- Preventive examinations under the National He alth Fund
- What is the research from the 40+ package about, how to prepare for it?
- What diagnostic tests are still worth doing after the age of 40?
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The aging process of cells predisposes to the formation of more diseases. Therefore, after the age of 40, it is worth carrying out preventive examinations that will allow you to detect the first deviations from the norm, e.g. elevated glucose levels, and thus modify your diet, lifestyle or motivate you to start treatment.
From July 2022, it is possible to carry out a package of free preventive examinations for all people who turned 40 in a given year and who have not used such a package yet.
To perform tests at the expense of the National He alth Fund, you need to complete a special questionnaire on the Patient's Internet Account (IKP) or call the hotline 22 735 39 53. After two working days, you will receive an e-referral that allows you to make an appointment in a selected medical facility.
Preventive examinations under the National He alth Fund
The research carried out by the National He alth Fund is divided into a package addressed to women and men, as well as a package including research common to both sexes.
The diagnostic package for women as part of the National He alth Fund includes such tests as:
- peripheral blood count,
- liver tests, i.e. ALAT, AST, GGTP tests
- total cholesterol concentration or selectable: control lipid profile,
- blood glucose level,
- blood creatinine level,
- blood uric acid level,
- general urine test,
- fecal occult blood.
The diagnostic test package for men includes the same tests as for women, plus total prostate specific antigen (PSA). The joint research package, on the other hand, is:
- blood pressure measurement,
- checking body weight, waist circumference and height,
- calculating BMI - body mass index
- heart rhythm test.
What is the research from the 40+ package about, how to prepare for it?
Peripheral blood morphology is a test that can tell us a lot about our he alth. First of all, it will indicate nutritional deficiencies, and even their duration, it can show whether we are developing a viral or bacterial infection. Besides, maybesignal the existence of parasites in our country or indicate an allergy. It will also show what immunity we have and whether we have any inflammation.
Proper preparation for a blood test is important as it affects the results. We should come to the examination on an empty stomach (after an overnight fast), and in the morning we should not drink more than half a glass of water, so as not to thin the blood too much. We should also avoid physical exertion (so let's not run for tests), as well as stressful situations.
ALT, AST, GGTP liver tests
Liver tests, i.e. determination of the activity of hepatic aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotansferase (AST) are performed in order to diagnose chronic liver diseases, alcoholic liver diseases, acute liver diseases, and poisoning.
AST is present in large amounts not only in liver cells but also in muscles. Therefore, elevated results of aspartate aminotransferase do not necessarily mean liver problems, but also, for example, a heart attack.
Only the comparison of ALAT and AST and a significant increase in the former compared to AST will show us liver damage. GGTP (gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase) is an enzyme that will confirm chronic liver diseases, diseases of the bile ducts or pancreas.
The mere increase in the concentration of this enzyme will not tell us anything yet ( although the correct result largely excludes liver disease), but in combination with elevated ALT and AST indicators, it can be said that we are dealing with liver disease.
If we are going to perform liver tests, we must remember to eat easily on the day before the test, and eat the last meal no later than 18.00. After this time, you can only drink. We arrive for the examination on an empty stomach, in the morning, that is between 7.00 and 10.00 am.
The glucose level test is the first test to detect glucose disorders and detect diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is a very serious disease that destroys subsequent organs.
While type 1 diabetes, called "juvenile", is discovered quite early, type 2 diabetes, which occurs in adulthood, may be more difficult to detect. We often underestimate the symptoms typical of this disease, such as: increased thirst, sudden weight loss, frequent urination, polyuria, increased sleepiness, and weakness. Therefore, regular basic examinations allow us to detect this disease.
It should be remembered that diabetes can be diagnosed in a person with a detected concentration of glucose in the venous blood plasma ≥200 mg / dl (11.1mmol / L) and had symptoms characteristic of diabetes.
It can also be diagnosed in someone who has twice fasted venous blood glucose ≥126 mg / dL (7.0 mmol / L) and has not had typical diabetic symptoms; as well as an asymptomatic patient who preferably had a glucose level of ≥200 mg / dL (11.1 mmol / L).
You should be fasting for blood glucose testing and the test should be done in the morning.
Blood creatinine level
Creatinine is a product of protein metabolism and is considered a good biochemical marker of kidney he alth.
Since men have a higher level of muscle mass than women, and creatinine depends on body weight and muscle mass, the reference range for creatinine in men will be 0.7-1.3 mg / dL and for women 0.6-1 .1 mg / dL.
When the results differ from the above-mentioned standards, and the creatinine level will be higher than them, it may indicate:
- renal dysfunction,
- dehydration of the body,
- kidney disease
- or blockage of the urinary tract.
