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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Should you get a yearly physical exam? Why and why not?

In today’s fast-paced life, everyone has a stressful and rapid lifestyle, which eventually leads to an unhealthy body and mind. This stressful lifestyle results in stress-induced health issues such as asthma, heart disease,  diabetes, headache, depression, etc.

Moreover, due to unconventional methods of food contamination, dietary habits, and high pollution levels, the immunity power is challenged. Therefore, medical experts advise getting a complete body check-up regularly to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Should you get a yearly physical exam or not? This question has been in the news recently, as some studies have shown that the overuse of specific tests, which in some cases happen during annual physicals, could be harmful. So does this mean you should not go for a regular physical check-up? They are essential, but traditional means something different to different people. A lot of it depends on your age and your overall health. 

The common logic behind regular physicals is that they can detect problems early, while treatment is still an option, or a diagnosis can be easily made. It is also a time when you can discuss anything concerning you or get recommendations about lifestyle changes that might not seem appropriate when you are seeing your doctor for an acute problem.

And conversely, putting off your physical can lead to severe complications because some severe illnesses and diseases have no early physical signs or symptoms – but can be identified earlier, which is often done during a physical.

Most of us think that we don’t need Health Check-up until not diagnosed with a particular disease. But this is a wrong concept. A regular health check-up is always required and necessary for everyone. And for older adults, it is strongly recommended. There may be many health issues that may arise suddenly in the case of the elderly. Perhaps we do not need a full-scale checkup yearly, but knowing about the essentials of our health is necessary, including factors like pressure and sugar, mainly if we are obese or lead unhealthy lifestyles.

Regular health checkup lets you be on top of your health and reduce the risk of falling ill. Diagnose a disease before it advances to a critical stage. Ensure that you save money in the long run. It motivates you to lead a healthier and active lifestyle. Check-ups are essential for many reasons as they help us identify potential problems.

A health check-up includes a series of tests to check if your health is on the right track. It is also aimed at detecting the hidden disease and reducing its effects on your body.

Getting health check-ups regularly can actually increase life expectancy.

It is indeed said that Health is Wealth and Prevention is better than cure!

Here are some general guidelines you can follow:

  • If you’re under 30 and live a healthy lifestyle, meaning you don’t smoke or drink too much, don’t have known disease risk factors, get a check-up every two to three years.
  • If your age is within 30-40 and healthy, consider getting a physical every other year. 
  • Mammograms are now recommended for women above 40 baselines and should be repeated every 1-2 years. But other than that, most of us can still get by with a complete check-up every couple of years.
  • As we get older, many of us start to see more physical problems in general, and so at around age 50, you should begin getting annual physicals.
  • After 50, both men and women should first undergo colonoscopies to screen for colon cancer. This is not an annual test. Colonoscopies are only recommended every ten years unless you have a family history of colon cancer, colon polyps, or abnormal test results.
  • If you are overweight, you should also consider getting physicals on a more regular basis. Extra weight puts you in more problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

What can we expect at a health check-up?

  • Clinical history: The doctor will regularly check your medical record, such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, BMI, immunizations, etc., for future reference at each health check-up.
  • Family History Of Diseases: The doctor will discuss the diseases that are hereditary in your family.
  • Past medical history: The doctor will review all past medications and medical procedures such as surgeries.
  • Lifestyle information: such as working style, living conditions, work-life balance.
  • Habits: such as the use of recreational drugs, smoking, sexual practices.
  • Others: Specific body function information such as sleeping, bowel movements, hearing, vision, etc.

So how is this going to benefit?

Reducing health care costs

Regular health checkups help in diagnosing diseases early. This type of preventive health checkup would reduce the risk of chronic medical conditions or surgeries that involve higher medical expenses. This preventative approach will save money in the long run.

Eliminates the possibility of worsening health complications 

Diagnose a disease before it advances to a critical stage. Cancer is a disease that, if diagnosed later, can become difficult to treat. Regular health checkups can detect signs of cancer early. It further would contribute to complete recovery.

Increased awareness to manage a healthy lifestyle

The patient becomes more aware of his health and the potential problems and can take the precautions needed to protect his well-being. People in different stages of life living varying lifestyles will need different types of check-ups to evaluate their health status and take any preventive action that may be required. 

The best way to get the proper check-up is to go to a well-known and highly reputed medical center that offers several health check packages. This will enable the patient to find one that is right for them. Understanding one’s health and taking control of it is an empowering experience.

Increased Lifespan

“A stitch in time saves nine” – the preventive health care will ensure increased lifespan by preventing death by early detection and timely treatment post-diagnosis.

Conclusion

Health checkups are a significant part of one’s health cycle. Timely health checkups can help you diagnose the disease earlier and, hence, can be cured on time. If you haven’t gotten a health checkup yet and haven’t gotten it for years, the right time is now and every once in a year from now onwards.

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