COOKEVILLE — Stress takes a toll on health and there is no doubt these last two years have been stressful on everyone.
COVID has been the main cause of that stress, which has caused people to miss out on important health exams.
“Regular check-ups are essential to good health,” said Dr. Ernest Buchanan, family practice physician and Cookeville Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees member. “When you visit your primary care physician (someone everyone should have an annual contact basis with), you can get a number of things checked off the list.”
Those include blood work, blood pressure checks, height/weight, health history review, screenings and preventative care recommendations, such as information about immunizations, disease-based testing and cancer screenings.
Blood work can indicate future problems before they become big problems. Among some of the things that can be detected from a blood test are cholesterol levels, complete blood count (CBC), basic metabolic panel, thyroid panel, enzyme markers, C-reactive protein- levels, STDs, coagulation panels and DHEA sulfate-serum levels.
A complete blood count looks at the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.
Common enzyme tests look at the levels of certain enzymes in the body. High levels of certain enzymes indicate possible injury to the heart, lungs and/or brain.
Blood work can also tell your doctor how your thyroid is functioning, along with certain compounds in the blood, a metabolic panel that looks at liver function and how well your blood clots.
Another issue that can be found with blood work is if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic. If the blood glucose level, or blood sugar, is elevated, measures can be taken to treat or manage it.
Blood tests offer an important snapshot of your overall health. They’re also a good way to catch illness or disease early or to see how well your body responds to treatments for various conditions.
Get routine blood tests done at least once a year.
“People are now having to get chemo on something they could have simply had removed early on because they haven’t been doing check-ups,” said Buchanan.
There are also a multitude of cancer screenings to talk about during the wellness visit. Those include PSA screenings (prostate-specific antigen) for men, Pap smears and mammograms for women, and for both, colonoscopies, cardiac exams and urologic exams.
“Please make your health a priority,” said Paul Korth, CRMC CEO. “We are here to help you do that and will help you in any way we can. Get your annual check-ups now before it’s too late.”
Follow CRMC on your favorite social channel to hear what our physicians have to say about catching-up on your check-ups. It could save you some trouble in the future.