As you age, and as early as 30, the importance of monitoring your health to prevent life-threatening ailments becomes a crucial part of your health management. With timely blood tests, you can check and prevent conditions like diabetes, heart disease and thyroid irregularities. But before you walk into a health check befuddled about the number of tests prescribed, get acquainted with why you need them:
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A complete blood count test helps diagnose certain types of cancer, infections, and anaemia. It’s particularly an important test for Indian women as we are prone to iron deficiency anaemia that needs to be treated. The test is usually repeated once a year.
Kidney Function Test
Your kidneys play a vital role in keeping you healthy. Some of their primary functions include filtering waste materials from the blood, controlling the levels of water and essential minerals in the body, and helping in the production of Vitamin D. Kidney function tests (KFT) help ensure kidney function by measuring several parameters such as blood urea, serum creatinine, total protein, etc.
The lipid profile test measures triglycerides, total cholesterol, and HDL and LDL levels, making it an essential test to monitor your heart health. If you’ve done the test previously recording normal readings, it’s recommended to repeat the test once every 2 years. For those who suffer from obesity, heart disease or diabetes, an annual test is recommended.
Working alongside other organs, the liver helps absorb, digest, and process food. Blood tests can assess liver function and inflammation. A liver function test can be done annually to screen for liver health and to diagnose conditions like alcohol-induced liver damage, Hepatitis C and B or fatty liver.
HbA1c stands for glycated haemoglobin. Measuring HBA1C levels allows physicians to gain an overview of average blood sugar levels over a period of weeks or months. People with diabetes will need to get this test done routinely to ensure they are on the right medicines and treatment plan. For others, the test is recommended once a year or as deemed necessary by a physician.
As the name suggests, this test helps measure the level of glucose in the blood. Yet another essential for diabetics, it is recommended to check for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. The HbA1C test is additionally recommended if pre-diabetes or diabetes is suspected. An annual test is suggested if the reading is normal.
The thyroid produces triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) – two major hormones. Any imbalance in their levels can indicate either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Thyroid function tests include a series of blood tests to understand how well your thyroid gland is working. These tests typically include T3, T4, and TSH.