Marla Ahlgrimm: Health Screenings and You

Marla AhlgrimmThere are a number of medical exams that should be performed regularly in order to keep you at your peak health, explains Marla Ahlgrimm. Maintaining a relationship with your doctor and other health care providers is important in achieving your overall health goals.

Dental exam

Your dentist is a vital professional who can help you maintain overall good health, says Marla Ahlgrimm. He or she can help you detect certain health conditions that present with symptoms in the mouth. See your dentist twice a year.

Eye exam

An ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in detecting and treating conditions of the eye. This includes vision problems, but also more serious issues such as glaucoma.


According to Marla Ahlgrimm, most women should get a flu shot every year. Other vaccinations, including pneumonia, may be discussed on an individual basis. Most adults have been vaccinated for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, but can benefit from a tetanus-diphtheria booster every decade. Once you reach the age of 60, Marla Ahlgrimm suggests talking to your doctor about the shingles and herpes zoster vaccine.

Physical exam

A quick visit to your doctor once a year can provide you with major insight regarding your health, says Marla Ahlgrimm. During an annual exam, your doctor may check blood pressure, cholesterol, height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). You will be asked about your diet and exercise routine and your alcohol and tobacco use. Your doctor may also talk to you about stress, depression, and anxiety.

Breast exam/mammogram

Once you reach the age of 40, your doctor may recommend a mammogram. This is a painless test that can help detect breast cancer in its early stages, when treatment is most effective.

Pelvic exam/Pap smear

Women of childbearing age should consider having a Pap smear every three years and an HPV test every five. This may be done by your primary care physician or a gynecologist, a doctor who specializes in women’s reproductive health, says Marla Ahlgrimm.

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