For most Americans, middle age is the prime of your life. However, certain health conditions can take years off your life. While people with a family illness or known condition may need to be screened at any earlier age than others, there are certain tests and screenings specifically recommended for people who are in their 50s to 60s. Some tests are recommended annually, while others are only once every few years. Completing these tests is important for early detection and treatment, if necessary. Getting the testing done now can save your life in the future.
You should have your blood pressure checked annually. Our Board Certified Primary Care Internists will inform you of your blood pressure results. If your blood pressure is high, it means blood is flowing through the arteries at higher than normal pressures, which is dangerous. High blood pressure, known as hypertension, leads to stroke and heart disease. If untreated, hypertension can affect your brain, heart, limbs and eyes. Having it checked is simple and pain-free.
As people age, it’s not uncommon to lose balance. Unfortunately, it can also get dangerous. Although a fall when you’re in your 50s isn’t as devastating as when you’re older, it can still result in broken bones and serious injuries. Balance, as well as reflex issues, could indicate a more serious underlying neurological problem, condition or illness, such as multiple sclerosis. Balance changes may also result as a side effect from certain medication. Our neurologist can help assess and diagnose potential neurological issues by testing your balance. We recently also acquired equipment which can test your balance. If you feel dizzy or off balance when you make a sudden change in movement, such as bending down or quickly turning you may consider having this test taken.
The circulation test is recommended to detect peripheral arterial disease. If you are middle-aged and experience cramping in the foot or leg or have a history of heart disease, it is especially important to have the test done. This test is often done by a podiatrist. He uses an ankle cuff to check the blood pressure.
Stepping on the scale isn’t fun for most of us, but it’s necessary. Americans tend to gain weight in their 50s. Monitor weight gain carefully and fight back with diet changes and exercise. Being overweight increases the risk of many diseases and losing weight helps decrease those risks.
Doctors United is a great resource to learn more about these tests and to find a provider near you.
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