Regular medical checkups are important, however, many of us do not realise how beneficial checking in with the doctor can be. Our busy lives mean getting to the doctor can interrupt one’s schedule, but developing a deadly disease can interrupt one’s life. Spending a little time, every 12 months, checking your health could save you a lot of pain.
Getting a routine test can help in detecting the initial stages of ill health. Many diseases, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, do not have obvious symptoms at first; other diseases (i.e. cancer) may only produce common flu like symptoms in early stages. Waiting until ailments become debilitating could be dangerous as major warning signs of disease often do not appear until it is too late. It has been said ‘prevention is better than cure’ and when it comes to your health this saying rings loud and true.
A routine check with your GP should include a blood pressure test, height, weight and blood works (blood count, glucose, cholesterol, thyroid function and electrolytes, etc). Over 50 year olds’ are recommended to have a regular ECG (“electrocardiogram”), faecal occult blood test to check blood count in faecal matter, colonoscopy and eye sight check. It is recommended that women have regular mammograms, pap smears and bone mass density testing; while men should have a prostate check and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. An annual skin cancer check is also beneficial, though the Cancer Council recommends that you or your spouse habitually check own your skin every 3 months for signs of change.
For most people having these regular checks reveals nothing out of the ordinary and just provides a baseline reference for future testing. For others these tests can pick up early stages of disease allowing for immediate treatment, increasing one’s chance of survival. There are countless stories of how regular annual examinations have saved lives; you may even know someone with a story like this.
As it is the beginning of a new year our Pro-Fit Team would like to encourage you to take some time before things get too crazy to have a medical check-up – do not wait – you never know it could save your life!