Have you ever considered having tests or screenings done on your body to learn about your health outside of a doctor’s office? There are many risks to consider before pursuing and consulting with your primary care physician, including different supplements and over the counter medications. Read the article below to learn more about the potential risks from these screenings.
Screening companies go out to churches and other highly populated areas, such as airports, to run different medical tests on civilians. They claim that they are beyond what your doctor will do and that a state of the art technology is used to augment and get a better understanding of your health, beyond what you will get at your doctor’s office. Often, you can do this rather than going to the doctor because you can do it on your own. Across the board, before getting a test or interpreting a test, you need to talk to your doctor to see if these are appropriate and accurate tests for your needs.
There are different screenings and tests that are available. Most of the screenings are offered in bundles and are anywhere between $199 to $299. A lot of these tests are performed using very old ultrasound equipment that is second or third hand which is not accurate anymore. Also, the results are not interpreted by a radiologist but rather interpreted by a computer. This could give you a lot of results that may scare you, but are not actually accurate.
These screenings claim that they can check for diseases such as carotid artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysms, atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease, cholesterol panels, and a blood marker called C reactive protein. There are claims that this is a marker for cardiac disease.
Tests on heart disease and stroke are often misread and you may be told that you have a disease or health condition, when you may not. When taking the results to your doctor, additional testing may have to be done that could be unnecessary. Going to the doctor for a check-up to see what you need to be doing to keep yourself healthy is more practical than these screenings. When going to the doctor, you will get a more thorough check to make sure you are healthy and you will get more accurate results.
There is a screening that can also be done called an electrocardiogram, which is an electrical reading of your heart and the results tell you if it detects any abnormalities. This test is totally unnecessary unless you have any symptoms of heart disease in which your doctor will run these tests.
Other tests that include osteoporosis testing with an ultrasound and Vitamin D testing. These tests are not necessary nor appropriate for screening people. Patients will end up with a false understanding and believe they have a disease when they more than likely don’t. This might also falsely reassure you that you don’t have a disease when you do. The equipment that is used for these tests may not be accurate nor up to date. Also, the results may not be interpreted by someone that is certified to do so.
If you want to get screened for a physical or mental health problem or even a genetic screening, it is advised that you do so with your doctor. Genetic screenings are not recommended due to inaccuracy. There is no way for a physician to interpret or know if your test results are accurate. It is encouraged that anyone with concerns about health issues should see your doctor and ask what you need to do in order to find a proven safe and effective screening.
Most screenings, if not all of them, done by a screening company or health fair are probably not appropriate to conduct, let alone be interpreted by patients. Patients come in often who have had testings done, which leads to further testing because of a scan that shows potential, inaccurate information. This leads to expensive testing like CAT scans and blood tests, which may not have been needed based on a patient’s symptoms. Suddenly, because of a screening, you spend an unreal amount of money. $299 ends up turning into $5,000 to $6,000 in follow up testing. Actual doctors have to follow up with your screening results to make sure you do not have anything serious. There is a lot of incidental findings with technology, whether its laboratory, X Rays, MRI’s, CAT scans, or ultrasounds. These tests can find things that don’t necessarily mean there is anything wrong with you nor need any evaluation or treatment.
If you or someone you know are experiencing any differences in your health, have a history of chronic illnesses in your family, or have any questions regarding elective testing, please contact us by phone at 303-703-8583.