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

08/08/2022 09:00 AM
Californians are staying infected with the coronavirus for a long time. Here's why

Health officials recommend that anyone infected with the coronavirus isolate for at least 5 days — but for many, that timeline may be overly optimistic.


08/06/2022 08:00 AM
L.A. County reports 12th pediatric COVID death. How to keep kids safe as school begins

Among the strategies health officials recommend are staying up to date on vaccinations, improving indoor air quality, promoting good hand hygiene and supporting access to testing.


08/04/2022 08:00 AM
Lonely in L.A., they put themselves out there and built meaningful friendships

Southern Californians leaned on new and old friends to build support systems as the COVID pandemic turned their lives upside down.


08/03/2022 11:04 AM
L.A. COVID surge appears to be cresting, but the picture is still far from good

While coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have dropped, COVID-19 deaths remain on the rise and aren't likely to decrease for some time.


08/02/2022 06:05 PM
L.A. schools drop aggressive COVID-19 rules: No more testing for all and masks stay optional

COVID-19 safety measures will mirror county requirements, a step back from more aggressive protocols on testing, masking and vaccinations.


08/01/2022 08:00 AM
More people are catching coronavirus a second time, heightening long COVID risk, experts say

Emerging evidence suggests that catching the coronavirus a second time can heighten long-term health risks.


07/31/2022 08:53 AM
This DIY box helps clear indoor air of the coronavirus. Why aren't more people using them?

As the pandemic drags on, cleaning up indoor air has become a passion project not just for aerosol scientists and epidemiologists, but for citizens.


NYT > Health
NYT > Health

08/09/2022 03:00 AM
The Long, Long Wait for a Diabetes Cure
A documentary captures the desperation and frustration of Type 1 diabetes patients in a clinical trial.
08/07/2022 12:43 PM
Some Women Turn to Self-Managed Abortion as Access Recedes
Information and medications needed to end a pregnancy are increasingly available outside the health care system.
08/06/2022 09:35 AM
What is Tpoxx? The Monkeypox Treatment Drug That’s Hard to Get
Doctors who want to prescribe tecovirimat, or Tpoxx, must navigate a gantlet of bureaucratic hurdles that experts say could be quickly lifted.
08/05/2022 06:18 PM
Why Monkeypox Vaccine Shortage May Threaten the Immunocompromised
People with H.I.V. and other immune-system problems may need the full two-dose regimen, researchers say. But the shots, particularly second doses, are hard to come by.
08/02/2022 11:56 AM
Breaking Nicotine’s Powerful Draw
Millions of smokers could be forced to confront the agony of nicotine withdrawal as the F.D.A. weighs calling for a drastic reduction in the addictive lure of cigarettes.
08/05/2022 09:34 PM
Democrats’ Long-Sought Plan for Lowering Drug Costs Is at Hand
Empowering Medicare to negotiate prices directly with drug makers has been a Democratic goal for 30 years, one the pharmaceutical industry has fought ferociously.
08/08/2022 11:40 AM
The M.M.A. Doctor’s Dilemma: To Stop or Not to Stop the Fight
As combat sports grow in popularity, ringside physicians grapple with the precarious ethics of their role.
08/02/2022 09:11 AM
Older Generations Are Reclaiming Rites of Passage
Rituals like graduations and weddings are few and far between for older adults. Some are finding ways to honor their momentous occasions.
Health : NPR
Health : NPR
Health
08/09/2022 12:47 PM
A vision of 7 suns led a self-taught Ivoirian artist to draw the everyday and the holy
The Museum of Modern Art shows the colorful works of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, a prolific artist from the Ivory Coast who documented his Bété culture — and even created a pictograph language.
08/09/2022 12:25 PM
A vaccine for Lyme disease is in its final clinical trial
There isn't currently a Lyme disease vaccine on the U.S. market. Researchers are hoping to change that.
08/09/2022 11:38 AM
Ashton Kutcher says he was lucky to survive a rare form of the disease vasculitis
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08/09/2022 10:39 AM
11 more tips on how to stay cool without an A/C, recommended by NPR's readers
NPR readers share their favorite tips on how to cope with heat without an air conditioner. Among the tips: take a shower with a sheet on, then wear it to bed.
08/09/2022 05:11 AM
Iraqis have been exposed to the effects of burn pits for more than 10 years
NPR's Leila Fadel speaks with Kali Rubaii, an assistant professor at Purdue University, about the impact of U.S. military burn pits in Iraq on Iraqi civilians.
08/09/2022 05:00 AM
Preventive care such as birth control, anti-HIV medicine challenged in Texas lawsuit
Some object to paying for health insurance plans that cover preventive services that they say violate their religious beliefs, which could cause millions to lose access to care if the courts agree.
08/08/2022 06:00 AM
How to talk about disability sensitively and avoid ableist tropes
When it comes to disability, a lot of ableist language and tropes are perpetuated by the media. Here's what experts have to say about how to talk about disability.
08/08/2022 05:07 AM
A 'staggering' number of people couldn't get care during the pandemic, poll finds
Insured or not, one in five said they couldn't get treated for serious illness, while preventive and elective procedures were neglected. Disruptions in care hit Black and Native Americans the hardest.
 
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