What Preventative Tests Should I Take After I Hit 30?
By Shantanu Sodhi +2 more
By Shantanu Sodhi +2 more
Our 30s are a time when we experience a rather heavy load of responsibilities – both on a personal as well as professional front. During these years and the years to follow, there is often not enough time for fun activities let alone time to focus on our mental health and physical well being. Stress and anxiety start to take a toll on us.
While occasional doctor visits are fine when something goes wrong, a proactive approach towards your health can save you immense time, pain and effort down the road. Medical tests are diagnostic screening tests that you can take before you notice any symptoms or feel sick. These can detect any potential danger signs and treatment can start right away. This is called preventive care and it can save lives.
Here are a few tests you should consider undergoing –
The cholesterol levels in your blood are highly correlated with your heart and overall health and being 30 is no excuse to ignore your heart health. Even if you do not have diabetes or are not obese and seem to be physically fit, many people can still have increased levels of bad cholesterol or LDL which can adversely affect their heart health if it is left unchecked. Getting a Lipid profile test not only reveals your LDL level but also screens for other things like triglycerides and HDL, which means you’ll know your levels of these as well.
Blood pressure can be easily affected by many factors like work stress, diet and personal factors (family issues or similar). The ideal blood pressure in a resting state is 120/80. Our blood pressure changes throughout the day and at different stages of our lives. That is why it is best to let your doctor decide if your present blood pressure reading is normal. If it is not, then you may have to undergo frequent blood pressure checks and take blood pressure medication as well.
There are several heart related medical tests you can do by the time you turn 35 but that is the latest recommended age to start. It would be more preferable if you can begin getting your heart tested earlier (especially if you’re experiencing some kind of chest pain, irregularity of heartbeat or pulse rate, tightness in the chest, etc). An ECG test measures the electrical signals from your heart as it beats while an Echo test uses sound waves to view your heart, its structure and any abnormalities in real-time. This can allow a cardiologist to find out if you have any risk of developing heart disease and it should be repeated yearly even if your results are normal. There are some blood tests called cardiac risk markers which can also help in assessing heart health.
For both men and women, there are several cancer screenings you can undergo in your 30s and 40s as recommended by the oncology community. A Pap Smear test looks for precancerous changes in the cervix of women, it should be conducted at least every 5 years but in conjunction with the Human Papillomavirus test once a woman turns 30. For men, there is the Prostate Cancer screening test, which is a medical test of the blood that helps to determine your risk of developing prostate cancer. It needs to be done every 2 or 3 years.
Women should also consider making breast examination a part of their yearly medical check-up along with their regular physical examination. Usually, women younger than 40 are not recommended to undergo a mammogram. This examination helps in the early detection of breast cancer which can help in treating it timely.
Lastly, a full body examination to screen for skin cancer is also vital when you’re in your mid-30s, it should be repeated as often as possible since melanoma is one of the most common types of cancer.
Diabetes is on the rise and almost 77 million people in India live with diabetes. To prevent diabetes or if you are in the pre-diabetes stage, then you need to get a blood sugar test done annually. Both fasting and postprandial blood glucose tests along with HbA1c are recommended to help your doctor understand if you are at risk of developing diabetes.
Apart from the above-mentioned medical check-ups, there are a number of other screening tests you should do, if not yearly then at least every 2 years (again, this is regardless of any preexisting symptoms).
There is overwhelming evidence that early detection leads to better chances of survival, across all types of diseases and disorders that affect humans. From your 30s onward, even if you feel like you’re at your physical peak, underneath it all the body starts its slow march toward ageing. So don’t ignore the wisdom of the Preventive medical check-ups, get yourself booked with a few of these tests, the benefits far outweigh the expenses. With at-home medical tests easily available through a variety of online platforms, busy work life is no longer an excuse to avoid being serious about your health.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.