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
Coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic and health news.
01/15/2021 03:36 PM
Six Flags, Forum and other L.A. County venues to open as COVID-19 vaccine sites

COVID-19 vaccinations will be given at five sites: Pomona Fairplex, the Forum, Cal State Northridge, L.A. County Office of Education and Six Flags.


01/15/2021 03:09 PM
Daily COVID-19 death count soars to new heights in California

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01/15/2021 01:10 PM
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There are always bad drivers in L.A., but these days we can't blame the tourists. After months of staying at home, we're all driving like tourists.


01/15/2021 12:51 PM
Fear over COVID-19 variant grows as L.A. County mulls closing malls, gyms

L.A. County races to vaccinate as many people as possible against the coronavirus before a strain thought to be even more contagious takes hold.


01/15/2021 12:00 PM
They're the most likely to die from COVID-19, but hardly any have been vaccinated

Only 5% of residents living in California's long-term care homes had been vaccinated as of Sunday, data show.


01/15/2021 09:00 AM
Some workers don't want a COVID-19 vaccine. Can their bosses make them get it anyway?

Many teachers, grocers and even some hospital employees are wary of the COVID-19 vaccine and don't want it. The question of mandatory vaccine requirements by employers is complicated.


01/15/2021 08:00 AM
At Lake Tahoe, unfurling the statewide welcome mat is 'awkward' as pandemic rages

Tahoe's western shore will be partly reopened for the holiday weekend, helping the economy but renewing fears about COVID-19 and crowds.


NYT > Health
NYT > Health

01/15/2021 05:43 PM
C.D.C. Warns New Virus Variant Could Fuel Huge Spikes in Covid Cases
The more contagious version, first identified in Britain, is expected to spread widely and lead to further strains on an already overburdened health care system.
01/15/2021 04:04 PM
Biden Picks Former F.D.A. Chief Kessler to Lead U.S. Vaccine Efforts
Dr. David Kessler, who helped speed the development and approval of AIDS drugs in the 1990s, will become the top science official at Operation Warp Speed.
01/14/2021 03:46 PM
What Does a More Contagious Virus Mean for Schools?
The coronavirus variant discovered in Britain is more easily spread among children, as it is among adults. Current safeguards should protect schools, experts said, but only if strictly enforced.
01/14/2021 02:03 PM
Some Medical Students Wait in Line for Covid Vaccine, While Others Share Selfies of Shots
Across states and schools, medical students’ access to the coronavirus vaccine has varied widely, creating some confusion and stress.
01/14/2021 11:21 AM
Johnson & Johnson Expects Covid Vaccine Results Soon but Lags in Production
The U.S. needs J.&J.’s one-shot vaccine more than ever. But the company is behind on manufacturing promises made in its Operation Warp Speed contract.
01/12/2021 03:08 PM
Doctor's Death After Getting the Covid-19 Vaccine Is Investigated
A Florida physician developed an unusual blood disorder shortly after he received the Pfizer vaccine. It is not yet known if the shot is linked to the illness.
01/12/2021 05:50 PM
Coronavirus Will Resemble the Common Cold, Scientists Predict
Once immunity is widespread in adults, the virus rampaging across the world will come to resemble the common cold, scientists predict.
01/14/2021 12:17 PM
Negative Coronavirus Test Required For Travelers Entering U.S.
Beginning Jan. 26, international travelers bound for the United States must show negative coronavirus test results before boarding their flights. Here’s what you need to know.
Health : NPR
Health : NPR
Health
01/15/2021 05:34 PM
HHS Civil Rights Office Tackles Health Care Discrimination Of People With Disabilities
New actions from the Office For Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services aim to fight discrimination against people with disabilities who have COVID-19, like being denied treatment.
01/15/2021 05:12 PM
Argentina Takes A Shot With Russia's Sputnik Vaccine
The nation has been hard hit by the pandemic. The president vowed to start a vaccination campaign by the end of 2020. That did happen — but not exactly as they'd hoped.
01/15/2021 04:18 PM
Coronavirus FAQ: Do Airplane Passengers Not Know There's A Pandemic Going On?
Our correspondent took a flight last Sunday and saw a number of concerning things in airports and on planes. So many questions were raised. We went in search of answers.
01/15/2021 04:02 PM
Biden Reveals Plans For COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign
President-elect Joe Biden has released the details of his plans to revamp the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Also, the Trump administration reportedly has used up the second dose reserve.
01/15/2021 04:02 PM
Outgoing NPR Health Policy Correspondent Reflects On Her Favorite Story
Patti Neighmond, an outgoing health policy correspondent who has worked at NPR for 40 years, remembers her favorite story — about a young quadriplegic woman dependent on a ventilator.
01/15/2021 04:02 PM
Immune System Studies Help Answer Questions About COVID-19 Vaccine
There are many questions remaining about COVID-19 vaccines, such as how long protection will last and whether vaccinated people can spread the virus. Immunologists are working hard to get the answers.
01/15/2021 02:33 PM
Biden Administration Will Rename 'Operation Warp Speed,' Citing Trump 'Failures'
The Biden transition team also announced that Dr. David Kessler will be the White House's chief science officer for the COVID-19 response.
01/15/2021 02:28 PM
COVID-19 Supply Deal Lets Vaccine Maker Earmark Doses For Employees And Their Families
Emergent BioSolutions is under contract with Operation Warp Speed to make COVID-19 vaccines, but the terms could allow employees and their families to get vaccinated ahead of schedule.
 
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