Your best birthday gift

The best birthday gift doesn't always come gift-wrapped. A check-up on the week of your birthday celebrates your health.

by Rissa C. Gimenez

Is your birthday just around the corner? Thinking of getting something that will help promote your over all well-being? Instead of just picking up a pedometer, a pair of monogrammed therapeutic slippers or an electronic body massager for your birthday, pick up a good health habit.

A medical check-up!

It¹s simple, quick, and you can have the results in one or two days! Here are some basic medical tests one should undergo regularly:

Complete Blood Count (CBC). This test gives us information about the cells in the blood. It measures the concentration of the person¹s red and whiteblood cells and platelet count.

Blood chemistry. Depending on what your doctor or health practitioner may request, it checks for cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and uric acid, etc.

Urinalysis. This test analyzes the urine and is part of a routine health screening that detects diabetes, kidney diseases, and urinary tract infections.

Ultra Sound or Sonography. This test uses high-frequency sound waves to be able to "image" the organs and structures of the body on a viewing monitor. An ultrasound examines the chest, abdomen, and blood vessels. Itcan check the size and function of the heart. It is commonly used to guide fluid withdrawal (aspiration) from the chest, lungs, or around the heart. An ultrasound is also commonly used to examine internal structures of the abdomen such as the size and structure of the kidneys, the ureters, liver, spleen, pancreas, and aorta. It can also detect fluid, cysts, tumors or abscess in the abdomen or liver, impaired blood flow from clots or arteriosclerosis in the legs, and aneurysms of the aorta. An ultrasound is also used to evaluate the thyroid gland in the neck.

Treasure your health and well-being. There's nothing like getting a clean bill of health on your birthday! It's the best gift you can give yourself.