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
Health news, science, advice and key articles.
08/04/2020 07:04 AM
Around the world, countries thought to have contained the coronavirus face new waves of infection

Fresh outbreaks from Australia to Spain underscore the relentlessness of the coronavirus as infections top 18 million worldwide.


08/04/2020 06:00 AM
Letters to the Editor: We need to read more about the people dying from COVID-19

The L.A. Times' section on the lives lost from COVID-19 put faces on the numbers we read about each day. That's important and moving.


08/04/2020 06:00 AM
Letters to the Editor: My fellow evangelicals, we don't have to risk death by COVID-19 to follow God

Not all evangelicals insist on packing the pews in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions.


08/04/2020 12:01 AM
People live longer in blue states than red; new study points to impact of state policies

A new study traces how the policies adopted by Democratic and Republican states over the last several decades have helped widen the gap in life expectancy.


08/03/2020 11:52 PM
L.A. County Health Department investigating 'first responder' party at Sassafras Saloon

The L.A. County Department of Public Health is investigating a party at the Sassafras Saloon in Hollywood which has drawn fierce criticism.


08/03/2020 11:06 PM
Some California elementary schools could reopen if they meet state waiver rules

Under a waiver procedure outlined Monday by state officials, some California schools may be able to reopen with coronavirus protocols in place


08/03/2020 05:22 PM
California has the most coronavirus cases of any state, but there are signs of hope, Newsom says

California has seen an average of 121 deaths per day over the last two weeks, Newsom says. Still, there are reasons for hope.


NYT > Health
NYT > Health

08/03/2020 10:12 PM
‘The Biggest Monster’ Is Spreading. And It’s Not the Coronavirus.
Tuberculosis kills 1.5 million people each year. Lockdowns and supply-chain disruptions threaten progress against the disease as well as H.I.V. and malaria.
08/03/2020 02:30 AM
Is Telemedicine Here to Stay?
The answer largely depends on whether Medicare and private health insurers will adequately cover virtual doctor visits once coronavirus outbreaks subside.
08/03/2020 04:25 PM
Dementia on the Retreat in the U.S. and Europe
Rates of dementia have steadily fallen over the past 25 years, a new study finds. But the disease is increasingly common in some parts of the world.
08/02/2020 05:05 PM
Birx Says U.S. Coronavirus Epidemic Is in a New Phase
She and other top health officials in the Trump administration warn states of a deepening spread of the coronavirus, in both rural and urban areas.
07/31/2020 08:30 PM
The Coronavirus Infected Hundreds at a Georgia Summer Camp
The camp took precautions but did not require campers to wear masks, the C.D.C. reported. Singing and cheering may have helped spread the virus.
07/31/2020 03:48 PM
Contact Tracing Is Failing in Many States. Here’s Why.
Inadequate testing and protracted delays in producing results have crippled tracking and hampered efforts to contain major outbreaks.
07/31/2020 07:18 PM
Should Youth Come First in Coronavirus Care?
If medical rationing becomes necessary, some older adults are prepared to step aside. But many have the opposite concern: that they will be arbitrarily sent to the rear of the line.
07/30/2020 11:07 PM
Aboard the Diamond Princess, a Case Study in Aerosol Transmission
A computer model of the cruise-ship outbreak found that the virus spread most readily in microscopic droplets light enough to linger in the air.
Health : NPR
Health : NPR
Health
08/04/2020 06:00 AM
In Pandemic, Green Doesn't Mean "Go." How Did Public Health Guidance Get So Muddled?
Public officials continue to send mixed messages about the pandemic: We're open for business, but also, stay home if you can. Without clear guidance, people feel confused or stop trying to be safe.
08/04/2020 05:03 AM
It Took A Pandemic: Mystery Of Windsor Hum Is Solved
For decades, Canadians living near the U.S. border swore they could hear a strange, low-frequency reverberation. The cause of the mysterious hum was resolved when a U.S. Steel facility shut down.
08/04/2020 05:03 AM
Coronavirus Pandemic Impacts Election Site Staffing
A major challenge to this fall's elections is that most pollworkers are over the age of 60, and at high risk for COVID-19. Municipalities are using creative measures to recruit younger pollworkers.
08/04/2020 05:03 AM
Coronavirus Cases Across Asia Are Again On The Rise
Parts of Asia that seemed to have COVID-19 under control have witnessed fresh outbreaks. China, Japan and Vietnam, which had few or no cases in the past month or so, are seeing a resurgence.
08/04/2020 05:03 AM
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia On Losing His Mother To COVID-19
Garcia's mother, Gaby O'Donnell, was a medical assistant for decades. Discussions about her experience in health care influenced Garcia's approach to mitigating the coronavirus in Long Beach, he says.
08/04/2020 05:00 AM
'It's A Disaster': German Expats Love U.S. But Not Its Handling Of Coronavirus
Germany has flattened its curve, and unemployment has barely budged. And some Germans living in the U.S. are mystified by how politicized the pandemic has become here.
08/04/2020 05:00 AM
Despite Mask Wars, Americans Support Aggressive Measures To Stop COVID-19, Poll Finds
Two-thirds of Americans believe the U.S. is handling the pandemic worse than other nations, an NPR/Ipsos poll finds. Majorities support more aggressive measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
08/03/2020 06:51 PM
Mississippi On Track To Become No. 1 State For New Coronavirus Cases Per Capita
"We need to do something different," says Dr. LouAnn Woodward, who leads the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She says the state needs a mask mandate, but knows many people won't comply.
 
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