Shelby Allen, RN, BSN, Freeman Health System Prevention & Wellness Director
Checkups Can Help Provide Better Results
“I feel healthy, so do I really need to get screened?” This is a question we may be tempted to ask. However, even when we’re feeling our best, health screenings are vital because they bring to light conditions or diseases we may have even if we’re not currently showing symptoms.
In most cases, the earlier a problem is detected, the more effective the treatment will be. Health screenings also give us a baseline of our current health, which can be helpful for comparison in future settings.
Early Detection Screenings are more in-depth screenings. They include:
Stroke Screening/Carotid Artery
Plaque buildup is an abnormal collection of calcium and cholesterol on the artery walls. Blocked carotid arteries can restrict blood flow to the brain or break off and become lodged in a blood vessel, resulting in a stroke. Through ultrasound technology, carotid arteries are scanned along each side of the neck to detect narrowing or blockages. Early detection will allow you to take an appropriate course of action that may reduce future risk of stroke or other health concerns.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening
An abdominal aortic aneurism – a ballooning of the wall in the abdominal aorta – is most often caused by plaque buildup. Noticeable symptoms of an AAA are uncommon, and you may never know you have it. Early detection can increase your survival rate by 50% or more compared to emergency treatment after a ruptured aneurysm.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Screening
Peripheral arterial disease mainly affects the arteries located in arms, legs, and feet. When fatty deposits build up in the inner linings of the artery walls, blood flow is restricted. PAD often goes undiagnosed until painful symptoms start. Early detection could also help prevent future heart attack and stroke.
Osteoporosis Risk Assessment
Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. Men and women 55 years and older are at greater risk for osteoporosis, but it can occur at any age. Poor diet and lack of exercise can contribute to an osteoporosis diagnosis. Early detection allows a physician to start appropriate treatment.
Although you might feel fine, it is a good idea to check your numbers. This includes blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and weight. Also having a few in-depth screenings can give you even more information about your health and receive treatment right away if needed. Screenings are a simple way to check your health.