When you schedule a routine appointment with your physician, more often than not, your doctor will ask you to get the recommended annual blood tests as the initial part of the diagnosis. This is because blood test results indicate how well your body is functioning. Blood tests measure the nutrients and enzymes in your body in order to see if something is off. When the value of a specific enzyme or nutrient varies from the range defined as normal, it raises a red flag for your doctor. Routine blood tests are essential as many diseases do not exhibit noticeable signs. A blood test can speak for your body and help your physician identify if anything is wrong.
Here are 4 essential blood tests you should have if you are a woman:
It is common to hear people say that diabetes is a silent killer. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common types, with over 10 million cases diagnosed in India annually. Although there are certain known symptoms of this disease, such as increased urination, increased thirst, hunger, and fatigue, it is easy to dismiss them as normal. This is why it is important to get a blood sugar test.
- A blood sugar test checks the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. Increased levels indicate your body’s inability to produce insulin or use it effectively. High blood sugar levels can mean that you are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
- The general recommended frequency of this test is once a year. However, your physician may increase that frequency if you have high blood pressure.
Your lipid panel or lipid profile is a blood test used to see whether you are at risk or suffering from heart disease. This blood test is a must for people who have unhealthy eating habits, stressful lifestyles, and/or a genetic predisposition to heart disease. Coronary artery disease is also very common in India, with 10 million cases diagnosed each year.
- The lipid profile measures the amount of triglycerides and unhealthy cholesterol in your bloodstream. Both, high and low amounts of the same can be dangerous.
- The general recommended frequency for people who are deemed ‘not at risk’ is once a year. However, depending on your medical history, you may be asked to keep a more vigilant watch on your lipid profile. Furthermore, age also plays a role in how often you must get this blood test.
- Is this a fasting test? Yes, although non-fasting tests are also available. However, serums in the non-fasting tests are not considered as reliable.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and T4 test
The thyroid is an essential gland in your body (on the neck) that is responsible for producing and regulating your hormones. Your hormones play a major role in almost every bodily function, which is why this test is so important. Women are more likely to have an overactive or underactive thyroid gland than men. This is why this test is specifically essential for women. There are more than 10 million cases of hypothyroidism diagnosed in India annually, while there are 1 million cases of hyperthyroidism diagnosed annually.
- The TSH and T4 tests measure the levels of hormones in your bloodstream to determine whether your thyroid gland is functioning optimally.
- Women over 60 need to increase the frequency of getting tested, while women under 60 can get away with being tested once a year. However, women with a predisposition towards thyroid problems may be asked to get tested more frequently.
- Is this a fasting test? Yes.
Vitamin D controls your bone strength, as well as other functions in your body. A deficiency in Vitamin D leads to brittle or weak bones, and presents itself as fatigue, or muscle weakness at times. Lower amounts of vitamin D can contribute towards feelings of depression sometimes.
- The test measures the amount of vitamin D in your bloodstream.
- The recommended frequency for this test is once a year. However, doctors can increase the frequency if you are over 60.
- Is this a fasting test? No fasting is not necessary for this test.
More often than not, people get these 4 blood tests simultaneously. This is because it just makes more sense to have all your bloodwork at hand when visiting your doctor for a routine check-up. Some are more pertinent when it comes to women’s health check at 40 (like TSH and Vitamin D), however, no matter how old you are, getting every blood test for overall health checks can be very beneficial. Apart from these blood tests, women's annual health check up list should also include a PAP smear and breast exams. It also makes sense to ask how often should you get a PAP smear after 40, if you are not sure whether or not to increase the frequency of tests. While the idea of getting regular health check-ups may slip your mind , it is important to ensure your regularity with the same. After all, it is just a matter of getting a few routine health check up tests, and then moving on with your life. [av_promobox button='yes' label='Book a Lab Test' link='https://www.medibuddy.in/?utm_source=blog_cta&utm_medium=blog' link_target='' color='blue' custom_bg='#f00' custom_font='#ffffff' size='large' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello']Every health issue requires intervention at the earliest. Lab tests are just one of many yardsticks that delve deep into the diagnosis and treatment. That said, tests should only be recommended by a doctor and should be carried out by experts. [/av_promobox]