As an old phrase says, prevention is better than cure. Likewise, our health is our own responsibility and hence we should keep ourselves updated of what’s going inside our body. With today’s lifestyle that includes more work and less physical activities, routine health check-ups are even more important. Similarly, an increasing rate of non-communicable diseases and ailments like diabetes, obesity and cholesterol, requires an individual to be more cautious about his/her health. Sedentary lifestyle and junk eating are again, major enhancers of week physical health.
With so many underlying reasons, falling prey to bad and weak health becomes easier, the question arises, how often should one indulge in a health check-up, quarterly or twice a year? Technically, the answer lies in our current health status itself. The recommendations for a routine health check-up lie majorly on age, medical history, health risk factors and the current status of your heath, says Tarun Sahni, Internal Medicine Specialist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.
“If you are already suffering from a chronic disease like diabetes, it’s always recommended to see your doctor more frequently. Basis the same, your doctor may suggest less or more time between your regular health checkups," says the doctor.
Also, frequency of regular health checkups should be more often, once you start aging. It should be once every year, at the age of 60. For the people between the age of 30 to 40 years, regular health tests can be taken once in a couple of years, barring they don’t have any chronic ailments, he tells IANSlife.
“Else, on being diagnosed with any chronic disease like hypertension, cholesterol or diabetes, it is recommended to increase the frequency of health checks for the particular ailments, between the age of 30 and 40 years."
Benefits of regular health checks
Dr. Sahni lists down some:
*Knowing about life threatening health risks, early before they cause a problem
*Helping in maintaining a good health and previously faced issues, if any
*Being more aware and cautious about serious health ailments
*Letting you develop a habit of maintaining a routine and good lifestyle
*In limiting extra costs incurred over healthcare on ignoring an underlying symptom or condition
*Improving the quality of life.
What makes a part of your health checkup? The doctor answers:
“On visiting for a routine health checkup, your doctor will refer to your past medical history, vaccination records, current symptoms, if any etc." On the basis of the collected information, your doctor will guide or order for further tests. A health checkup for an adult, should typically include an update of the following:
*Medical history and records
*Family medical history
*Reactions or allergies faced
*Prior medical tests
With the kind of lifestyle we lead today, men and women should typically be screened for:
*High blood pressure
*Vitamin deficiencies (especially vitamin D)
Ailments, women should be screened for separately:
*Mammogram, for breast cancer (between the age of 50-74 years)
Things you should keep in mind while talking to your doctor:-
According to the expert: “It is always advised to share your full medical history with the doctor. Even a smallest of symptom can be a breakthrough in guiding your doctor for an appropriate diagnosis." Other than this you can list down these few important things for communicating with your doctor:-
*Always list down your questions, before visiting your doctor and frame them on the basis of your current health status
*Never hesitate in asking questions from your doctor
*Always understand the dosage of the prescribed medication with your doctor
*Share all the information about the medication you have been taking
*Take a note of important things mentioned by your doctor
It is very important to take care of your health as any symptom ignored may turn out to be fatal in near future. Your health is a window that guides you of things being alright or wrong inside your body. Don’t take it for granted and indulge in taking routine checks, as and when directed by your doctors and current health status, he concludes.