Blood Tests are More than a Luxury; They are a Necessity
When your car is running a little funny, you take it to the mechanic, they pop the hood and see what is happening underneath. When you are feeling a little funny, you need to do the same. There are many underlying conditions with minor symptoms and some with no symptoms at all. These are the conditions that can only be found when you have a regular blood test done.
Am I at Risk?
Everyone may be at risk of many of the conditions a blood test may uncover, for instance, heart disease, colon cancer, and diabetes. However there are other risks associated with a higher risk lifestyle. Those who are sexually active and changing sexual partners may be at risk of an STD. Those with a family history of heart disease, cancer, or stroke, are at higher risk of these conditions than those with a clean family history.
Emergency care also holds hidden risks. A common practice in the event of an accident with blood loss is a transfusion. There has been a lot of controversy regarding health risks for those who have had a transfusion. Blood infections, hepatitis B and C, and HIV can be transmitted during transfusion. Those patients are suggested to undergo blood testing regularly to monitor these risks and catch any pf these conditions early.
What Can Be Found?
In the past, blood screening was limited in results. With the boom in technology and research blood tests can find much, much more. There are now blood tests that can determine the extent of brain damage in athletes that have suffered from head injuries. There are tests that can determine if a mother-to-be runs a risk of premature birth. Though these are specialized needs, the most common conditions that may be discovered in time for treatment may include:
- Heart disease
- Kidney Malfunction
- Certain Cancers
- Vitamin deficiency
These conditions are treatable if found in their early stages, before symptoms appear. With heart disease being the number one killer in the United States, early detection may save your life. Just as your mechanic runs a diagnostic on your car, the blood test is the diagnostics of your body.
How Often Should I Be Tested?
It is suggested your blood be tested during your normal checkups. For those in their 20’s, this may be once every other year. Those in their 50’s, you should be tested more frequently. As mentioned, those with a higher risk of infections, heart disease and diabetes, should be tested once or twice a year. Even changing sexual partners constitutes a good reason to get tested. We never really know a person on the inside.
Ignorance isn’t always bliss. Whether you are feeling warn down, constantly ill, or feel perfectly fine, your blood may be holding the key to your health. Regular testing is a responsibility to yourself and your loved ones. Be sure you are tested regularly or after a high risk event to assure you stay healthy and happy.
Sue L. McBride writes for public health blogs. If you’re sexually active, make sure to get regular STD tests. Make sure to visit Philadelphia STD testing centers to find harmful hidden conditions and get treatment.