'blood panel test'

dianebJanuary 26, 2005

I'm 52 and in excellent health-no meds-just a daily vitamin....pap/mamo yearly. Some of us were talking over coffee and couldn't believe that I have never had a "blood panel" done which I believe checks for several things. Do you all have this done and how necessary is it??

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I do, but it is because I have several conditions and several prescriptions that have to be monitored. I don't see any reason why you should have to have this done if you are in good health and not taking anythihg.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 10:15PM
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Are you having regular check-ups? I would think that your doctor would order blood drawn and tested at least every other year. It's a good idea, even if you are healthy because it gives the doctor something to compare other blood work to in case you do start having problems. It will show border-line conditions such as diabeties, anemia, thyroid problems, etc. long before you begin to feel poorly.
Ask about it the next time you see your physician.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 10:45PM
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thanks. I get a yearly pap/mamo. It has never been brought up and I have seen maybe 3 different doc. in the last 15 years. I have settled in on a womens health center and seen the same doc for 3 years. Do you gals get a "physical" besides the pap/mamo? All they do is check my lungs/heart with a stethoscope and ask if I have any issues. Should I be expecting more?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 11:38AM
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I think it is "good medicine" to schedule yearly bloodwork, chest Xray and EKG. I hate to mention age, but at your age, things can go wrong quickly. You might think seriously about changing from a Womens Health Center to a regular Internist. That way, if you start having those problems that occur with middle age and older, you won't be faced to seeing someone new. They would already know who you are and what is 'normal' for you. Ask your present doctor if she would be able to care for you if you should have a stroke, heart attact, lung,stomach or other organ problems.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 12:13PM
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Even my dogs get annual bloodwork, and they're only 21, 42, and 63 (in human years).

I'm only 33 and my Dr recommends at least an annual lipid panel for me to check my cholesterol and triglycerides, even though I have always tested in a good range. I get the full panel every other year, being that I am mostly healthy.

The chem part of a full panel checks function of liver, kidneys, pancreas, adrenal glands, thyroid gland. The blood count part checks for dehydration, anemia, infection. For many chronic type diseases (such as the aforementioned diabetes and thyroid problems) the symptoms don't manifest as quickly as changes in blood panels do. So it is possible to test and treat disease before you become uncomfortable or lose too much organ function, when there is the greatest chance for full recovery or at least prevention of bad effects of disease.

I always ask for a full physical with my annual pap because I hate going to the doctor (although I really like her) and prefer to get it all done once a year if possible. She checks my temp, weight, heart rate and blood pressure, does a full woman's exam including checking for lumps and bumps, listens to heart and lungs, and reviews my medical history, diet, and (lack of) exercise habits. Also chastises me for being slightly overweight:( Then she asks if I have any issues, concerns, or questions. Dr says at 40, I'll start bi-annual mammograms (no history of breast cancer in my family), changing up to annual once I hit 50 or so.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 5:59PM
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well, guess I better "get er done"! thanks to all.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 8:22PM
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I used to get annual check ups, blood work up, chest xray and EKG. I found out that the insurance doesn't pay so the doctors write up reasons for the tests. Sounds good, but I don't like it, so I quit. It is alright for me to quit, because I take no meds and don't have any problems as far as I know. If I am sick I do go to the doctor. They have pushed so many treatments/meds on us, they thought were good for us and we are finding out they were harmful. You don't need a paps test if you have had a hysterectomy and they are leery of the breast exam now. I was told by a nurse, if you have a lump they could crush it and make the cancer spread. They have now discouraged yearly breast exams unless you have family history of it. It's hard for us to know what to do.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 11:41PM
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K, First I must correct a couple mistruths.
You often still DO need Pap-Smears even if you have had a hysterectomy. Many times if the cervix is still in good condition, the GYN will leave it alone as it still serves some purpose.

Smashing a lump in the breast during an exam? No. Nor will you ever find a study that will even remotely back that up. Womens breasts are very sensitive. When we examine them we take that in to consideration. We're going to examine gently, not like we're tenderizing meat.

