It’s time to get tested
By Deepshikha Punj
21st July 2012 01:06 PM
Cricket lovers know the average batting rates of their favourite players, their total runs and even the number of endorsement deals they sign. But how many of us are aware of our key health issues? Being conscious of your medical issues can save your life.
Most Indians attribute delays in medical screening to their chock-a-block routines. Dr. Satish Koul, consultant internal medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon, says, “Certain tests specific to men, women and children are necessary and must be undertaken irrespective of a disease or medical condition. Indian men must get their fasting blood sugar tests, Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test, kidney function tests, cholesterol, thyroid and Vitamin-D tests done. They should also regularly get tested for uric acid formulation and age-specific tests such as lipid profile once they hit the 50-year mark. Timely screening can prevent various fatal diseases.” He says that men ignore getting testing due to various faith healing processes as well as homeopathy and yoga.
Although certain tests including thyroid, cholesterol and blood sugar fasting are common for men and women, there are women-centric tests that, doctors say, should be undertaken without fail. “Pap smear tests for women above 30 years of age or when a female becomes sexually active, mammography, lipid profile and bone density tests are essential whether or not a woman is suffering from any medical problem. These tests are early indicators of hormonal problems she may face in the future,” says Koul. Physicians also point at another important test—Vitamin B 12 deficiency. “This test is related to brain and nerve disorders as also nutritional deficiency and multi-vitamin and calcium deficiency,” says Dr. Gagandeep Singh, general physician, Pathfinder. While certain tests are similar for both men and women, children have a completely different requirement.
Singh says, “Young children must be tested for complete blood count, liver function tests and blood chemistry to look for rheumatic arthritis and heart diseases. One of the most common problems is tuberculosis, since it is now multi-drug resistant.” Apart from these, children can get lumber tests and CT scans done but only for specific cases. “If the child is suffering from high fever of body or the brain, these tests are necessary. Otherwise they are not required,” says Singh.
While we continue to argue over the importance of tests, doctors suggest the earlier the better. So squeeze some time out of your busy schedule and give your health a chance.
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