While it’s highly recommended to stay on top of things when it comes to matters of health at all times, our 20s are usually spent on parties, socialising, pursuing romantic and career goals. However, once you’ve turned 30, chances are you may have achieved your career goals and perhaps even started a family. This is precisely the time when you should be extra careful because, as you grow older you are more prone to a number of diseases.
If you haven’t been in touch with your doctor so much in the past, once you turn 30 it’s high time you make the necessary appointments. In order to fend off illnesses, you need to be aware of the risks and possibilities of developing them. To that end, we have created a comprehensive list that every person in their 30s should put on their to-do list.
First things first
The first person you want to see is your primary care physician or family doctor. They will provide you with a basic physical exam (including measuring your blood pressure and conducting a BMI test) and ask all the right questions because they know your medical history. This also means that they will be able to notice any changes and establish whether there is room for concern. If so, they will refer you to a specialist or tell you to get certain tests done. During this exam honesty is vital. If you want all the bases covered, you can’t skip any potentially crucial information. This is particularly important to emphasise when it comes to mental health, as there is still a stigma related to mental health issues. It’s time to shatter that, and when your physician checks for signs of depression and anxiety, be completely honest and candid with them.
This is, for some, a slightly queasy and uncomfortable test, but a little goes a long way so don’t run away from having your blood taken. A comprehensive blood test can tell you what your complete blood count is. There are, of course, your hormone levels, electrolyte and fluid balance glucose, vitamins, minerals – a lot can be determined from a bit of blood. The additional incentive is the fact that a blood test can give you an insight into your kidney as well as liver function. Not eating the night before is a small sacrifice compared to the vault of information you’ll get from a single test.
A visit to Mr. Dentist
If you haven’t developed the habit, now is the time, and you should pencil these appointments down every six months. As Mayo Clinic states, the health of your mouth, teeth and gums can greatly affect your overall health. Of course, you also want to preserve the health of your teeth themselves. Therefore, aside from getting regular checkups, you might also want to look into procedures such as dental veneers with a dentist, particularly if you’re keen on the aesthetics of your smile, although veneers can also help with future cavity protection, so you get two birds with one stone. Of course, gum disease checkup is a definite priority, as well as signs of oral cancer, so make sure you find a great dentist and then make sure you see them often.
Whether you’re sexually active or not, you should start paying regular visits to a gynaecologist from the age of 20, not to mention 30. In your 30s, aside from a regular pelvic exam, you’ll need to do a Pap smear and of course, a breast exam. The pelvic exam is crucial for signs of infections, growths and infertility, while the Pap smear looks for signs of cell abnormalities in the cervix. This preventative measure can save you from cervical cancer, so make sure you always request it, along with an HPV test. The breast exam, of course, looks for lumps, discolouration and changes in skin texture, which can all be signs of breast cancer. Never skip your appointments, and make sure to schedule them at least once a year.
A simple checkup
Most people never even think of getting an eye test until they actually notice something isn’t quite right with their vision. Glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration are the four ‘basic’ diseases your ophthalmologist will check your eyes for. Even though these have a tendency of appearing in our 40s, early prevention is the best cure so even when you feel like there is absolutely nothing wrong with your eyes, have them checked. It’s not painful, it doesn’t even take that long and you’ll feel more at peace.
All of these tests and checkups can be done in two days, perhaps even one if you organise your time well. Two days is nothing in comparison with a year full of worries and uncertainties. It’s better to spend two days making sure everything in your body is in spick and span shape, than to postpone and envision the worst case scenario. Don’t take matters of the health lightly, make an appointment today.