Taking The Tests After 55

senior couple visiting a doctor at the doctor's office

Yes!  There are some who take tests with their children and sometimes even with grandchildren.  They are the perpetual students who still don’t want to quit learning after high school or the college.  They are always following some course of studies and studying for a test.  However, there is another kind of tests that we all MUST take, especially when we get older.  Those are the medical tests to monitor our health and look for the warning signs of the diseases that may trouble us, but can be avoided or treated if identified early.

Normally, we all get medical tests when troublesome symptoms appear when we are sick or sometimes when we are totally down with a disease.  Technically oriented people may recall types of routine, condition based and breakdown maintenance.  Taking up routine medical tests especially when we are old useful to prevent events like strokes, heart attacks, amputations due to diabetic wounds, blindness, and dementia.  Tests help us to identify the onset of diseases like cancer enabling proper treatment.

Here are ten of the medical tests that are very important if you are over 55.  Most of these tests are not very expensive and are covered by insurance and health care.

  • Blood Pressure: Monitoring the blood pressure is vital to know about the health of your vascular system.  High blood pressure is the warning sign of heart attacks and strokes.  Continued high blood pressure can affect arteries, brain, eyes, and kidneys.  Buying a blood pressure monitor and checking blood pressure at home is ideal if you have even a slightly elevated pressure.  Regular monitoring will help to get an idea of how your pressure responds to drugs prescribed by the doctor.
  • Blood Sugar Level: Fasting blood sugar test and oral glucose tolerance test can indicate whether you have pre-diabetes or diabetes.  Early identification of diabetes can help managing the disease and prevent many repercussions.
  • Lipid Profile: This test can show the levels of total cholesterol, HDL “good” cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol in your blood.  These indicate the cardiovascular risks that may lead to stroke or heart attack.  There are new advanced lipid tests that can better identify cardiovascular risks.
  • Stress Test: Here is a test that can identify coronary artery disease.  Your electrocardiogram, heart rate, and blood pressure are all monitored while you are walking or jogging on a treadmill or pedal an exercise bike.
  • Bone Mineral Density Test: We all face the risk of osteoporosis, weakening of bones leading to fragility of bones, and fractures.  Women face these risks at earlier ages than men. Bone mineral density test (BMD) can identify the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Prostate-specific Antigen Test: Prostate-specific Antigen Test can identify the risk of prostate cancer. It is highly recommended for all men over fifty-five as prostate cancer is common in men over 55 and it is curable if identified early.  
  • Breast Exam and Mammogram: As breast cancer risk increases with the age, every woman over 50 should get a mammogram and doctor’s breast exam once a year or every two years.
  • Rectal Exam and Colonoscopy: These tests can identify cancers in the colon and the rectum and other problems like ulcers.
  • Skin Cancer Test: Get an annual skin exam by a dermatologist.  Often, the first sign of melanoma is a change in the shape, color or size of an existing mole.  Skin cancer also is treatable and curable.
  • Check your Eyes: Vision is very important, especially when we are old.  Diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma can impair your vision.  An annual checkup of eyes is highly recommended.

With proper care on our body, and taking these important routine tests and any other tests recommended by your doctor can lead to a healthier and longer life.

Reaching 55 years of age should not leave you feeling old and unfit.  In fact, it is your time to get fitter and pay more attention to yourself.  After all, if you had children, then likely you are now an Empty Nester and will have the time and disposable income to do just that.  A recent survey reveals that seniors living in Active Adult Communities where same aged neighbors are present for companionship in engaging in fitness activities are much healthier than others who lead isolated lifestyles.  Choose an ideal Active Adult Community with all the facilities to stay fit and healthy, so you too can be fit as a fiddle and sail through this new chapter in life in good health. Visit ActiveAdultLiving.com for information on over 8,400 new communities across USA and Canada.

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