Check In and Check Up

This is the 2nd week of January and I’m sure you’ve read, listened to and watched all things regarding health and fitness goals. You have set some goals for yourself and allow me to be the first or fifth person to say YAY YOU for setting those goals!!!! I’m wishing you much success and give you a gentle reminder that you’ve got to the put in the work.  While you’re working toward those goals though, I need to add just a few more things to your clean and healthy plate.  I mean you didn’t think that was all did you?

Ye olde broad is no stranger to the “doctor’s office.” I’ve been a regular since my arrival on planet earth 50 years ago.  However, some of you may not be.  In fact, some of you avoid the doctor’s office like the plague, or you consider doctors to be the plague. Whatever the case maybe, if you are insured/have means/have access get over yourself (jokingly) and don’t be afraid (seriously) to get some of the recommended screenings for your age and sex.  So what types of things are on the table?

WOMEN: we need to test ALL the things. If you want to stick around for a while, suck it up buttercup and get these recommended screenings:

Screening tests Ages 18–39 Ages 40–49 Ages 50–64 Ages 65 and older
Blood pressure test Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Bone mineral density test
(osteoporosis screening)
Discuss with your doctor or nurse if you are at risk of osteoporosis. Get this test at least once at age 65 or older.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about repeat testing.

Breast cancer screening
(mammogram)
Discuss with your doctor or nurse. Starting at age 50, get screened every 2 years. Get screened every 2 years through age 74.

Age 75 and older, ask your doctor or nurse if you need to be screened.

Cervical cancer screening
(Pap test)
Get a Pap test every 3 years if you are 21 or older and have a cervix.

If you are 30 or older, you can get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years.

Get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years if you have a cervix. Get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years if you have a cervix. Ask your doctor or nurse if you need to get a Pap test.
Chlamydia test Get tested for chlamydia yearly through age 24 if you are sexually active or pregnant.

Age 25 and older, get tested for chlamydia if you are at increased risk, pregnant or not pregnant.

Get tested for chlamydia if you are sexually active and at increased risk, pregnant or not pregnant. Get tested for chlamydia if you are sexually active and at increased risk. Get tested for chlamydia if you are sexually active and at increased risk.
Cholesterol test Starting at age 20, get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Colorectal cancer screening
(using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy)
Starting at age 50, get screened for colorectal cancer.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Get screened for colorectal cancer through age 75.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Diabetes screening Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.
Gonorrhea test Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk, pregnant or not pregnant. Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk, pregnant or not pregnant. Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk. Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk.
HIV test Get tested for HIV at least once.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse because you may need more frequent tests.

All pregnant women need to be tested for HIV.

Get tested for HIV at least once.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse because you may need more frequent tests.

All pregnant women need to be tested for HIV.

Get tested for HIV at least once.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse because you may need more frequent tests.

Get tested for HIV at least once if you are age 65 and have never been tested.

Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.

Syphilis test Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk or pregnant. Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk or pregnant. Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk. Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.

Source: womenshealth.gov

Again these are recommendations and your doctor may recommend more or fewer screenings.  When you do see your provider,  (and you will see one, right?) have a thorough and truthful discussion about your health and your family history.  They are doctors, you can tell them ALL OF IT, that’s what they are there for.

MEN: you are not all of the hook.  There’s a honey do list of screenings for you as well:

Screening tests Ages 18–39 Ages 40–49 Ages 50–64 Ages 65 and older
Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening Get this one-time screening if you are age 65 to 75 and have ever smoked.
Blood pressure test Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Cholesterol test Starting at age 20 until age 35, get a cholesterol test if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Starting at age 35 and older, get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Colorectal cancer screening
(using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy)
Starting at age 50, get screened for colorectal cancer.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Get screened for colorectal cancer through age 75.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Diabetes screening Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.
HIV test Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.

Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.

Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.

Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.

Syphilis screening Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk. Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk. Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.
Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.

Source: womenshealth.gov

ERRRRBODY: Get a dental and an eye exam. Your healthcare provider can give you recommendations on how often and your insurance provider (if you are insured) will tell you how often you can go and what’s covered.

Now I likely should have prefaced this entire post with a recommendation for you to see your healthcare provider before starting any diet and/or exercise program, but you already know that, right?  That said, I challenge you to take a holistic approach to your health.  Treat yourself the best way possible by shooting for a healthy lifestyle that includes preventive medical care.

Until next time, see you at the doctor’s office where I will be getting prodded, poked and weighed, like the human I am.

medequip

Photo: MsThorns

Note: For the uninsured, there are still options.  The board of health in your county/parish/township generally provides low and no-cost healthcare services as well as free clinics in larger metropolitan areas.  Local charitable/non-profit organizations are also resources for free community health events that provide a variety of medical and dental services and referrals.  

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