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Check Out the Most Important Blood Tests for Seniors
You might be happy to find out that direct-to-consumer blood tests have become so affordable and accessible these days that it's a pity not to take advantage of them. This is particularly important for seniors because they are exposed to more health issues in comparison with younger generations.
Fortunately, this article gives you a shortlist of some of the most important blood tests most physicians order for senior patients in follow up visits. These tests give you a great overview when it comes to your general health and based on the test results, you will know exactly what to do next. Let's find out more about these tests.
The lipid panel is a battery of tests that looks at how well your body metabolizes fat and whether you're at risk for coronary artery disease. As you already know, cholesterol is a waxy substance made by your liver. It lines the insides of your blood vessels, making them more elastic and adding protection.
Unfortunately, too much cholesterol can cause blockages and blood clots. This is where the lipid panel can help. It shows you an accurate snapshot when it comes to the levels of cholesterol in your blood. Also, the lipid panel looks at your triglycerides, HDL, and LDL cholesterol as well as other important lipids.
Certain foods can raise your cholesterol levels and having a sedentary lifestyle can also increase the chances of having unhealthy cholesterol levels. Some people may also have a genetic predisposition to high lipids due to family history. A lipids panel test can let you know exactly where you stand when it comes to cholesterol and triglycerides.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
You might be happy to find out that the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel is an inexpensive collection of 14 tests that check your protein levels, electrolyte, and fluid balance and more. It also looks at some important liver and kidney enzymes, so you will know right away if these important organs work correctly.
For example, some of the substances tested by the CMP are calcium, potassium, albumin, aspartate transaminase, creatinine, and others. Based on the results, your doctor might suggest minor lifestyle and diet changes or further investigations to prevent more complicated health problems.
Complete Blood Count
The CBC panel looks at the numerous components of the blood such as red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and more. It's important to have accurate information about these components because they might reveal if you're struggling with known health problems such as anemia, autoimmune diseases and so on.
The CBC panel is paramount for older adults as part of the annual health checkup. Best of all, it doesn't cost a lot of money and you can do it in conjunction with other test panels such as lipid or metabolic panels. The results are emailed to you in just a few business days and your primary healthcare provider can help you interpret them.
Thyroid Test Panel
Unbelievably, the thyroid gland situated at the base of your neck is the source of your daily energy levels. Its hormones impact most of the organs and bodily processes, so if something goes wrong, you will feel fatigued and your body temperature might get low. As part of the thyroid blood test, the panel looks at some of the most important thyroid hormones such as T3 and T4.
If your thyroid hormones are not balanced properly, you might feel certain symptoms such as sensitivity to heat, nervousness, chronic fatigue, and others. If you have these symptoms, you should test your thyroid hormones and see what treatment options are appropriate for you.
Some thyroid ailments can easily be mitigated with proper medications, but you need to know your thyroid's hormonal profile before starting a thyroid treatment.
This test is not as popular as the others, but equally important. The A1c is also known as glycated hemoglobin. The levels of A1c go up in the body when glucose starts to combine with the red blood cells. This usually happens when the blood sugar levels are very high for a couple of months in a row.
As you know already, having high blood sugar levels predisposes you to one of the most dangerous chronic diseases - type 2 diabetes. A simple blood glucose test can tell if you're pre-diabetic or your blood sugar levels are within normal ranges.
However, A1c can stay in the blood for up to 3 months and this tells you that your blood sugar levels have been high for a long time. It's a more accurate test for some people and it lets you know if you should immediately do something to lower your blood sugar levels to prevent diabetes.
On top of the aforementioned tests, seniors should also consider doing a PSA test. This stands for prostate-specific antigen and it's a biomarker of prostate inflammation.
The prostate can get inflamed for assorted reasons and people of an elderly age are more vulnerable to various prostate diseases. For example, benign prostate hyperplasia, bacterial prostatitis and even prostate cancer are among the numerous illnesses related to the male prostate.
A simple PSA test can reveal if your PSA levels are within normal ranges or not. If these levels are high and you also have some specific symptoms, you should consider doing further investigations to find out more about your prostate's health. Painful urination as well as urinating with interruption are among the most common symptoms of prostate inflammation.
Find Out More About Your Health Today!
As the saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". This is especially true when it comes to your health. Therefore, do your best to order these blood tests annually to keep your health in check. These tests are not only highly recommended to only adults, but to younger generations as well.
At the same time, you can have most of them in a simple package from reputable vendors. For example, go to DiscountedLabs.com and order the Annual Physical Lab Test Panel. This panel contains everything you need to get a comprehensive snapshot of your health!