Now... at 52 and in good health. I am going to assume that you have no personal history of smoking or excessive alcohol consumption?

If you have never had any routine tests you actually need to hit it hard and get a few more than usual to catch up.
The basics that I order for your age would be:
PapSmear w/Pelvic Exam
CMP w/lytes, LFTs, Lipids, H&H & UA
Chest X-Ray

If you have never had a colonoscopy... Guess what. Now's the time.

You should also discuss with your healthcare provider your risk for low bone densitry. If you are at risk then a DEXA scan would be indicated.

A full physical exam to look for any unusual growths or skin cancers, and physicial abnormalities would be needed.

Finally, you should also consult with your eye care professional as well as your dentist yearly.

Hope this is helpful!

D. Adams, NP

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 10:52PM
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Getting a paps after a hysterectomy every year is not necessary, I have had two doctors tell me this. Do you think a GYN is going to tell all his women patients a yearly paps is unnecessary, no way, think of the money he would lose. A mammography is recommended every other year, unless you have a family history of breast cancer. I have the mammography every year until last year and it is not gentle, some women have tears in the skin from the pressure. A tech doing mine told me so.

I appreciate all of the medical care I have received. I have received enough to see how the medical profession works. My own doctor automatically said hormones helped prevent heart attacks, then she looked at me kind of sheepishly and said, "but they have proven that's untrue". I have been to cardio rehab twice with my husband and heard the nurses repeating the same advice that has also been proven is untrue. The heart diet has changed a lot, but you never hear about it, the old diet is still promoted. You need to listen to your doctor, if you are unsure what to do, get a second opinion. You have to read, use a little common sense, listen to your doctor, then you can made an educated decision.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 11:12PM
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Jonesy, The advice your physician has given you is just that. ADVICE FOR YOU. Your body, unless a marvel of medical science is different than every other persons body on this planet. YOU may not need regular papsmears. SOME women DO.

My (now to be ex-wife) is a Board Certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist and I can assure you it is common practice to perform these exams on women post hysterectomy.

I refer you to a article on this subject:
Fox J et al.: The effect of hysterectomy on the risk of an abnormal screening Papanicolaou test result. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999; 180:1104-9,

Also, below is a link to Papscreen.org

Refer to the third tagged section down and you will see the information I am referring to.

Be Well!
D. Adams, NP

Here is a link that might be useful: Papscreen.org

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 11:59PM
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DaveNP-I have an annual pap/mamo. Dentist every 6 months. Eye exam once a year. As a parting gift, I had a chest xray when my last son was born 20 years ago. I have never smoked and have a weekly bloody mary (or 2). What are all these letter abbreviation tests? I go to a NP for my yearly at a womans health center. If I need all these tests, why aren't they suggested to me? I have excellent insurance. It just seems rather odd.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 10:10AM
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Honestly, I'd like to say it's just a fluke but the truth is in todays world of healthcare if you aren't sick you usually don't get a whole lot of attention. Between HMO's and reduced insurance rates providers are seeing 2-3x the patients they would have fifteen years ago. That means reduced time in the exam room with you and even less time to fight through a chart which is usually unorganized and may even be missing the information they are looking for.

We are slowly starting to see the use of electronic medical records or EMR's. These systems have built in safeguards which will ultimately make everyone healthier. My office is entirely EMR and if you were to come in not having had these tests when I come in your exam room with my chart pad I'm going to get a message telling me that Dianeb hasn't needs a routine (fill in the blank) based on current guidelines. It's sad but truthfully I (and most other humans) may not always remember what prevenative testing you need when I know I've got a waiting room full of people, a patient in the ICU who is getting worse by the minute and a pediatric patient that we just can't figure out why they're sick.

As far as the labs I posted above, these are just very basic testing. They will tell us the state of your kidney function, liver function, blood clotting ability, cholesterol levels as well as give us some insight in to how your body is functioning. These are very basic and is where we usually see the first *doesn't look quite right* that prompts further testing.

Be Well!

D. Adams, NP

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 12:28PM
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