Being prepared for whatever medical test you are scheduled for will save time, prevent the need to have the test re-done and most importantly, being prepared for a medical test could save your life. Here are some common medical tests and tips on how to ace each test, speed up the process and get accurate results.
Remove Nail Polish Before a Skin Cancer Screening
During a skin cancer screening, the dermatologist will closely look all over the body for skin discolorations, including fingers and toes. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and the acral-lentiginous type likes to lurk on the nail beds.
Skip Coffee and Remove Jewelry Before an MRI
An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging scan) provides the doctor with an inside look at soft tissue. Having an MRI will require you to lie perfectly still inside the MRI machine for at least half an hour, the test can’t be stopped for a bathroom break, so it’s wise to skip the coffee (a diuretic) and cut back on all liquids a few hours prior to having an MRI.
Since the MRI machine uses a magnetic field, anything metallic will interfere with test results. Remove jewelry, spare change watch, keys and credit card before having an MRI. Also, if you have anything metal inside of you, such as a pace maker, tell your doctor before the MRI.
Stop Taking Iron Five Days Before a Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy involves having a camera inserted into your intestines via the rectum, not a test one wants to repeat. To ace this test the first time, stop taking iron and supplements that contain iron at least five days prior to the test. Iron stains the contents of the bowel and the staining could hide small, flat lesions which are signs of colon cancer.
Before Having a Blood Pressure Test, Take a Few Deep Breaths
Just going to the doctor’s office can cause some people’s blood pressure to rise and make tests result askew. Just before the blood pressure cuff is placed on the arm, take five deep breaths – inhale and hold for five seconds, then exhale for five seconds. This will help get a more accurate blood pressure reading even if you are nervous.
Go Carb Crazy Before a Glucose Tolerance Test
If diabetes is suspected, the doctor will perform a glucose tolerance test to determine how well your body breaks down sugar. After a nine hour fast, you will drink a glucose solution in the doctor’s office, then blood will be drawn to determine blood sugar levels. If carbs are avoided prior to the glucose tolerance test, the fasting and glucose solution will cause the blood sugar level to surge higher and faster than it normally does during the test. To ace the test and get an accurate result, go carb crazy three days prior to the test by including plenty of whole grain foods in the diet so your body doesn’t over-react during the glucose tolerance test.
Ace a Mammogram by Skipping Personal Hygiene Products
Personal hygiene products like deodorant, body powders and lotions contain minerals that can show up as calcifications (early breast cancer signs) on a mammogram. Shower with plain soap and water and skip the addition of personal hygiene products before having a mammogram.