For many people, seeing the doctor or going to the hospital is a curative rather than a preventative exercise. Younger, fairly active individuals may have the idea that they only need to go for regular check-ups after the age of 45, or when they start to feel that something’s wrong. Perhaps we need to set the record straight on why medical check-ups are an integral part of maintaining good health at any age.
What happens at a check-up?
If you go to your doctor to have a check-up, he or she will look at the following:
- You’ll have a discussion about your family’s medical history and if you have any particular concerns.
- You’ll overview your own medical history – previous surgeries and tests, as well as the results.
- A review of your medication can be done, as well as a discussion of side-effects and possible changes to regimens.
- A discussion of lifestyle choices: smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise regime, and diet.
- Your doctor will measure your height, weight, heart-rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, lymph nodes, thyroid gland, as well as breathing and lungs.
- Men and women are recommended to seek additional testing of the prostate, cervix, and breasts; as well as a bone density test and chest X-ray.
Why should you go for check-ups?
As mentioned before, prevention is better than cure. Many illnesses have a higher curative success rate if detected early. However, many people will only seek medical attention when they are displaying severe symptoms or have to be rushed to hospital. Regular medical check-ups will also allow you to build a solid relationship with your doctor and allow him or her to get to know you so that if an emergency does arise, they can accurately inform the surgeon of your health status.
Many medical aid schemes do offer free health assessments to encourage healthy lifestyle behaviour and for members to be mindful of their physical and medical status. Members are encouraged to use the available resources and have a dental check-up every six months and a physical exam every one to two years if they are relatively healthy.
visuals are courtesy of : mayorhealthline.com and