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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Four Shotcuts Doctors Take When Giving You A Checkup

1. Blood Pressure

This vital sign is usually checked in one arm while you're sitting down. But for more accuracy, blood pressure should be checked in both arms while you're lying down. Why both arms? Because a difference in blood pressure between one arm and the other may indicate a blockage in one of the large blood vessels. To be significant, the difference should be 15% or more. Also, if you're taking blood pressure medication, your doctor should check you a third time, immediately after you stand up. If the pressure drops by more than 10%, you may need to change your dosage.

2. Lymph Nodes

Doctors usually check the lymph nodes in the neck, but often neglect the nodes in the groin and underarms. But checking all the lymph nodes is important since swollen nymph nodes may signal infection and other symptoms.

3. Pulse Points

Your doctor may check your pulse in your neck or groin but may skip your feet. If pulse strength differs in these 3 areas, it could be a sign of peripheral arterial disease.

4. Lab Tests

Most docs check your cholesterol, liver and kidney functions and your blood sugar. But other levels  that should be checked are

Magnesium - Low levels of this mineral can cause fatigue, generalized pain and or muscle spasms. It can also increase risk of heart attack.

Zinc - A low zinc  level can lead to frequent infections.

Iron -  Elevated levels of iron can cause iron overload or hemochromatosis.

C- reactive protein, homocysteine and lipoprotein  Elevated levels of any of these 3 substances can pit you at risk for heart attack or stroke.

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