Routine Body Check Ups
Having a schedule to have regular body check ups is super important. What’s more important is knowing when to do each of the check ups and how often. It’s better to prevent an illness than to have to treat it. That’s why regular checkups are essential.
Routinely evaluating your risk factors for various medical conditions, screening for cancer and other diseases, and assessing your lifestyle habits helps you stay healthy while reducing your risk of chronic or life threatening diseases. You may be wondering why this is necessary. Let me tell you.
Benefits of Regular Check Ups:
- finding potentially life threatening health issues early before they cause a problem
- early treatment of health conditions, which increases the odds of a good outcome
- regular monitoring of existing health issues, which lowers the risk of worsening symptoms or severe complications
- staying up-to-date on vaccinations and screening tests
- limiting extra healthcare costs associated with treating complicated or serious conditions that aren’t caught early
- developing and maintaining an open, honest relationship with your primary care physician (PCP)
- learning new ways to live a healthy, longer life and improving your health
Seems like it’s pretty important isn’t it? And what’s more important than health? Probably nothing. Because what’s life like if you aren’t actually healthy? Now let’s look at how often you should get a body check up.
How Often Should You Get Checked Up?
The recommendations regarding the frequency of routine checkups are based on your age, risk factors, and current health status. While opinions vary, routine checkups with your doctor are generally recommended as follows:
- once every 3 years if you’re under the age of 50 and in good health
- once a year once you turn 50
- If you have a chronic disease, like diabetes or COPD for instance, you should see your doctor more frequently, no matter how old you are.
What Should You Include?
During your annual checkup, your doctor will review your past health history, evaluate your current health, and schedule appropriate screening tests. For men and women, an adult annual checkup should include a review and update of:
- your medical history
- your family history, if necessary
- your medication list and allergies
- your vaccination and screening test history
Men and women are typically screened for:
- high blood pressure
- obesity, based on your body mass index
- tobacco use
- alcohol and drug misuse
- HIV screening for adults ages 15 to 65 and anyone at high risk
- hepatitis C for anyone born between 1945 and 1965
- type 2 diabetes for anyone with risk factors or a family history
- colorectal cancer starting at age 50
- lung cancer with a yearly low-dose CT scan for adults ages 55 to 80 who currently smoke or have smoked within the last 15 years
Additionally men and women also have different types of check up to do. Let’s see what they are.
- intimate partner violence screening for women of childbearing age
- a mammogram for breast cancer screening, between ages 50 and 74
- a Pap smear for cervical cancer screening, between ages 21 and 65
- high cholesterol screening, starting at age 45
- osteoporosis screening, starting at age 65
- abdominal aortic aneurysm screening, from ages 65 to 75 with a smoking history
- a prostate exam isn’t generally recommended, but you and your doctor may decide you should have it starting at age 50
- high cholesterol screening, starting at age 35
We usually see our doctors from time to time when we’re sick or need any sort of medication. The argument is: the only time one should visit a doctor is when one is unwell or cannot fix one’s problem through over-the-counter medications. You must have heard that your parents or grandparents say that health is wealth. This old axiom is not just a cliché but has a lot of truth in it.
If you want to stay off medication and be less dependent on external sources to be healthy, then you need to take good care of your body. Your life should be about eating well and maintaining a wholesome lifestyle of a balanced diet as well as exercising. Good health is not a summer or winter resolution but a lifetime process, something that you need to do for the rest of your life. Meeting your doctor from time to time is one of the many aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some of the tests that make up a regular body check up:
- General physical exam including weight, height, blood pressure, pulse rate etc.
- Blood tests and haemogram that determine infections, anemia, or onset of other diseases
- Lipid profile helps in assessing cardiovascular risk
- Liver function tests assess the functioning of liver or diagnose liver diseases
- Kidney function tests evaluate the proper functioning of kidneys
- Blood sugar measures blood glucose levels to identify diabetes or pre-diabetes
- Chest x-ray studies the chest and the organs located in the area
- ECG helps in determining the heart rate and uniformity of heartbeat.
- Ultrasonography studies the structures in the abdomen such as spleen, gallbladder, liver, pancreas and kidneys
- Urine examination is conducted for general assessment of health in terms of systemic or metabolic diseases.
- Health check-ups and healthy lifestyle
Preventive healthcare is not a choice, but a requirement. If you want to detect a disease that has so far been lying dormant, doing its dirty work in silence, then you need to get yourself checked periodically. At the same time, health checks are not just about preventing diseases, it is also about maintaining your health optimally. When you meet your healthcare provider, they will assess your general health and recommend screenings or tests that they think are required to get a deeper insight. Finding problems early are important for treatment to be more effective and curative. Certain diseases do not show signs and symptoms until they have caused a lot of damage. It is these diseases that need to be identified at the earliest and are often picked up by regular health checks.
However, while necessary; medical checkups alone cannot be responsible for good health. Leading a healthy life goes a lot beyond just meeting your doctor regularly. You also need to inculcate good habits and make a few sacrifices along the way. You need to consume a balanced diet and give-up all the harmful substances such as too much sugar or salt, alcohol, tobacco, processed foods etc. You must also add light to moderate exercise in your daily routine for best results. Healthy habits are your first line of defense against harmful diseases and health conditions.
It is extremely crucial to take good care of your health. So, don’t dread going to a doctor. Instead, make a part of your yearly routine. If you health is well then all is well.
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