Following on from yesterday’s post, I thought I’d put together a quick list of medical tests that should be part of a yearly check up, particularly if you’re over 40 and female. I will assume my male readers have no interest in mammograms or Pap Smears
- Blood pressure
- Skin examination (for suspect moles, precancerous growths etc)
- Pap smear
- Mammogram (over 40)
- Fasting blood glucose (particularly if history of diabetes or PCOS)
- Cholesterol including HDL, LDL and triglycerides
- Full blood count
- Electrolyte studies
- Iron Studies (particularly if menstruation is heavy or involved in endurance sports)
(indicated by symptoms)
- Thyroid studies – TSH, T3, T4 (free), reverse T3 – particularly if thyroid problems suspected and useful if symptoms are vague.
- Pituitary hormones/Sex hormones – governed by changes to menstrual cycle – follicle stimulating hormone, lutenizing hormone, plus oestrogens, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone (free)
It’s worth noting that some hormonal imbalances don’t show up as well on standard medical blood tests as they do with salivary hormone testing. Thus for a suspected hormonal imbalance, I’d recommend salivary testing as well.
For symptoms relating to burnout and adrenal fatigue, I’d recommend diurnal salivary cortisol testing. The concept of adrenal fatigue and what it actually means is quite contentious in medical circles however, it’s worth noting that cortisol levels can change (even if it isn’t obvious in a standard blood test) and it’s worth exploring if you haven’t found answers from your GP. The symptoms correlate very well to what happens when we allow ourselves to become overworked/overstressed to the point of burnout. Rest and lifestyle changes make the difference.