You must be familiar with the old adage, “Prevention is better than cure”. One of the best examples of this pertains to your health. If you want to know the value of health, ask this question to a man or woman with health problems. Remember, illness can strike almost anybody at any time. Many of these problems either pertain to your genes, your food habits or your lifestyle. Hence, one of the best ways to overcome this big question mark over your health is to go for regular preventive health check-ups. Testing is not only for the sick.
What do we understand by preventive health check-up? As the very word suggests, preventive health check-up refers to a series of medical tests and examinations undertaken to understand measures to be taken for disease prevention. Preventive health check-up can not only detect problems at an early stage, but also evaluate your disposition to a certain health problem and take preventive measures in advance. The whole idea of preventive health check-up is to detect behaviours, habits and infections before it becomes a crisis.
Most of us lead busy lives with disorganized life styles and erratic food habits. The biggest casualty of such behaviour is your health. That is where preventive medical check-ups chip in with important inputs.
a) It helps identify diseases well in advance and make appropriate changes to your habits, lifestyle, diet, medication etc.
b) Such check-ups act as a warning signal and draw you away from unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, junk food, lack of exercise etc. You take better care of yourself.
c) Reduced anxiety about future health problems means you gain peace of mind and that shows in your attitude towards yourself, your family and your friends.
d) Most diseases can be either controlled or fully cured if identified at an early stage and appropriate corrective action taken. That is what preventive health check-ups do.
e) You are inclined to also manage your health risk with adequate insurance, which ensures that your family budget does not go for a toss.
While health problems can strike you at any age, there are certain illnesses that are more age specific. Generally, hypertension and obesity hits people in middle-age. Similarly, bond density hits at a later age, and especially women. Here is a quick guide.
• For children under 10, key preventive health tests would be percussion, ophthalmic tests, weight tests, test of reflexes, dental tests, vitamin tests etc. Young children are also screened for obesity, anaemia, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis etc.
• For persons in the age group of 20 to 30, key preventive health tests would be weight check, lipid profile, pelvic examination, pap smear (for women), eye test etc.
• For people in the age group of 30 to 40, key preventive health tests would be blood pressure, lipid profile, dental examination, Hepatitis, BMI test, cancer screening etc.
• For people above 40 years of age, key preventive health tests will be screening for hypertension, cholesterol, heart diseases, diabetes, lung scan, osteoporosis screening, bone mineral density etc.
• Finally, some of the preventive health tests for people above 60 include blood pressure, weight test, prostate screening, mammogram/HPV/Pelvic screening (for women), eye test, hearing test, bond density tests, Aneurysm, depression screening etc.
Eventually, if the tests are clean, it not only is a confidence booster, but also assures that your health is on the right track.
Your health must be monitored on a continuous basis based on your current lifestyle, sedentary habits, pollution, food habits, other habits etc. Preventive health check-ups are just a data support for you. Once the problem is identified, nipping it in the bud with appropriate lifestyle changes or dietary changes is your responsibility.
There are 3 important things you must remember about preventive health check-ups. Once you cross the age of 40, you are automatically vulnerable to numerous risks. Firstly, make a clean confession of symptoms, problems to your examiner. Secondly, follow the lifestyle and dietary changes that the doctor / examiner suggests. That is the whole purpose. Lastly, do a follow-up. If you are trying to control diabetes or hypertension, keep a record and check that your efforts are paying off.
Preventive check-ups are quite intense so most problems do get detected. From that point, the onus is on you take the action plan to its logical conclusion.