What tests can quickly be performed to evaluate my level of health?

There are many tests that can be performed, at varying levels of invasiveness to evaluate your health.  A few simple tests include:
o Body Mass Index: this is a ratio of height to weight.  Higher BMI values are associated with an increased risk for heart disease.
o Body Composition: this is a measure of body fat percentage.  Larger amounts of fat, specifically in the waist region, correlate to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
o Blood Pressure: this measures the pressure of the blood flowing through your arteries.  High levels of pressure lead to greater health risk.
o Cholesterol: this is a blood test that measures the amount of good, bad, and total cholesterol in your blood. 
o Fasting blood glucose: this is a blood test taken after not eating for at least 12 hours.  High levels of sugar (glucose) would indicate inadequate uptake by your cells, which could ultimately lead to diabetes.  

It depends on what you mean by 'test' and 'level of health'. If you feel generally well but you want to know what you might be at risk of developing, some quick and simple screening will do.

Screening identifies the possibility of a health risk or problem. It's like looking for warning lights. You only know the light is there. You have to check it out further to see what the light means. Screening can be very fast and easy. You feel a child's cheek and forehead with the back of your hand to see if they have an abnormal body temperature or fever. An unpublished study indicated that this method is 99.6% predictive of abnormal body temperature. Mothers all over the world take some kind of action based on this simple test for their child's level of health. There is a multitude of questionnaires very carefully designed and tested to screen you for various health risks, such as asthma, COPD, etc. They are often free and on the internet if produced by a large organization, such as Heart and Stroke or the Lung Association. Screening will help you determine if and to whom you should go for further more costly assessment and diagnosis.

When you are thinking of health comprehensively, in all its aspects, generally think screening first before you take the time and money to diagnose things where there is no need. However, pay attention to health checks that are recommended by medical and health associations regarding risks that have been broadly identified in the population; cervical cancer, blood pressure, overweight and obesity, etc.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.