Thinking about getting a full physical exam? Good idea. But what specific blood tests do you need? No matter how healthy you are, your body goes through changes constantly, so it’s important to monitor your health by getting regular physicals. See this article for an overview of some of the most common blood tests often performed in physical exams and some you should get additionally.
Cholesterol test: monitor your LDL and HDL levels
The cholesterol test is an essential part of a physical exam. It’s important to check your cholesterol because high cholesterol levels increase your risk for heart disease. It’s recommended that you get your cholesterol level checked once a year. This test is called a serum lipid profile. It measures your total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, and triglycerides. Your doctor will also check your blood pressure, pulse, and, if you’re overweight, your body-mass index.
Glucose test: check for diabetes and pre-diabetes
The glucose test is the most basic of all the blood tests, and it is used to determine if a person is at risk for diabetes. Checking for diabetes is not only important for people already living with diabetes but also for people with a family history of diabetes.
A healthcare professional will prick your finger with a small lancet and draw a small amount of blood. The blood will then be mixed with a solution to check for glucose levels. People with diabetes and pre-diabetes will typically have higher than normal glucose levels. Note that a person who is pre-diabetic can be controlled with exercise and a healthy diet and may never develop full-blown diabetes. Having the glucose test done regularly is important to control your diabetes and avoid the development of the disease.
Having an MRI scan is a pretty big deal. It’s expensive, and it’s loud. Most doctors don’t like ordering an MRI because it costs so much money, but the truth is that it’s one of the most useful tests in medicine. It can detect tumors, nerve damage, and disease. Many times it helps to diagnose a problem that other tests just can’t find. If you’re having issues with your back, your head, or your neck, you should definitely get an MRI scan done. You may be surprised by what it can find.
Metabolic panel: important for tracking electrolytes, calcium, magnesium, liver enzymes, kidney function, and more
The metabolic panel is a set of blood tests that measure levels of various enzymes and chemicals in your blood, including glucose, electrolytes, liver enzymes, and more. This blood test is often part of a routine physical examination, and it’s one of the most important tests your physician can order. It’s one of the most comprehensive blood tests available, and it gives your doctor a broad look at your overall health.
The metabolic panel is one of the most important tests that should be included in a complete physical exam. It is used to determine the function of the kidneys, liver, and heart and can be used to assess metabolic diseases like diabetes and hypothyroidism. The metabolic panel also measures blood sugar levels and blood electrolyte levels. It is used to detect and diagnose a number of health problems. This test is also helpful in monitoring the effect of certain medications and treatments, including intravenous fluids and antibiotics.
CBC (complete blood count): gives you a snapshot of how your immune system is doing
The complete blood count (CBC) test is a basic medical laboratory test that provides information about the numbers and kinds of cells in your blood. It measures hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red blood cell count, white blood cell count, and platelet count. Your red blood cell count is an important indicator of your overall health, especially if it’s low. A low red blood cell count is called anemia.
Coronavirus testing should also be included
While some people may be exposed to the coronavirus through contact, it is not clear if the virus can be spread through saliva. It is also possible to get the virus through the exchange of bodily fluids like blood, urine, and vomit. This can happen if two bodies physically exchange saliva or fluid; however, with the situation of the virus spreading on a global scale, you never know when you contact it. The physical exam should also include Covid testing, which is often tested for in the same type of test that checks for the presence of the herpes virus. These tests will often be included in your physical exam or blood work for free, although some insurance companies may not cover it. Ask about the cost of these tests in advance, so you are not surprised by any out-of-pocket expenses.
Check for heart and lung problems
When you’re getting a physical, doctors check for a variety of health problems. While some physicals focus on specific issues, many focus on general health — checking for problems that can cause a variety of other symptoms. The American Heart Association recommends that all adults, ages 20 and older, should have a heart and lung checkup every year. This is a quick, important way for doctors to check for problems that may not be causing any symptoms. While there are many heart and lung problems that cause shortness of breath, chest pain, or other symptoms, some can occur without causing any signs or symptoms.