Health Screening Tests
What health screening tests are available
Health screening tests are essential for detecting potential health issues early, allowing for timely intervention and prevention. The specific tests recommended can vary based on factors such as age, gender, family history, and individual health risks. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine which tests are most appropriate for your specific situation.
However, here is a general overview of some common health screening tests:
- Blood Pressure (BP) Measurement: Detects hypertension (high blood pressure) and hypotension (low blood pressure). BP measurements are often done by your doctor, nurse, occupational health, hospitals and private health screening companies. Blood pressure Is also usually checked when you go for an insurance medical. Can also be checked at home using an automatic blood pressure monitor.
- Cholesterol Levels Test: Detects high cholesterol levels, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The test measures the level of cholesterols in your blood. A cholesterol test can be done by a healthcare provider or you can now do one at home using a home cholesterol test kit and meter.
- Blood Glucose Test: Detects Diabetes or prediabetes. A blood glucose test is a medical test that measures the concentration of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Glucose is a primary source of energy for the body's cells, and maintaining an appropriate blood glucose level is crucial for overall health. The test is commonly used to diagnose and monitor conditions such as diabetes and hypoglycemia.
- Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculation: Detects overweight or obesity. BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a numerical measure of a person's body weight in relation to their height. It is a widely used screening tool to identify possible weight problems in adults. This test is frequently used by healthcare professionals doing a health assessment but it is only a crude test of whether you are healthy. It does not take account of the proportion of fat and muscle, so heavily muscled individuals may have a high BMI but in fact be healthy. BMI may also not be appropriate for certain populations, such as children, the elderly, and pregnant women. There are lots of online resources that will quickly calculate your BMI. For a more accurate assessment of an individual's health, additional factors such as waist circumference, body composition, and other health indicators should be considered in conjunction with BMI.
- Cancer screenings: Common ones that are available in the UK include Mammography (breast cancer screening), Cervical Smear Test (cervical cancer screening), Colonoscopy (Colorectal cancer screening) Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test (Prostate cancer screening), Feacal Occult Blood (bowel cancer and bowel disease screening)
- Bone density test: Detects Osteoporosis or low bone density.
- Vision and hearing tests: Detects visual or hearing impairments.
- Skin cancer screening: Skin examination to detect any unusual moles or skin changes.
- Thyroid function tests (TFT's): Detects Thyroid disorders (underactive Thyroid or overactive thyroid tests)
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Testing: Detects infections such as HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. HPV (virus that causes genital warts) is often detected on the Cervical smear test
- Liver function tests (LFTS): Detects: Liver disorders.
- Kidney function tests: Detects: Kidney disorders.
- Lung function tests: Detects: Respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Cardiac stress test: Evaluates heart function during physical stress, detecting cardiovascular issues.
- Genetic testing: Identifies genetic predispositions to certain diseases.