Prevention is better than cure.  Around the world the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in lockdowns and avoidance of regular health check ups. This is creating a long term risk of developing other illnesses. And if you’re over the age of 45,  or are living with a chronic condition, it’s even more important to have your tests to ensure longevity.

Why we need regular check-ups

  • To improve health and increase lifespan 
  • Pick up on dangerous health issues before they become problematic 
  • Reduce the cost of healthcare over time by avoiding expensive medical services 
  • Increase the chances for efficient treatment and cure 
  • Be informed on new medical advances or available technologies 

Your age, family history and general health will influence the regularity of your checkups. Your doctor will be able to determine this specific to your profile.

Here are the 7 most important  checkups you need to schedule throughout the year 

1. Blood pressure 

This is a pretty routine checkup. It  looks at the condition of your heart health by measuring the pressure in your arteries as your heart pumps. Checking your blood pressure is usually also part of the screening for hypertension, and usually forms part of any doctor’s appointment. By checking your blood pressure regularly, you can help to prevent heart disease.  Lower blood pressure is a key factor in longevity.

2. Cholesterol 

According to WebMD, a cholesterol test is an important tool to help screen for coronary artery disease. It’s a simple way to help prevent this disease early on, especially because high cholesterol doesn’t usually present with any specific symptoms.

“More than 71 million adults in America have high cholesterol levels, a condition that can lead to heart attacks or strokes — diseases that claim a life every 40 seconds! If you have high cholesterol, protect yourself by changing your diet, exercising and taking prescribed medications.”

If you are overweight you are at high risk for developing a number of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

 

check ups3. Blood sugar test 

This test is performed to measure the amount of glucose in the blood, and can help to screen for diabetes.  Again, this test is critically important for your long term health span.

4. Dental check up

We tend to associate dental visits with the pain of getting a cavity filled. But dentists are also trained to check for serious health issues like cancers of the mouth, head and neck, which means these visits can potentially save your life. Dental checkups also have the purpose of doing a professional cleaning, as well as preventing serious dental problems and gum disease.

5.  Eyes check ups

Not only can an eye exam help to screen for overall health issues as well as eye problems like glaucoma or macular degeneration, it also allows your eye care professional to help you correct or adapt to vision changes. In doing so, he or she can provide you with tips on how to take better care of your eyes

As we spend more time working at the computer be sure to get your eyes examined regularly — every 1 to 2 years until age 60 — to check for common problems like presbyopia, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Go more often if you have vision problems or risk factors for eye problems.

6. Cancer screenings for:

  • Colon cancer: colonoscopy
  • Skin cancer:  Those years of getting “a healthy tan” can lead to something not so healthy — skin cancer. Luckily, most skin cancers are curable. So don’t forget to ask your doctor to check your skin if you find any moles or skin changes.
  • Breast cancer: mammogram
  • Cervical cancer: pap smear
  • Prostate cancer: prostate exam and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing

7. Auto-immunity

Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system attacks the normal tissue within joints, vasculature, and other organ systems, causing inflammation, pain, diminished mobility, fatigue, and other non-specific symptoms.1 The strong overlap of signs and symptoms among the autoimmune diseases can lead to delays in diagnosis and appropriate treatment. According to a survey by the Autoimmune Diseases Association, it takes up to 4.6 years and nearly 5 doctor visits to receive a proper autoimmune disease diagnosis.  It may take a while to diagnose an auto immune disease, so if you have indicators, it’s best to be consistent with your testing.

How to visit your doctor safely 

Here are some ways to help keep your health check ups regular.

  • Call ahead and find out what steps are in place to reduce any exposure to the COVID-19 virus. 
  • The general guidelines still apply, such as sanitising before you enter the premises, keeping your distance from other patients, sneezing or coughing into your elbow, and wearing a clean mask throughout your appointment. If you’re experiencing any flu-like symptoms before the appointment, it might be best to reschedule until you’re feeling better.
  • Use touch less payment options, such as paying via EFT
  • Opt for telemedicine appointments (such as video/phone consults, email conversations or home screenings) wherever possible. Ask your doctor about any telemedicine options that may be available
  • Consider mail order for your prescriptions so that fewer pharmacy visits are required. You can also opt to order online where possible 

References

Medical Tests for Women in Their 40s. Medically Reviewed https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/milestone-medical-tests-40

Screening and Laboratory Diagnosis of Autoimmune Diseases Using Antinuclear Antibody Immunofluorescence Assay and Specific Autoantibody Testing: Paul P. Doghramji, MDhttps://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/about_us/sponsored_resources/Quest_%20ANA-IFA_Monograph.pdf

mm

Em Sloane

I am an introverted nature lover, and freelance writer. I love sharing new insights on how to live a healthier life using nature's gifts. Be kind. Be generous. Love. Peace. Humanity.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.