Medical Checkups: For 50 Year Olds
One stitch in time saves nine. It's a must to get your annual medical checkup done once you hit the inevitable five 'o' - 50 years of age. Here’s our list of must-do medical checkups which you should definitely inquire about on your next visit to the doctor. Just a small handy tip: After you are through with all the checkups make sure you have extra copies of your test results kept in chronological order in your health record for any kind of future assessment.
- Stress Test
This test helps in determining if there is adequate flow of blood reaching your heart during any kind of increased activity. This is a must-do test for people who have hit the 50 mark and have a history of heart disease. It basically involves monitoring your blood pressure and heart rate levels, once you are walking, jogging or on a treadmill.
- Skin Cancer Exam
In order to indentify three main types of skin cancer, namely: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma, it is a must to get your skin examined by a dermatologist. Notice any change in the shape, colour or an existing size of a mole and you have just crossed 50? It could be skin cancer. Get it checked immediately.
- Prostate screening
Prostate- specific antigen is a component released into a man’s blood by his prostate gland. The release of this component tends to increase with age, thus increasing the chances of prostate-cancer in men. Thus, an annual PSA test is a must-do test for men who have crossed 50.
- Pap Smear Test
Changes in cervix cells can cause cervical cancer or possible-related conditions once you have crossed 50. It is then that the importance of a pap smear test is highlighted. It is a must-do test, especially for women who are sexually active.
If you have witnessed any changes in your breast tissue, then this is a must-do test for you. If not, even then getting a mammogram done once in 3 years will help in giving the doctor a better baseline reading for future comparisons.
- Liquid Profile Test
A liquid profiling test helps in identifying the cholesterol levels of a person and keeps the general overall vascular health under check. It helps in identifying ‘bad’ low density lipoprotein which helps in cholesterol screening.
- Diabetes Risk Test
People who have crossed 45 or so, should routinely get screened for diabetes.
- Testosterone levels
Testosterone levels must be checked once every year, to ensure normal levels.
- ECG (Electrocardiogram)
You should go for an electrocardiogram, especially, if you aren’t very active. Go for one if your body shows symptoms like sweatiness, fatigue, anxiousness and chest pains. An electrocardiogram will help rule out an angina, any blockages or any other cardiovascular troubles.
- Sexually transmitted disease check
This can be done once every 5 years if you have sexual relations with one partner. However if you have multiple sexual partners, then once every six months would be a good idea.
- General Physical Examination
Get a thorough physical examination done to rule out any testicular lumps or hernias. If you have been pumping some serious iron in the gym, check for other vital parameters like blood pressure and weight.
You know you are fit and fine at 50 if you have these things under check:
- Waist circumference under 35 inches
- Blood pressure <120/80
- Fasting blood glucose <100
- EKG: baseline and CRP blood test if WC over 35 inches
- Blood lipids: LDL cholesterol <100, HDL > 50, TG (triglycerides) <150
- Sleep 7-8 hours at night
- Eat fruits, veggies, grains and healthy fats
- If you do not smoke
- Minimal level of stress in life
- Exercise/walk 30 minutes or more daily
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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