Sunday, January 21, 2007

Prevent and Unmask Diseases With Your Annual Examination.

Since the mind cannot work without the body, the body should be maintained too. A preventive program should include preventive annual examination and lifestyle changes such as exercises. Is the annual physical examination necessary? Most clinicians in the US will agree that it is necessary and has a future . Since it is an examination for healthy people, its aim is to unmask diseases so they can be managed in their early stages. You should know the reason for the tests your clinician asks you to do. Above all know your numbers:
  • Your blood pressure is the force exerted on the walls of your arteries as the blood flows through the arteries. It should be 115/76; the national median is 129/86. If you're fifty years old you're one year older in your real age for every 5mmHg increase in the top number or 7 mmhg increase in the bottom number. If you drop the 160/90 reading down to the ideal, you make yourself 9 years younger.
  • Blood tests:
    • LDL - Bad cholesterol
    • HDL- Good cholesterol
    • Triglycerides
    • Homocysteine - It is the byproduct of protein digestion and it is made of crystals that bombard the walls of the arteries and cause nicks. Decrease it by taking folic acid.
    • High sensitive C-Reactive Protein - Measures the level if inflammation such as chronic sinusitis in your body. It causes inflammation in the blood vessels and leads heart disease. Lower it by taking antibiotics, infant aspirin and exercising.
    • Blood sugar - Keep it below 100mg/dl. Excess blood sugar damages the arteries by inactivating a specific chemical, phosphokinase, that prevents cracks and holes in the junctions of the arteries.
    • PSA to check for prostate cancer if you are a man. Have your prostate and testicles examined too.
  • Colonoscopy in your 50's. You should have the colonoscopy earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer. Follow with annual fecal blood check.
  • See your dentist every 6 months. Gum disease and inflammation can raise your High sensitive C Reactive Protein.
  • Know your family history.
  • If you are a woman you should have:
    • Pelvic and breast examination every 1 to 3 years depending on your age.
    • Annual Pap smears. You may have it every 3 years after menopause.
    • Have bilateral mammogram every one to two years from age 40 years. If you have a family history you may start your mammograms at an earlier age.
    • Bone density if you're menopausal.

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