What are your thoughts on routine medical procedures? I'm under the impression that I (25, female) only need two annual visits when I'm not sick: A dental checkup and a gyno visit. Is anything else really important (bloodwork, mole scans, optometrist visits, etc?)
What routine checkups do you consider important for children/older adults/ males?
I'm a GI endoscopy nurse and spend most of my time at work doing colonoscopies. Yes, it's the last thing anyone wants to do, the bowel prep sucks, and it will eat up two days of your life, but I fervently believe it is worth doing. I have seen several early colon cancers in people in their 50s with no symptoms who came in for a routine screening. When caught early, these cancers often need just a simple surgery and no chemo or radiation. If these folks had waited until they were symptomatic, the cancer may well have killed them. Every day we find and remove pre-cancerous polyps - snip, snip, and they are gone. Leave them in for a few more years, and they will slowly grow into a cancer. The colon cancer death rate is steadily dropping thanks to more people coming in for screening. Screening should start at age 50, or earlier if you have a close family member (parent or sibling) who has had colon cancer.
I have not been to a doctor in 15 years. Once I changed my diet all the chronic ailments; yeast infections, allergies, inflammation of gums, all went away. I figure preventative does not mean detection. I prevent illnesses through diet and nutrition. If I went to a doctor, and this is just my opinion, I would not be treated through conventional methods if anything was detected. I guess I would not mind a blood work up. Just me, I live on the edge!
Personally, I would have routine blood work done every year. You can probably ask your gyno to do it. It's just a good baseline to have, to see the changes each year.
If you don't have insurance, CVS Minute Clinic can do blood glucose, cholesterol and a lipid panel.
I wear glasses, so a once a year eye test is required for me to get new glasses. If you aren't having headaches or trouble seeing, once every 2 years is probably good for your eyes.
I like to see an annual blood panel. You can go to directlabs.com and get the Comprehensive Wellness Profile or pretty much anything you want to look at and at a very reduced price. It is direct to the consumer. The test runs about $97 and once a year they offer it for $59, unless you can get all of those panels from your doctor. What I like most about it is that it includes Thyroid w/TSH.
Now interpretation of those lab results will still be delivered under the standard pathology reference ranges, but if you know the optimal reference ranges or a practitioner that offers a review of these it would be best.
Along with that it is helpful to know annually your adrenal status and I like to see if via saliva (Diagnostechs is my fav). If you get the flexi-matrix you can get a whole range including secretory IgA (gut/immune status), FSH/LH (pituitary) and additional reproductive (testosterone, progesterone, all 3 estrogens and the PG/E ratio) hormones for about $160.
I agree with the thermography. An initial test and then at the discretion of your health care provider. Unless there are some hot spots you shouldn't need one every 3 months as some of them recommend but annually depending on age or longer depending on health status.
So to recap:
It really depends on how you are feeling too. Are you in healthy range for body fat, W2H ratio, weight.
Yes, vitamin D measurements are important too. Also CRP and homocystine if you are older or looking for inflammation (HDL is over 80).
So, you can see that there are some basic testing or office visits that are helpful but this may not be a complete list for everyone.
Hope this helps! ~j