa in one cup of hot cocoa) were 35% less likely to be hospitalized or die from heart disease and 60% less likely to be hospitalized or die from heart failure than those who ate less than one serving per week.

They found that the women who ate chocolate daily and those who ate it weekly experienced comparable heart health benefits. However, more research is needed to explain the study results.

preventing foot problems

Salt Lake City Tips for healthy living...

Keep your feet healthy by avoiding these common foot care pitfalls

Have you checked your feet lately? Those unsung heroes of the human body can take a beating over a lifetime: Every mile you walk puts 200,000 to 300,000 pounds of stress on your feet. And by the time you're 50, you've probably walked about 75,000 miles. Disease, bad circulation, poorly-trimmed toenails and wearing shoes that don't fit can also take a toll on your tootsies.

Common foot care mistakes
Keep your feet healthy by avoiding these foot care mistakes:

  • Ignoring your feet -- Inspect your feet regularly. Look for any discoloration on your skin and nails, cuts, cracks, peeling or scaling. Also, do not ignore any foot pain or growths on your feet; both of these conditions are not normal. Foot problems are sometimes the first sign of more serious conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and nerve or circulatory disorders. If you develop a sore on your foot that does not heal, experience persistent foot pain or find any growths, consult your healthcare provider.
  • Wearing shoes that don't fit -- Wearing shoes that don't fit can result in blisters, corns, calluses, bunions, ingrown toenails, tendinitis, hammertoes and other conditions. Always have your feet measured before buying new shoes as your shoe size may change as you age. The best time to have them measured is at the end of the day.
  • Putting on the same shoes every day -- Alternate the shoes you wear as well as your socks and hosiery. Allowing shoes to air out can help protect against athlete's foot, a fungus that can cause dry skin, redness, blisters, itching and peeling. Switching out your shoes can also help with foot odor.
  • Trimming toenails incorrectly -- Poorly trimmed toenails can lead to ingrown toenails. Cut toenails straight across so the corner of the nail can be seen above the skin. Be sure to use clippers that are specifically for toenails.
  • Going barefoot -- Walking without shoes can expose you to injury or infection. It can also expose you to the virus that causes plantar warts, typically on the soles of your feet. In addition to being unsightly, plantar warts can be painful and spread.
  • Standing for long periods of time -- Standing for too long can cause spurs, bony bumps that grow on foot bones, and swollen feet and ankles.

By taking care of your feet, you can keep these most valuable assets healthy for years to come!

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A Sampling of Today's Health News Headlines
L.A. Times - Health
L.A. Times - Health

02/05/2023 08:00 AM
While COVID raged, another deadly threat was on the rise in hospitals

More people have suffered severe sepsis in California hospitals in recent years — including a troubling surge in patients who got sepsis inside the hospital itself, state data show.

02/04/2023 08:00 AM
California's COVID-19 student vaccine mandate, on hold since April, is dropped

California's student COVID-19 vaccine mandate — on hold since last April — has been quietly dropped as the state prepares to end emergency pandemic restrictions.

02/04/2023 08:00 AM
L.A. shifts course on vaccine mandates for city workers, will approve exemptions

The city of L.A.'s Personnel Department sent a memo to department heads ordering them to approve all religious and medical exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

02/02/2023 02:26 PM
COVID emergency declarations are ending. What does that mean for California?

Transitioning out of the COVID emergency phase could eventually spell the end of universal access to free vaccines, treatments and tests.

01/31/2023 09:00 AM
Who are the L.A. County residents still most likely to die of COVID-19?

Unvaccinated people were more than seven times as likely to die from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County as those who received an updated booster during the latest coronavirus spike.

01/30/2023 06:00 AM
Burned out by COVID, Chinese professionals take up nomadic life: 'I wasted so much time'

As China's economy slows, more young people are exploring nomadic lifestyles in a rebuke of societal pressure to work hard, buy a home, start a family.

01/29/2023 08:00 AM
As many work from home, office landlords roll out entertainment to entice tenants

From yoga classes to musical performances, landlords are trying to woo back workers who left office space vacant during the pandemic.

NYT > Health
NYT > Health

02/07/2023 02:59 AM
The Medicine Is a Miracle, but Only if You Can Afford It
A wave of new treatments have cured devastating diseases. When the costs are too much, even for the insured, patients hunt for other ways to pay.
02/07/2023 05:00 AM
‘Miracle’ Cystic Fibrosis Drug Kept Out of Reach in Developing Countries
Vertex Pharmaceuticals is not making its drug, Trikafta, available in poorer countries, where thousands of diagnosed patients stand to benefit.
02/03/2023 05:36 PM
Why Apple Watches Keep Calling 911
Dispatchers for 911 are being inundated with false, automated distress calls from Apple devices owned by skiers who are very much alive.
02/01/2023 12:44 PM
Covid Vaccine Makers Kept Prepayments for Canceled Shots for Poor Nations
Separately, Johnson & Johnson is demanding additional payment for unwanted shots, confidential documents show.
02/05/2023 06:18 PM
A Patient Declared Dead Is Found in a Body Bag Gasping for Air
A 66-year-old woman was taken to a funeral home, where workers discovered her chest moving, a report said. An Alzheimer’s care center in Iowa that declared her dead was fined $10,000.
02/01/2023 02:27 PM
To Prevent Cancer, More Women Should Consider Removing Fallopian Tubes, Experts Say
A top research group is urging even women without genetic risks to have their fallopian tubes removed under certain circumstances.
01/30/2023 11:00 AM
Students Lost One-Third of a School Year to Pandemic, Study Finds
Learning delays and regressions were most severe in developing countries and among children from low-income backgrounds. And students still haven’t caught up.
01/31/2023 10:54 AM
Senior Housing That Seniors Actually Like
“Granny flats” are popping up in backyards across the country, affording Americans a new housing option. Some communities are not happy about it.
Health : NPR
Health : NPR
02/07/2023 06:30 AM
This doctor wants to prescribe a cure for homelessness
A growing hospital movement aims to improve health outcomes of homeless patients with what might be considered the ultimate preventive care: providing them with a home.
02/07/2023 05:00 AM
Health experts weigh in on whether to continue masking
To mask or not to mask? That is the question we put to COVID-19 experts as we enter the fourth year of the pandemic.
02/07/2023 05:00 AM
A Black church in Louisiana aims to educate people on how to be healthy
A new study looks at whether placing health care workers in churches can help eliminate health disparities that disproportionately affect Black communities in the South.
02/07/2023 05:00 AM
Ukrainian soldiers benefit from U.S. prosthetics expertise but their war is different
A prosthetics clinic that once served mostly American military veterans is now helping Ukrainian amputees get state of the art prostheses.
02/07/2023 04:00 AM
Study: Commuting has an upside and remote workers may be missing out
Researchers surveyed commuters to find out what they do — and don't — get out of the daily trek to and from work. Many people say it's invaluable personal time to recover and switch gears.
02/06/2023 08:59 PM
Hundreds of ready-to-eat foods are recalled over possible listeria contamination
The foods are sold under dozens of different brand names, but all recalled products say Fresh Creative Cuisine on the bottom of the label. The recall affects items sold in nine East Coast states.
02/06/2023 05:31 PM
People want the pandemic and their loved ones who died of COVID to be memorialized
Three years after COVID-19 arrived in the U.S., some who have lost loved ones want them and the pandemic to be memorialized.
02/06/2023 05:00 AM
Family caregivers of people with long COVID bear an extra burden
When a case of COVID-19 morphs into the mysterious, chronic condition known as long COVID, the specialists, appointments, medications and daily need for family care can overwhelm everyone involved.
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