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Your guide to ten life-saving tests for better health

आपको ये जानकर आश्चर्य होगा कि हृदय रोग, वज़न के बढ़ने, डाइबिटीज़, स्ट्रोक, आर्थराइटिस के कारण विकलांगता की समस्या बढ़ रही है। भारत में 12 करोड़ लोगों को किसी न किसी किस्म की विकलांगता है। 41 प्रतिशत से ज्यादा शारीरिक रूप से विकलांग हैं। इंडियन मेडिकल एसोसिएशन के महासचिव डॉ के.के. अग्रवाल ने बताया कि दिल के रोगों, कैंसर, मोटापा, डायबिटीज, स्ट्रोक और अर्थराइटिस जैसी लंबी बीमारियां हमारे देश में विकलांगता का कारण बन रही हैं। आज के दौर में लोगों की अस्वास्थ्यकर और पूरा दिन बैठे रहने वाली जीवनशैली के वजह से इस तरह की समस्या और बढ़ती जा रही है। और इसको रोकने के लिए हम लोगों को सेहतमंद और संतुलित आहार लेने, उचित व्ययाम करने, पूरी नींद और धूप लेने, शारीरिक गतिविधियों में भाग लेने और तनावमुक्त रहने की ज़रूरत है।

Delaying the health check up? That might not be the best idea. Here is a list of tests you should get - It might just save your life.

Written by Mita Majumdar |Updated : February 1, 2017 6:29 PM IST

Elbert Hubbard said If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need . However in the current hustle and bustle of life, this doesn t old true as you tend to ignore your life and in turn increase the risk of various lifestyle diseases. And what most of you are unaware is that all these diseases can be prevented or managed effectively if diagnosed in their early stages.

Here are top 10 health tests that you should undergo to prevent various diseases and lead a happy and healthy life.

#1 Heart health test

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You should start yearly checkups of heart health as early as 20 years of age to know your risk of a heart disease. If you are 45 years old or older, have a family history of heart disease including high blood pressure or smoke, it is very important to get yourself checked for a heart disease.

It involves a routine examination by your doctor such as checking your blood pressure, listen to your heart for murmurs or irregular heartbeats or order a stress test and an electrocardiogram to evaluate for heart disease. Read in detail about 8 tests that can tell if you have heart disease.

#2 Cholesterol test

Clinically known as lipid profiling, a cholesterol test checks the overall levels of cholesterol in your body. It is another important test used to detect the risk of heart disease. This test measures your blood levels of bad or LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, good or HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and triglycerides. Here s everything you need to know about cholesterol, lipid profile, VLDL, HDL and triglycerides.

If your total cholesterol is over 200, your HDL is less than 40, or your LDL is over 130, you are at risk for heart disease. In that case, your doctor may also test your apoB levels to measure fat particles in the blood. Elevated cholesterol levels are also high risk for gall bladder disease. Start the tests when you are 20 and if the results are negative, get checked again after 5 years. If you have a family history of heart disease, get the tests done yearly.

# 3 Blood glucose test (Diabetes test)

Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test is a blood test generally done to check your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates that you have diabetes.

The doctor may further order random blood sugar test or fasting blood sugar test. A reading of 200 mg/dL or higher (for random blood sugar test) and a reading of 126 mg/dL or higher (for fasting blood sugar test) indicates diabetes.

Get tested for diabetes if you are older than 45 years, you have a BMI of 25 or higher, you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, have heart disease yourself or family history of diabetes. You may also need to get tested for diabetes if you delivered a 9 pound or heavier baby or had gestational diabetes or you have a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome.

#4 Bone Mineral Density Test

You need to do this orthopaedic test to find out if you are at risk for osteoporosis. If you are a woman, this test is mandatory (post menopause) as women lose up to 30 percent of their bone mass within 5 - 7 years following menopause. Men can also do the test at the age of 60 or when their physician advises it.

