We all know how important our health is and that it’s helpful to be proactive when we can. For those of us with chronic illness, we may be all the more aware of our bodies and symptoms so we can better pick up on any new oddities that may need investigating. There are ways in which we can seek early signs of potential problems and monitor our health to ensure that our bodies are doing as well as possible. This collaborative post covers just a few of the health checks that you might want to consider in proactively looking after your health.
Reactive Vs Proactive : The Importance Of Health Checks
We do what we can to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle, but the need for this is often heightened when we experience something untoward. Generally speaking, we only tend to go to the doctors when something is wrong and we need to be checked out.
Modern medicine is fantastic and these days many illnesses and conditions can be treated, or at the very least managed. Unfortunately, there are still various conditions that have no cure or that can’t be treated further down the line if they’re not quickly identified.
It’s sensible to have regular health checks, but many of us typically wait until there’s something wrong to be checked out. There could be various reasons for this, like cost implications, not wanting to bother a doctor without any symptoms, or White Coat Syndrome, aka fear of doctors and all things medical. These sorts of tests and assessments can be quite quick and simple, and one of them may just be a game-changer.
Your health is worth looking after, so consider these checks part of your self-care when being proactive to look after your wellbeing.
Weight & BMI Checks
If you have a reliable set of scales – preferably digital, so there is no chance of confusion over the results – this is one thing you can do and monitor at home. There are also tools on devices, such as the Wii Fit, which will calculate your body mass index (BMI). This measure is used to gauge a rough idea as to whether your weight is ‘optimal’ for your height, gender and age.
Knowing your weight can be helpful when it comes to setting achievable goals, whether it’s for losing, gaining or maintaining weight. If you don’t have access to scales or fitness tools for BMI measurement then your general practitioner or nurse can weigh you, or even your local pharmacist. They will also give you advice on weight management if you’d like it.
Eyesight & Hearing Tests
Hearing difficulties are becoming increasingly common among young people due to the use of earbuds and headphones, working in loud environments, and the likes of exposure to noisy jet engines and music concerts. While it was generally deemed an older person test before, it is something we should be routinely tested for at a younger age now to pick up on any problems that may be beginning with our hearing.
Regular eye tests are also necessary, both to check eye health and to keep an ‘eye’ (pun intended) on our vision. Eyesight may gradually worsen with age without you being all that aware of it, or it may be that you’re finding certain things harder to see than you once did. Benign and potentially serious issues, from dry eyes to tumours, can be picked up during eye tests too. These days, optical appointments are more convenient than ever; if you do need glasses, you can get the lenses easily by obtaining your prescription, mailing it in and having them sent out to you.
Glucose & Cholesterol Health Checks
High cholesterol has long been thought of as a warning sign as it may cause clogging of arteries, increasing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Meanwhile, high blood glucose levels can be a symptom of diabetes and can be fatal if left untreated. Detecting these early will make a major difference for health in general, allowing for appropriate treatment or diet and lifestyle changes to be implemented early.
Bowel Cancer Screening
It is recommended that people over 50 years old be screened for colon and bowel cancer every couple of years. There are various ways to screen for this, either through internal checks or through basic tests on stool samples. In the UK, the NHS bowel cancer screening service involves a letter being posted out to you, where you complete the sample request and pop it back in the post. If you are younger than 50 and have any signs of bowel cancer, you can book with your physician for testing as soon as possible.
Dental Health Checks
It is recommended that you go to your dentist every six months for hygiene check-ups and any minor dental work that may be required, such as fillings. Like other check-ups, they may show us that there is an issue to be aware of, like chipped teeth, plaque or weakened enamel. From there, we can get advice on what to do and what to avoid, which may just prevent the need for more invasive procedures being required.
Blood Pressure Tests
Frequent blood pressure checks are needed because high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, can place a significant strain on the arteries and organs. In turn, this may increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Low blood pressure doesn’t get as much attention as it’s not seen as extreme, but some people can experience dizziness and fainting spells and severe low blood pressure can be very dangerous.
Your GP may test BP routinely or you may want to ask for it to be checked on if it’s been a while. There are also home blood pressure machines that can be purchased at a reasonable price so you can keep an eye on your levels yourself.
A Final Word On Health Checks
These are just a sample of health checks that can be done, but there are plenty more important tests that could be included. For instance: mammograms, bone density tests, mole checks, various blood tests, smear tests, prostate checks, and so on. You may want to consider all manner of tests as routine, whether or not you have any symptoms, family history or other potential dispositions.
It’s important to remember that even if you have such tests on a regular basis that you may still have queries or concerns. If you experience anything you’re unsure of or feel is a little ‘off’ with your body, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss as soon as possible. Your health is worth monitoring and looking after.
Related Reading :
- Blood Pressure – What You Need To Know
- Medichecks Home Blood Tests – Reviewed & Recommended
- Ladies, Lend Me Your Ears. It’s Time To Talk Smears
[ This is a collaborative post & as such the ideas expressed here are those of the author ]