Your family’s health is likely one of the most important things in your life. You want your children to be happy, healthy, and able to enjoy their childhood and you want yourself and your partner to be healthy enough to be good parents for many years to come. Of course, this means you all have annual physicals and go to the dentist — but are you having enough blood tests? Check out the ways that regular blood testing can help your family stay healthy.
1. Determine if You Are Pre-Diabetic or Diabetic
According to the American Diabetes Association, about 1.5 million Americans are newly diagnosed with diabetes each year. Because the symptoms of diabetes — thirst, excessive urination, sores that take too long to heal — may go unnoticed by someone not looking for them, some people go undiagnosed until there are serious complications. A preliminary blood test can determine how your metabolism is affecting your health and whether you are already diabetic or at risk for developing diabetes. Checking for diabetes even before you suspect a problem makes it more likely that you can change your diet and exercise regimen before you ever develop the disease.
2. Help for Fertility and Family Planning
Blood tests are an important part of the family planning process. If you suspect you’re pregnant, a blood test can confirm what a home pregnancy test has already told you. In some situations, a urine test does not pick up the pregnancy hormones. In this case, a blood test will be necessary.
Millions of families experience infertility issues or secondary infertility issues, which occur when it is hard to become pregnant after having one or more successful pregnancies. Testing the blood is one of several tests a fertility specialist can perform. These tests check hormone production. In addition to thyroid-stimulating hormone, anti-Mullerian hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone, the tests check for prolactin and estrogen. Sometimes they are also used to check progesterone and androgens.
3. Check for Autoimmune Disorders
With more than 80 different types, autoimmune disorders are one of the most common health ailments. However, because their symptoms, which include generally feeling ill, fatigue, joint pain, and even depression, mimic so many other disorders, autoimmune disorders are often one of the most misdiagnosed. However, a combination of blood tests, when used with a physical exam and a review of your medical history, make it easier to diagnose autoimmune disorders. These tests check your blood for auto-antibodies, which your immune system makes and then uses to attack your own body. In addition to the blood tests, a doctor will check your organ function and help you track other symptoms.
4. Determine Overall Health and Nutrition
Even if you aren’t worried about specific illnesses, regular blood tests are a good idea for the whole family. They can help you determine each family member’s overall health and decide whether certain areas should be assessed more frequently. A comprehensive metabolic panel 14 will assess overall health while a complete blood count measures hematocrit, hemoglobin, platelets, and red and white blood cells. Other common tests include an A1C, a lipid panel, a thyroid profile, ferritin, and cortisol.
5. Find Out if Immunizations Are Necessary
Did you know that some people are immune to common illnesses? Having blood tests done will help you figure out which illnesses you are immune to, which ones you have already received immunizations for, and which ones you should receive an immunization against. These tests are available for hepatitis A and B, chicken pox and shingles, measles, mumps, and rubella, tuberculosis, tetanus and diphtheria, and several other common immunizations.
Perhaps the best part about regularly testing your blood for optimal health is that you don’t need to take time out of your busy schedule to go to a family doctor who may or may not order the tests you want. You can now purchase the exact tests you want online and then visit the company’s specified lab in your area to complete the testing. No more wondering if your doctor is doing as thorough a job as you prefer!
This is a contributed post.