Doctors and researchers have amazing knowledge about the human body in general. But all that knowledge doesn’t do me any good if the doctor can’t apply it to my personal situation.
An important part of solving my health issues has been to have tests done and to compare the results to my previous tests.  This allows my doctors to see if things are getting better or worse.  When you first have a test done, especially at an early age when you are healthy, it gives your doctor a baseline reading of how your body functions at its best.  That information will become even more important as you get older and things start to change.  Your doctor can learn all sorts of important things by comparing later results to the baseline test.
As women, we know we need to have PAP smears and mammograms to check for cancer.  It’s smart to get these tests done when recommended so we can know whether there is something we need to deal with or not.
But don’t stop there. The leading killer of women is heart disease, meaning it’s important to get the tests that will help you take care of your heart.  I’m talking about blood tests for cholesterol – HDL which is the good cholesterol, LDL which is the bad one, and triglycerides.   And follow up by getting your cholesterol numbers so you can figure out what they mean.  Don’t be afraid of your numbers!
With HDL, higher is definitely better.  LDL is the opposite so you want that one to stay low, along with your triglycerides.  Your doctor can tell you if your numbers are in a good range, or you can look it up online.   The American Heart Association website has a great explanation of what all the numbers mean.
I also think it’s important to have a baseline treadmill test as well as an echocardiogram.  The treadmill gives the doctor an important reference point for when your heart is really working, in case you start to have problems later in life.  The same is true with the echocardiogram – your doctor just puts some stickers on your chest, hooks up the wires, and the machine gets a reading of how your heart is beating.  It’s a great way to make sure your heart is firing the way it should be.
If you’re having blood drawn, checking your sugar levels should be standard procedure.  The same is true of your hormones.  All the systems in your body are connected by your hormones, including the insulin that controls your sugar levels.  So if one thing starts to go out of balance, it can cause a ripple effect that can cause problems in all other parts of your body.