As you enter your 30s, being proactive about preventative care becomes even more important to keep you healthy and happy. As with every year in adulthood, in your 30s, you’ll want to have an annual eye exam, flu shot, and physical with BMI and blood pressure screening, as well as a twice-yearly dental checkup, and stay up-to-date on your tetanus and diphtheria vaccines. Beyond the basics, there are a few age-specific preventive care measures that can help you stay healthy in your 30s.
Beginning in your 30s, you should work with your healthcare provider to schedule annual Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) tests for you. Though it may sound intimidating, there’s no need to stress. This is a simple blood test that evaluates an important hormone that helps regulate your body temperature, mood, muscle strength, and weight. Your TSH level is an important indicator of whether or not your thyroid is working properly.
Just like in your 20s, it’s important to continue Pap tests regularly. But beginning in your 30s, you can usually reduce the frequency to every five years. This test takes a sample of cells from the cervix to check for cancerous and precancerous tissue, helping to catch any problems early. This is one of the simplest ways to prevent the development of cervical cancer. Your healthcare provider will be happy to answer any questions you have about the test when you get in touch to schedule your annual exam.
Depending on your personal risk factors—like family history, weight, history of smoking, diet, and level of physical activity—your provider may recommend additional blood tests to help monitor cardiovascular health and future risks.
During your annual visit, your provider may suggest taking a blood sample to send to the lab for additional screening as needed. The c-reactive protein test helps evaluate your risk of heart disease, while a complete blood count can help diagnose certain medical conditions and give an overview of your overall health. Be sure to speak with your provider about any concerns or family history you may have so they can suggest additional tests as needed.
Every five years beginning in your 30s, your primary care provider will suggest a blood glucose test to monitor for diabetes and other considerations. This is a simple blood test that monitors the levels of sugar—also called glucose—in your blood. That’s why this is commonly called a blood sugar test, as well.
Blood glucose levels that are either too high or too low can signal different health concerns to address. High blood glucose levels might indicate diabetes, pancreatitis, or kidney disease, while low levels could point to liver disease or the need to adjust some medications. Or they might suggest the need to make life adjustments to stress or diet, which is why it’s important to check-in and have a discussion with your provider about your risks and test results.
Starting in your mid-30s, a lipid panel to test your cholesterol levels should become a part of your yearly routine. Lipids are fats and fatty substances that your body uses for energy, but you’ve most likely heard of one in particular: cholesterol.
Lipids are vital for your body to function, but high cholesterol levels can become a harmful disorder that may lead to stroke, heart attack, or coronary artery disease (CAD). When you reach your 30s, monitoring these levels becomes an important facet of your overall preventative care.
For more information about the preventative care you should be doing at every stage of life, download our Preventative Care Checklist.