Health Screenings

Yearly health screenings and check ups are important for monitoring your health.

Throughout the year, St. Margaret’s holds different health screenings throughout the Illinois Valley area.  For our patient’s convenience, we try to bring them to you by offering them at different locations.

Have a question?  Fill out our online form.

Blood Pressure/Blood Sugar Screenings

  • Get your blood pressure and blood sugar checked for FREE.
  • No Appointment Necessary.
  • A twelve-hour food and beverage fast is recommended for more accurate blood sugar test results.

Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Tests offered throughout our communities:

  • DePue Library, second Tuesday of every month | 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Princeton Senior Center, third Wednesday of every month | 11 a.m. – Noon
  • Oglesby Library, third Thursday of every month | 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Putnam County Senior Center, second Tuesday of every month |
    10-11:30 a.m.

Blood Pressure Test Information:

A blood pressure test measures the pressure in your arteries from your heart. This test is used to determine if a patient has high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) or to monitor a patient that’s already been diagnosed with elevated blood pressure, high blood pressure or low blood pressure (hypotension).

How a blood pressure test works:

      • Using a pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer), a blood pressure reading is taken.
      • The pressure cuff is positioned around the upper arm before being inflated, either manually with a pump or electronically.
      • After inflation, the pressure cuff compresses the brachial artery, briefly stopping the blood flow.
      • The pressure cuff is then released gradually while the provider performing the test listens with a stethoscope or uses electronic technology for the reading.
Your blood pressure reading contains two numbers, your systolic blood pressure and your diastolic blood pressure:
      • Systolic blood pressure (which is the top number of the reading) gives the amount of pressure blood is putting on your artery walls as your heart pumps.
      • Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of the reading) gives the amount of pressure your blood is putting on your artery walls between your heart beats (or when your heart is at rest).

Blood Sugar Test Information:

What is a blood sugar test?
A blood sugar test measures the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. A medical provider uses this test to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes, or, people with diabetes can also use this test to help manage their condition.

Blood sugar tests can tell you or your medical provider:

      • Whether your blood sugar levels are high or low
      • A change in your diet or exercise is needed
      • The effectiveness of your diabetes medications or treatment

What does a blood sugar test do exactly?
Your body uses carbohydrates that are found in foods such as grains and fruits and makes them into glucose. Glucose, a form of sugar, is one of your body’s main sources of energy.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can lead to seizures or a coma if left untreated.

High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can lead to ketoacidosis—a serious, life-threatening condition that’s often a risk for people with type 1 diabetes. Ketoacidosis can happen when your body starts using only fat for fuel and over a long period of time, can greatly increase your risk for neuropathy (nerve damage), in addition to, heart, kidney and eye diseases.

There is low to no risks associated with blood sugar tests. You may feel soreness, swelling and bruising at the puncture site but this should subside within a day.

In order for a blood sugar test to be accurate, a person should fast from food and beverages for twelve hours before the test.

Talk to your primary care provider if you have questions about high blood sugar testing or if you think you are at risk.

Cholesterol Screening

Cholesterol Screenings:

  • Available the second Thursday of each month at the Illinois Valley YMCA in Peru, from 7:30am – 9:30pm
  • The fee for cholesterol screenings is $20.00.
  • An appointment is required to be screened due to the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Register online or call (815) 780-4618 for an appointment.
  • A twelve-hour food and beverage fast is recommended for more accurate cholesterol screening results.

Cholesterol Screening Information:

Also known as a lipid profile or lipid panel, a cholesterol test is a blood test that measures the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in the cells in your body. Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D and other substances used to aid with digestion of foods. Your body produces all the cholesterol it needs. However, cholesterol is also found in various foods from animal sources, such as egg yolks, meat and cheese.

When you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can combine with other substances in your blood to create plaque. Plaque sticks to the walls of your arteries and can lead to coronary artery disease (narrowed or blocked arteries throughout your body).

Why is a Cholesterol Test Performed?
High cholesterol often presents no signs or symptoms. A cholesterol test is performed to figure out whether your cholesterol is high and can help determine your risk for developing heart attacks and other forms of heart disease or diseases of the blood vessels.

A cholesterol test measures four types of fats (or lipids) present in your blood:

Total Cholesterol: The sum of cholesterol present in your blood.

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol: Referred to as “good” cholesterol, this type of lipid carries away LDL (bad) cholesterol. Therefore, this typw of lipid helps keep arteries open for blood to pump more freely through them.

Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol: Referred to as “bad” cholesterol, too much of this type of lipid in your blood causes plaques to buildup in your arteries, reducing blood flow. Rupturing of these plaques can occur, which leads to a heart attack or stroke.

Tryglycerides: When you consume food, your body transforms calories it doesn’t need into a form of fat in the blood, called triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides are often associated with being overweight, eating too many sweets or drinking too much alcohol, smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle or having diabetes with elevated blood sugar levels.

Who Should Be Tested for Cholesterol?
Adults who are at an average risk for developing coronary artery disease should have their cholesterol checked every five years at a minimum.

More regular testing may be necessary if a person’s  initial test results indicate abnormalities, or if he or she already has been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, are taking cholesterol-lowering medications or are at a higher risk for developing coronary artery disease due to the following reasons:

      • You have a family history of either high cholesterol or heart attacks
      • Are considered overweight
      • Are sedentary
      • Have been diagnosed with diabetes
      • Have a poor diet
      • Smoke Cigarettes
      • Are a male over the age of 45 or a female over the age of 55

Someone with a history of heart attacks or strokes should have regular cholesterol testing performed to help monitor the effectiveness of treatments. 

Talk to your primary care provider if you have questions about cholesterol testing or if you think you are at risk.

Colorectal Screenings

Every March

Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) Screenings

  • Available the second Tuesday of each month from at the Illinois Valley YMCA in Peru, from 7:30am – 9:30am
  • An appointment is required to be screened due to the need to social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The fee for HbA1c screening is $20.00.
  • Register online or call (815) 780-4618 for an appointment.
  • Fasting is NOT required.

“Finger Stick” – Provides average daily glucose level for previous 3 months. Test results are available within 10 minutes. The patient may share the results with their physician. Testing three to four times per year is adequate.

High blood sugar levels can cause damage to large and small blood vessels, leading to an increased risk of diabetes complications.

Prostate Cancer Screenings

Many patients worry about their prostate cancer risk, which is the most common cancer among men after skin cancer.

A screening for prostate cancer is recommended for all men between ages 40-45; however, you should absolutely have your first exam by or before you turn 50. A complete screening includes a blood test (PSA) and a rectal exam (DRE). While a rectal exam to detect prostate abnormalities typically is part of a man’s physical, the prostate specific antigen test is not recommended for routine prostate cancer screening. This is because patients who do not have prostate cancer may still have elevated levels of a specific enzyme in the blood, which can lead to other invasive and unnecessary tests. So doctors often are careful when deciding which patients should have a PSA.

There are no prostate screenings scheduled at this time. Contact your physician to request a prostate screening.

Public Flu Clinics

There are no public flu clinics scheduled at this time. Please contact your primary care provider to schedule your flu shot. 

The vaccine covers 4 strains, including the 2 most common strains of influenza A and B.