Did you know that while 90% of people think it’s important to get an annual exam, just over 60% actually get them? Annual exams are an important part of preventive health care. They provide an opportunity to talk to the doctor about many different issues you might be experiencing. Whether you’ve started to feel fatigued, stressed, or have strange pains popping up in your body, these minor issues could be something greater. And even if you’re not feeling anything, there could be signs of something in your blood. If caught early, these illnesses can be mitigated. And something like a simple blood test could actually save your life. Here are 9 blood tests the doctor might offer if you need it.
Some 90 million Americans are pre-diabetic. While many will never develop full on diabetes, this early marker can be vital to help people make simple lifestyle changes that can save their life. A blood sugar test can save a life. Statistics show that almost 80,000 people die per year from diabetes and diabetic related conditions. Some of these people didn’t even know they were diabetic. Frequent urination and increased thirst are two of the most common early symptoms of diabetes. Other people experience increased hunger, dry mouth, and blurred vision.
The danger of high cholesterol is that the excess is not stored in your cells. Instead, your body lines the blood vessels with deposits that can be fatal. There are two types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. Low density lipoproteins (LDL) are considered the bad cholesterol. That’s the kind that the body can put in the blood vessels. High density lipoproteins are considered the good cholesterol. While your body needs both, when the LDL gets too high it can lead to dangerous conditions including heart attacks. A cholesterol test is a simple way to determine if the LDL and HDL are in the right levels and it can save your life.
When your thyroid levels are too high or too low it can lead to a myriad of conditions. On the one hand an overactive thyroid can cause you to become too skinny. Your body ends up damaging muscles and vital organs. On the other hand, an underactive thyroid can lead to excessive weight gain. This can add other conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and more. A thyroid test is a simple blood test that allows doctors insight into what’s happening in your body so they can make an appropriate treatment plan.
If you’ve enjoyed multiple partners, or you have a new partner, it’s always best for you both to get tested for STDs. Many of them can be easily resolved with medication. But if left untreated some of them can lead to sepsis. This dangerous blood infection can be fatal if left untreated. Regular STD testing is a good habit to be in when you’re enjoying an active sex life.
Pregnancy Glucose Tests
Carrying a baby adds complexity to your medical needs. You have two distinct lives that each have their own needs. While pregnant, most doctors have their patients do a pregnancy glucose test. This test is a little different from a regular fasting glucose test, but it helps them to identify pregnancy induced diabetes. If left untreated, this condition can be fatal for both mom and baby. This in-office blood test helps them detect abnormally high blood glucose levels so they can make a plan for either dietary changes or medication if needed.
Complete Blood Count
There are three basic types of cells. There are red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Each one serves a vital purpose in the body. When there are too many or too few of one, it can indicate infection, cancer, or another health condition that should be addressed. When the doctor runs a complete blood count (CBC) he or she is looking for each of those numbers to be within a certain range. This blood test can save a life, especially if it detects something fatal like markers for leukemia or another type of cancer.
Enzyme Marker Tests
These tests look for different enzymes in your blood. The presence or absence of them can indicate autoimmune disease like celiac, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or even multiple sclerosis. They can also find things like liver disease and even markers for a stroke. If done in time, this blood test can save lives. While many doctors will order multiple types of blood tests at your annual appointments, if there are any in particular that you’d like to have, you can always request one in particular.
Vitamin Deficiency Tests
Did you know that vitamin D is critical for bone growth? And that when the body is deficient it can put a person at risk for major bone breaks? Other vitamins are important for processes throughout the body. When one is deficient, the results can be catastrophic and life-threatening. A simple test can measure all kinds of vitamin levels. These are usually much easier to increase. Some will only require daily doses of specific pills. Others may require vitamin injections.
A liver function test looks for multiple different liver conditions. It will screen for things like hepatitis. This is a liver infection with many different causes. It can also check on the progress of liver disease. It measures liver function and how far the disease has progressed. It can also detect fatty liver and even alcoholic liver disease. The body cannot function without the detoxifying effects of the liver, so it’s vital to ensure your liver is working in top condition. A liver function test can be lifesaving if it catches treatable liver disease early. With the right treatments and lifestyle changes, many of these issues can be resolved.
Blood tests are one of the simplest diagnostic tests that doctors use to identify health issues. When used early these tests can save lives. It’s important to talk to your medical professional about which of these blood tests are right for you.