Did you know that annual doctor’s visits don’t always catch health issues? Even if you’re going to your doctor for your yearly exam, it may not be enough to catch certain medical conditions. Sure, the physical can help prevent conditions like obesity, but there are always things the doctor doesn’t check either to save you money or because it might not seem necessary. Here are the top 5 things you should be getting checked, but most likely aren’t.
Did you know that that getting a single blistering sunburn as a child more than doubles your chances of skin cancer later in life? For adults, getting sunburnt just once every two years can triple your risk too. If you’re at risk of skin cancer or have had skin cancer in the past, you should get your skin checked regularly. Skin cancer can affect people of any age or gender. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to check. Most skin cancer is visible, though it might show up in hard-to-notice locations. If you notice any skin abnormalities, like birthmarks or raised moles, talk to a dermatologist.
2. Blood Sugar
Most people should have their blood glucose levels checked regularly to reduce their chances of developing cardiac disease. Diabetes is on the rise, and tracking your glucose levels can prevent the complications diabetes causes. Most doctors don’t order blood tests for the standard yearly exam unless they see a need to do so, but some people who might have heart disease or are pre-diabetic don’t have any other signs. This means the doctor won’t see need to order the blood work in the first place.
By checking your blood sugar levels regularly, you can be assured that you don’t have to worry about these diseases. And should you ever see elevated levels, you can start exercising properly and diet to reduce your chances of actually getting diabetes.
3. Liver Enzyme
Having your liver enzymes checked can be done through simple blood work ordered by your primary physician. This blood work can analyze the health of your liver, telling the extent of damage from things like excessive drinking. It’s important to have your liver enzymes checked to reduce your risk of obesity and inflammatory disorders.
4. Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
One of the main causes of stroke for men is high blood pressure. This is why it’s so crucial to get it checked often. Additionally, high cholesterol can also lead to cardiovascular issues like stroke or heart attack. Men of all ages should receive a thorough exam complete with blood work. Those over 20 should check their cholesterol every three to five years, and those over 50 should get it checked every year.
If you’re over the age of 50, you should be getting a colonoscopy every three to ten years. It’s at this age when the risk of colon cancer increases. There are also other factors that contribute to the likelihood of developing colon cancer, including a diet rich in animal fat and a history of inflammatory bowel disease. Those with colon cancer in their family medical history may want to get the procedure done sooner.
Your health is not something you should take lightly. Be sure to get a yearly check-up, keep an eye on your electronic health records, and pay extra attention to these five things so you can be sure to live a long and happy life.