Experts believe that optimum health can be achieved by maintaining an active lifestyle, engaging in a healthy diet, and subjecting oneself to regular medical checkups and tests.
Medical professionals agree that undergoing periodic health examinations can detect diseases early on and help cure them before they get worse. Additionally, checkups serve as a means to monitor an individual’s journey towards health and wellness.
Nonetheless, a large chunk of the population is believed to forego regular medical checkups due to the high costs of medical care services nationwide. In fact, some people just wish that their medical conditions would go away or assume they’ll get better with time – both are very dangerous.
Postponing scheduled health tests is a big no-no; checkups are crucial for your well-being. Apart from saving you money from much costlier treatments in the long run, knowing you’ve got a clean bill of health based on medical exam findings can give you peace of mind and allow you to sleep soundly at night.
Different Medical Exams That You Should Take Regularly
The type of medical checkup you should go for will be determined by your age, pre-existing medical conditions, or your family’s medical history. Your physician will help you out by giving you a list of medical tests that you need to undergo during certain dates of the year.
With the advent of technology, screenings and tests are now uncomplicated and can even be done conveniently through on site medical checks. Below are some of the medical checkups you should never skip from taking:
- Blood Pressure
This checkup is important because it measures the rate of blood flow to your arteries. High blood pressure is known as a ‘silent killer’ because it can attack at any moment. If your blood pressure is too high, you risk getting chronic diseases such as stroke or heart disease.
High blood pressure in itself is also a disease medically known as hypertension. Some medical facilities have incorporated this checkup for almost every doctor’s visit. Normal blood pressure is usually around 120 over 80. Any count over 130 is regarded as high blood pressure.
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
You may wonder what relationship your height has with your weight. Body Mass Index (BMI) is the measure of your weight against your height. Doctors will measure your BMI on almost every physical visit. When you’re overweight or underweight, you’re prone to opportunistic diseases like diabetes and even some types of cancer. If you’re not in the recommended range, your doctor will advise you on ways to get to your ideal BMI.
- Dental Checkup
Having toothaches shouldn’t be the only time you visit your dentist. You can’t brush cavities or gum diseases away, and that’s why it’s wise to have regular dental checkups. Your dentist will help you prevent oral diseases before they get worse. But if you already have them, you’ll get informed advice from a professional.
‘How many times should you have checkups?’: you may ask. Twice a year is the standard, but it could be more depending on the condition of your oral health.
- Bone Density Test
In this test, low doses of X-rays are used to show the strength or density of your bones. In medical terms, it may be referred to as a DEXA scan.
It’s evident that with age, bones become weaker and thinner. A bone density scan is used to assess and manage the risks of osteoporosis or bone degeneration. If your doctor determines that your bones are weakening, you can be put on medication.
It’s highly advisable to go for a bone density test regularly especially if you have signs of arthritis, have been on steroids for a long time, or are over 50 years.
- Lipid Profile
This test is done to measure the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol is the fat that your body needs to work properly.
High levels of bad cholesterol expose you to health conditions like heart disease, stroke, or obesity. If you have a family history of people with diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure, it’s even more vital for you to have a regular cholesterol levels test.
If you’re older than 20 years, you should get your cholesterol checked every four to six years. But if you have any underlying condition, your cholesterol should be checked as often as your doctor advises.
- Blood Glucose Test
This test, as the name suggests, is done to measure glucose levels in your blood.
Glucose is a type of sugar that’s your body’s primary source of energy. Your body contains a hormone called insulin that regulates glucose and transports it from your blood to your cells.
Excess glucose or too little glucose can cause serious health conditions. High glucose levels may cause diabetes; low glucose levels can be due to pre-existing conditions such as liver disease. High or low glucose levels could also be warning signs of developing diseases; thus, it’s imperative to have a regular blood glucose exam at a hospital near you.
- Skin Check
Usually, most people brush off any concerns when they see something strange on their skin. Yet any new markings, moles, or freckles on your body are worth the attention. Some skin cancers start with these things manifesting on the skin. Checking them up could prevent them from getting out of hand.
Even better, some skin cancers at their developmental stage are almost always curable. Don’t wait until you have something growing abnormally on your skin; go for that checkup regardless.
- Pap Test
This is a test done on women to screen for cervical cancer. A small brush is used to collect cells at the surface of the cervix and the area around it. The cells are then tested to determine if they are normal or cancerous.
There’s also another test called human papillomavirus (HPV) that’s also done to check for cervical cancer, especially in older women. It’s important to know this since a lot of women, if not all, are at risk of getting cervical cancer. If you’re 21 years or older, it’s recommended that you start these checkups.
- Prostate Cancer Screening
Prostate cancer is one of the cancers with the highest casualties among men. Here, a blood test called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is usually done to measure the level of PSA in the blood. If it’s high, then one is prone to prostate cancer. It’s advised that regular screenings begin when for males when they reach 45 years and above. However, those with a family history of prostate cancer should start earlier.
- Mental Health Checkup
Many a time, individuals shy away from approaching a therapist or counselor because of the stigma attached to mental illness.
But taking care of your mental wellness will ensure you live a quality life physically and mentally. Today, you can opt for the online sessions if you don’t want to attend the physical sessions. It’s so convenient that you can choose to make voice calls only without seeing the person you’re talking to.
It’s very easy to dismiss changes in your body until they spiral out of control and become unmanageable. Make it a habit to know how every part of your body is doing. ‘What you don’t know won’t harm you,’ they say, but when it comes to your health, what you don’t know may have dire consequences. A particular ailment may not immediately show up; don’t wait until it’s incurable; get that checkup today.