When the results are below the norm, then it is possible to suspect malnutrition or dystrophy, i.e. muscle wasting.
Preparation for creatinine testing begins the next day, because the last meal can be eaten at 6 p.m. After that, the test should be performed in the morning, on an empty stomach, between 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m.
Uric acid test
Uric acid is the end product of the catabolism (breakdown) of purines that are present in RNA and DNA material and in other combinations. Some uric acid is also ingested with food.
An adult is able to excrete 400 to 800 mg of uric acid per day, including one third with the faeces and two thirds with the urine. The uric acid concentration test allows you to check the functioning of the kidneys, to exclude or confirm the presence of gout or to indicate other diseases.
For example, when the concentration is lowered, it is possible to suspect some liver diseases or even cancer, although it may well be the influence of medications.
Elevated levels of uric acid may suggest excessive uric acid production, excessive consumption of purine-rich foods (such as meat), or a condition that is associated with excessive breakdown of blood cells, such as leukemia.
How to prepare for the test? The main recommendation is to eat the last meal by 18.00 on the day before the examination. Blood collection for testing should be performed on an empty stomach between 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m.
Urinalysis is used not only to assess the condition of the urinary system. It can also be used to discover many serious diseases, e.g. diabetes. This test examines the clarity of urine, its color, pH, and the presence of bacteria, as well as the specific gravity.
Depending on the results, the presence of ketones, glucose or bilirubin may indicate metabolic disorders; presence of bacteria, e.g. urinary tract infection; low specific gravity about malnutrition - especially lack of protein in the diet, etc.
How to prepare for a urine test? First of all, on the day before the test, you should not eat beetroot, which will color the urine red. Supplements with B vitamins should also be discontinued, as they color the urine yellow.
In addition, women should not do this test during menstruation and two days after their period. The test uses morning urine, which means that we urinate into a special container after the whole night.
Before that, however, we wash the genitals and the urethra, pass part of the urine to the toilet and fill the special container with the middle stream of urine up to 3/4 level.
Fecal occult blood test
Fecal occult blood testing helps diagnose inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, as well as colon polyps or cancer of the colon or colon. However, a positive result does not necessarily mean you are seriously ill. Sometimes blood is in the stool as a result of rupture of the hemorrhoids.
The faeces for testing must be clean, therefore it should be placed on a special tape that sticks to the toilet seat (you can buy it at the pharmacy). A walnut-sized stool sample is collected from this tape. You take it into a special container, which is also available at the pharmacy.
PSA (prostatic specific antigen) test
The PSA test is a screening test for prostate cancer. Increased levels may indicate benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis, condition after urinary bladder catheterization or prostate cancer.
Before starting the test, remember that you cannot have diagnostic or invasive tests on the prostate 2-3 weeks in advance, because it may distort the results.
What diagnostic tests are still worth doing after the age of 40?
Thyroid hormone testing
Both women and men should have thyroid hormone check-ups and thyroid antibodies tests at least once every 5 years (and preferably once a year). The thyroid gland is an extremely important organ that is responsible for proper functioningthe functioning of our body, so it is worth checking regularly whether everything is okay with it, and in particular, it should be done when:
- we start to gain too much weight without changing the caloric content of the diet,
- when our hair starts to fall out,
- when we are still cold,
- when we feel the so-called brain fog,
- when we feel constant heart palpitations,
- when we feel excessively hot,
- when we get tired extremely quickly,
- when we notice exophthalmos,
- when our hands are shaking.
These types of symptoms herald either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, so it is necessary to check TSH, Ft3 and Ft4 then. For this, it is necessary to perform an ultrasound of the thyroid gland and antibodies: anti-TPO and anti-TB.
Our eyesight deteriorates with age, therefore an ophthalmological examination should be performed at least once every 2 years. During the visit, the ophthalmologist should examine our eyesight and the fundus of our eye and measure the intraocular pressure.
Every woman should visit her gynecologist once a year for vaginal ultrasound and cytology. This is especially important after the age of 40, when the level of hormones changes. Thanks to this, it will be able to detect disturbing changes faster and implement the treatment process if any irregularities appear during the examination.
Cytology is a test that allows to detect not only cervical inflammation, but also to diagnose early neoplastic changes. That is why it is worth remembering about it and performing it regularly, even when we think that we are fine.
Mammography is a test that allows you to detect breast cancer even in its early stages. Before the age of 40, instead of mammography, a breast ultrasound is performed, because the ultrasound machine detects changes better in younger women who have more glandular tissue than adipose tissue.