Many people only see their GP when they’re really sick. Nowadays, preventative healthcare is being encouraged. With regular health checks, people become much more educated about their health and are empowered by their knowledge. People who seek medical advice pre-emptively look to lower their risks for various health conditions and diseases. In general, this is by looking at their weight, diet and activity level.
Doctors also urge patients to have regular health checks so that they’re able to stay in the best health. Prevention is so important. It means that there are fewer patients that require help for serious conditions and surgery. This is because regular health check-ups help you to discover health problems before they become a major issue. With regular contact with your GP, you’ll have the chance to see how your health is changing. Detecting problems early means you’ll have the best chance of improving or curing medical conditions and diseases. Ultimately, you’re more likely to live a longer and healthier life.
Check-ups could be every few months, biannually or yearly. Screenings for certain diseases and conditions often have a recommended time period – cervical smear tests for example.
Why regular checks can help
Regular check-ups allow you and your doctor to gather a long-term picture of your health. This allows subtle changes to be found and, thus, you are more likely to identify health problems early, which will make treating them much easier.
If you lead a lifestyle that is not particularly healthy, then regular health checks are even more important.
Regular health checks should become a part of your regular routine, just like servicing your car. These are just as important as maintaining a healthy diet and keeping fit.
How doctors can help
Your GP will be able to advise you on how your lifestyle affects your health. Also, if you have a good relationship with your doctor, they will be able to see subtle changes in your health status.
If I’m healthy, do I need a full-body health check?
Yes. It’s a great idea to have a check-up even if you’re in tip-top shape because this can be a reference point for future check-ups.
What are the benefits of regular health checks?
- You can nip medical problems in the bud. With regular check-ups, your doctor will be able to diagnose a problem sooner, before it advances and becomes a larger problem. Screenings are carried out depending on your sex, age, lifestyle and history. Doctors can give you advice on different types of screening tests to help detect specific problems early.
- Blood tests. A blood test can give you so much information about your health. For example, they can check your cholesterol, check for diabetes, cancer markers, anaemia, as well as diseases of the vascular system. Blood tests can also evaluate how your organs are functioning. For example, the kidneys, liver, thyroid and heart.
- Identifying stress-induced problems. Nowadays, we live in a world that is really hectic and faced-paced in terms of work and lifestyles. Stress can induce a range of conditions in the body. An increase in anxiety and stress has been found to relate directly to a large amount of different physical and psychological diseases. These conditions include high blood pressure, mental disorders, weight gain, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, depression and some gastrointestinal problems. Having a regular medical check will help discover these conditions and their potential causes before they become really severe. With regular checks, you can get support and advice that will help keep the stress at bay.
- You’re abreast of your health. Knowing where you stand health-wise is a great position to be in. If you know you’re at risk of developing Type II diabetes, for example, you can do something about it and change your lifestyle to avoid developing the condition.
Health Check Checklist
Here is a list of health screening tests you could ask your GP for:
- Annual well visit (to include blood pressure, physical exam, BMI, preventative screening)
- Cancer screenings (to include colorectal, skin, breast, cervical, testicular, prostate)
- Sensory screenings (to include eye test, hearing test where symptoms exist)
- Immunizations (to include boosters of necessary immunization that may include tetanus, diphtheria, influenza, MMR, Chickenpox, shingles, HPS (Human Papillomavirus), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal, pneumococcal)
To summarise, there are many benefits to regular health checks. These include:
- A reduction in the risk of getting ill
- Early detection of health conditions that could be life-threatening or serious
- An increase in chances for successful treatment and cure
- Risk-limitation by monitoring existing medical conditions closely
- An improvement in health and an increase in lifespan
- Reducing dental costs by catching problems early
- Developing a good relationship with your GP so that treatment will be efficient
- Having a frequent update on new medical technology or information that is available.