Why are health checkups essential for everyone?
A life without health is like a river without water’ – Maxime Lagacé
We all have grown up hearing the phrase that health is wealth. Yet most of us never care about our health and focus on building wealth. Though focusing on earning money is not wrong but neglecting your health is. At least lost money can come back if you work harder (for which you need to be healthy) but once your health is affected, the value of money is nothing. Every day we come across new cases of lifestyle diseases and some serious diseases in our friend circle, family, or even in newspapers. And the most shocking part is that most of these cases are of the people in their 40s. People are suffering at such an early age. The human lifespan is continuously decreasing yet we all are so casual about our health and forgo preventive health checkups.
We have become so materialistic that we value nonliving things like cars, mobiles, etc more than our life and the lives of our family. We can take our cars for its service regularly so as to maintain its performance but when it comes to us to go and get our health check-ups done, we get lazy or give infinite reasons to avoid such tests. We can spend thousands of rupees on our vacations, clothes, or parties but when doctors ask us to get a medical test done, we find it a waste of money. We can spend 200 bucks on just one burger but when it comes to doctors’ fees, we find it a useless expense as we think that doctors are just making money by recommending the medicines and medical tests for which they get commissions.
Because we all have a psychology that we won’t get sick, we are healthy and we are taking enough care of our bodies. The biggest example of this is the current scenario. The world is fighting Corona Virus but some people think that they won’t get affected by Corona because they are healthy or God will take care of them. This notion is even more famous among elders who actually are more prone to any disease including Corona Virus. This misconception is leading to many problems and the consequences are faced by no one else but you and your family.
Why Health checkups are important?
One of the main reasons why regular health checkups are necessary is the lifestyle we have these days. We work for long hours sitting in the same place and there is a lot of work-life stress. We prefer outside food than cooking food at home. Also, we do fewer physical activities as compared to our ancestors which means lesser blood flow which directly or indirectly affects our hormones and can result in a number of lifestyle diseases.
It’s not just only to do with adults even children get affected. The reason why even children these days are suffering from diabetes is their lifestyle. The outdoor games are now replaced by computer games and mobile games. Children like more to sit and use their mobiles and social media to connect with friends rather than going out and meeting them. Not just this but there is an increase in intake of junk food over homemade hygienic food. Less physical activity and unhealthy eating lead to slowly gaining weight to obesity to hormonal changes and finally to lifestyle diseases like diabetes. Adding to this is the stress of studies and peer pressure which also can affect a child’s health.
We need to understand that our bodies can get affected by certain medical conditions even when we think that our health is at a peak. There are possibilities that certain signs and symptoms go unnoticed by us which can later turn into serious medical problems. But if we regularly undergo health checkups then there are high chances that we can safeguard ourselves, our child, and our families from so many diseases and live a healthier life.
Some benefits of regular health checkups:
- Early detection of disease will help in early prevention or cure. Heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers can often be picked up in their early stages, when treatment may be more successful.
- In case you already have some illness, regular health checkups will help in the prevention of other related diseases.
- Early detection of symptoms of illness through health checkups would also make it easier for doctors to treat you with less harsh treatments in case of some serious illnesses
- We would be aware of our allergies and deficiencies
- It is easier to manage these health checkups financially as compared to the cost of emergency treatments or long term medication.
- It helps in assessing the risk of future medical issues
- It also helps in keeping track of our mental health
- We can get a custom made health plan and follow it as per the requirements of our body
- We can plan our finances accordingly just in case we or someone from our family is dealing with any long term disease.
- We don’t have to face the unexpected and be prepared in advance
Some essential health checkups:
- Regular blood testing is one of the easiest and important way of taking care of our physical well being
- complete blood count (CBC)
- This test helps in the evaluation of the overall health and detecting disorders
- chemistry (basic metabolic) panel
- It is a combination of tests that helps doctors to assess important functions in your body
- thyroid panel
- These tests are a series of blood tests used to measure how well your thyroid gland is working. The thyroid gland is responsible for helping to regulate many of the body’s processes, such as metabolism, energy generation, and mood.
- Nutrient tests for levels of vital nutrients, such as iron or B vitamins
- Eye test
- Dental test
- Cholesterol check
- Vitamin D
- Blood Sugar Test
Some essential test especially for women
- Breast cancer screening ( for women between the age of 50-69 years)
- Cervical Screening Test (Your first CST is due at 25 years of age and is conducted every 5 years)
- Polycystic Ovary Disease (especially for 16 years+ women with symptoms such as facial hair, sudden weight gain or loss, anxiety)
There are many good labs that conduct these tests in a package which makes it quite affordable. You can also take a yearly family package.
Here are a few famous labs you can check out:
Other things you can do to maintain your health
1. Encourage Cooking at home: Cooking is an essential life skill. But at the same, it helps you to be healthy. Home-cooked food is hygienic and fresh. This also allows you the ability to manage food allergies and sensitivities, as well as portion sizes. This would keep many diseases away from you. Also, it is important that you teach the importance of cooking to your children as it would not only help now but the whole life. Children these days prefer junk food but it is our duty as parents to make them realize why it is important to know how to cook and how it promotes a healthy lifestyle.
2. Maintain body hygiene: Your body is your home where you have to live till you die. Keeping your body clean is the least we can do to stay healthy. Take bath daily, wear clean clothes, use an intimate wash, brush your teeth twice daily, have trim and clean nails.
3. Avoid smoking and drinking: One of the biggest reasons for serious diseases is alcohol and smoking. So if you can’t quit it at once then start by reducing its intake. It would improve your health so much.
4. Maintain a healthy diet: Cooking only is not enough if you don’t cook healthy food that helps you in providing all the necessary vitamins and nutrients necessary for your body.
5. Physical exercise: Exercise is the key to a healthy life. It keeps you active and helps in maintaining weight which in turn helps to stop the rising of many lifestyle diseases. You can choose any type of exercise ranging from yoga, Zumba, or gym that suits you. But do something
6. Take multivitamins as prescribed by doctors to fulfill the deficiency if any in your body.
- Everyone especially people of the age of 18 or more should regularly go for health checkups. For girls, once they start having periods, mothers should take them to a gynaecologist to make this new transition easier and for keeping check of the health changes.
- Whenever you buy any packaged food, do read the ingredients and calorie labels to make sure you are buying the right products.
- Make sure that you and your family get all the necessary vaccinations.
- It is good to have a family doctor as it makes it easier for him/her to keep track of genetic diseases like diabetes, cancer which can travel from one generation to other.
- Don’t consider health checkups as unnecessary expenses. It is very important to know the condition of your body internally and externally. It would only help you to live a better and less stressful life.