If you have been a smoker for more than six months, it might be time to go to the doctor and get a wellness check-up. Smoking increases the risk of current and future health problems.
Most smokers believe that tobacco will never catch up to them, but they are wrong. If you are a current or former smoker, there are a few tests that you may request from your physician.
Tobacco is a toxic plant. Tobacco is, in fact, more toxic to women than men. The director of the Women’s Guild Lung Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles explained the reason as follows.
Zab Mosenifar, said that due to the difference in body size, women who smoke the same amount of cigarettes to men expose themselves to a greater risk of health disease.
One of the largest risks to smokers is cancer. Because of the volatility of illness, it is best to get tested early.
Here are tests that are available to every smoker to prevent debilitating diseases.
Computerized Tomography – otherwise know as CT Scans. These scans create a cross-sectional image of your bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues.
By doing this, a doctor can observe irregular growths within your tissue. These are often the most widespread or consistent ways to detect cancer.
Often by the time that you discover a cancerous growth via CT Scans the disease has already been rather aggressive. These procedures are usually done at hospitals or large offices.
As obvious as it may sound chest X-rays are one of the best ways to determine whether one is experiencing a smoking-related disease. Most doctors say recommend that smokers take a minimum of one chest x-ray per year.
It is best if active smokers take at least two chest x-rays a year. Though this method is not as efficient as a CT scan, doctors will still be able to determine the early signs of cancer from the results.
From these X-rays, a doctor can determine the number of complications from clogged arteries to blood vessel impediments. These are some of the earliest signs of lung cancer and should be addressed as soon as possible.
For those who have a tight budget, it may be best to opt for Spirometry. Spirometry tests the functionality of your lungs. While it is not a definitive indicator of lung cancer, the low functionality of lungs is a sign that is cause for further testing.
For those who take this test and have a result that says their lung functionality is lower than 50%, you need to go to your doctor and pursue more thorough testing.
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
Though it sounds like a test that only seniors receive this is a test that all smoke need to have. Many doctors would say it is the most important test.
This exam tests the rhythm and strength of your heart. Any indication in these medical tests that your heart is not performing up to par is a reason to believe that you might be at risk for tobacco-related cancer.
Vitamin D Blood Test
As strange as it may sound many smokers suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. At your next check-up at you general practitioner, it is best that you have a blood test performed.
These blood tests will not only test for your Vitamin D levels but also your white blood cell count and your cholesterol. These tests can warm you whether you are at risk for a host of diseases such as hypertension or high cholesterol.
You might not be overindulging on the sweets, but if you are a smoker, you are still at risk for diabetes. Often conflated with obesity, diabetes is not just a disease that stems from improper eating habits.
Smokers are at a 40% higher risk of diabetes than non-smokers. During your next blood test, it is best to ask your doctor to pay special attention to your blood glucose levels in case you are a smoker or a former smoker.
As a smoker, a friend, a family member it is your responsibility to take care of yourself. When going to the doctor, you need to look into preventative measures in regards to cancer.
By being a chronic smoker, you put yourself at risk to a multitude of diseases, not just cancer. As discussed, diabetes is a viable threat to most smokers as well as vitamin D deficiency.
All of these tests could potentially save your life or the lives of others, and it is time to spread the word.