Four Medical Tests That Can Save Your Life

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Filed Under: Useless Medicine, General Health
Last Reviewed 06/23/2014

A simple blood test can reveal a tremendous amount about your health.I’ve been practicing medicine for more than 30 years now, and I’ve seen lots of screening and diagnostic medical tests come and go. Many of the currently prescribed medical tests and screenings are overused and unreliable, and some are downright harmful. 

However, there are four medical tests I believe strongly in, and highly recommend you get:

1. Periodic Blood Workup: When it comes to medical tests and screenings, a simple blood test can reveal a tremendous amount about your risk for heart attack and diabetes, immune and liver function, and more. I recommend getting a complete baseline blood workup and periodic rechecks if you’re monitoring a specific condition.

2. Regular Blood Pressure Readings: According to the American Heart Association, as many as 76 million Americans have hypertension, 28 percent of them are unaware of it, and a large percentage of those who have been diagnosed have poor blood pressure control. This is why I recommend that everyone over 35 have their blood pressure checked regularly. For the most accurate blood pressure readings, I recommend getting your own blood pressure monitor and using it at home periodically.

3. Noninvasive Tests of Heart Function: Because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, it is important to evaluate the health of your cardiovascular system. While blood tests can help, sometimes we need more direct information about heart function. The best, least invasive medical tests that can provide this information are the exercise stress test and the echocardiogram.

4. Bone Density: Although I don’t recommend bone mineral density screening for everybody, this is one of the medical tests that postmenopausal women should have since they are at greatest risk of osteoporosis. The best, most reliable test for bone density is dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). This bone density test is quick, painless, noninvasive, and quite safe—although it does expose you to a very small amount of radiation

Now it’s your turn: Do you already get any of these medical tests?

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