Blood tests can detect a range of disorders, diseases, and risk factors, but at what age should you get a blood panel and what should you be looking for?
Many experts recommend getting blood tests in your twenties and even your late teens. That way, you can check cholesterol levels and detect certain diseases and disorders that may negatively affect your health.
The sooner you check, the sooner you can fix. After all, prevention is always better than cure.
Unfortunately, many Americans don’t get checked until their 30s and some leave it until their 40s or 50s, at which point they have an issue that needs to be investigated and it may be too late to deal with what they discover.
If you have a family history of heart problems, take medication, or have a history of alcohol/drug abuse, you should get yourself checked before your 20th birthday or as soon as you can.
There are a few things you should look for when getting blood work:
Lipoprotein(a) or “Lipoprotein little a” is a little-known lipoprotein that could play a role in the development of heart disease. Studies suggest that individuals with higher levels of this lipoprotein are significantly more likely to get heart disease and to suffer from strokes and heart attacks.
There’s still a lot that we don’t know about it, but it’s something you should look out for and discuss with your healthcare provider.
A CBC checks red and white blood cells and will indicate conditions such as heart disease, leukemia, anemia, and more. It’s one of the first things you should focus on to make sure you have the all-clear.
A BMP checks kidney function and can be used as a pre-screening test for diabetes, lung problems, and kidney problems.
Lipid panels are very important when it comes to checking for heart disease and its risk factors. This blood test checks the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, detecting whether there is a buildup of plaque that needs to be addressed.
Getting a blood test can be a daunting experience. What will they find? What if they find something serious? What if you only have a few months left to live? At the very least, they might tell you that your days of hamburgers and French fries are over and it’s all rabbit food from here on out.
But those tests are essential if you want to live a long and healthy life. Regular blood tests will detect issues as and even before they arise. Without those tests, problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even HIV/AIDS could be left unchecked and untreated, leading to irreparable and potentially fatal damage.
It doesn’t matter how healthy you are or how healthy you think you are, you need those blood tests sooner rather than later.