Currently, the most widely used technique for measuring bone mass is DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry). In this, the person has to lie on a flat padded table and remain motionless while the arm of the instrument passes over the entire body or over selected areas. During this process, a beam of low-dose x-rays from below the table passes through the area being measured. The machine converts the information received by the detector into an image of the skeleton and analyzes the quantity of bone contained in the skeleton. Read about 9 simple ways to prevent bone density loss.

#5 Breast Cancer Screening

Mammogram (a type of X-ray) is the screening test for breast cancer. Get a mammogram done every year once you turn forty. It is best to schedule your mammogram right after your period when the breasts are least tender. If the mammogram picks up an abnormality, then you may have to undergo a breast ultrasound or maybe a breast MRI.

#6 Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer is one of the few types of cancer in women which can be easily prevented. The Pap test and HPV (Human Papilloma viruses) testing are the two screening methods to detect cervical changes leading to cervical cancer. If your Pap test results are unclear, your doctor may want to perform an HPV test. Read about can vaccination really prevent cervical cancer?

The Pap test is recommended for all women between the ages of 21 and 65 years old. If you are 30 years old or older, ask your doctor if the HPV test is right for you. The tests are done during a pelvic exam. Your doctor takes a few cells from your cervix (opening to the womb) and the cells are then checked for cancer. This test takes only a few seconds.

#7 Colonoscopy

This diagnostic test is done to detect colorectal cancer even before the symptoms of the disease occur. This disease is curable in more than 90 per cent of cases if detected at very early stage. So get your colonoscopy done if you are 50, and earlier if your parent or sibling had the disease. Doctors recommend getting tested 10 years before they were diagnosed, that is, if your parent or sibling was diagnosed with this cancer at the age of 52, you should get the screening done when you are 42.

During a colonoscopy, a colonoscope which is a long, flexible instrument about half an inch in diameter is used to view the lining of the colon. The colonoscope is inserted into the rectum and advanced through the large intestine. If necessary, small amounts of tissue can be removed for analysis (a biopsy) and polyps can be identified and entirely removed. The procedure typically lasts from 30 minutes to 1 hour.

#8 Oral cancer screening

Unfortunately there is no standard screening procedure for this cancer. This is because most oral cancers have already spread to lymph nodes or other areas by the time they are found. Your dentist or doctor will screen to rule out oral cancer during regular dental check up. They may examine for lesions and abnormal white or red patches in your mouth.

Apart from this, they may also use additional tests if required to identify areas of abnormal cells in your mouth. This is why it is important that you don t miss out on your dentist appointment. And if you are heavy on tobacco and / or alcohol, then you should certainly consider oral cancer screening. Here are home remedies for all your oral health problems.

#9 Prostate cancer screening

There are two tests to screen prostate cancer namely digital rectal exam and prostate specific antigen test. In digital rectal exam, the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for any lumps or other abnormalities. While prostate specific antigen test (PSA) is done to measure the level of PSA (a protein produced by the prostate gland) in the blood.

Most doctors consider PSA levels of 4.0 ng/mL or lower to be normal. Higher the PSA level in the blood, the more likely you suffer from a prostate problem. However, factors such as age and race, certain medical procedures or medications, an enlarged prostate and prostate infection, can affect the PSA levels, so your doctor is the best person to interpret your PSA test results. It is best to get screened for PSA at the age of 50, but you need to get tested earlier (40 to 45 years of age), if your father or brother had prostate cancer. Read about 5 superfoods all men must have for healthy prostate.

#10 Eye Tests

An eye test can pick up early signs of conditions including diabetes and glaucoma. Have your eye tested regularly by the age of 40 and every two years hence forth and every 6 to 12 months after the age of 65. Two routine eye tests are tonometry where the inner eye pressure is measured and ophthalmoscopy which examines the shape and colour of the optic nerve. Here are 9 interesting things your eyes reveal about your health.

Your ophthalmologist may recommend other tests as well such as perimetry (to examine the complete field of vision), gonioscopy (to check the angle in the eye where the iris meets the cornea) and pachymetry (to measure the thickness of the cornea).

Why wait till its too late for you to do anything? Get these life saving tests done and take control of your life.

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