Ask any grown-up if they’ve had their annual health check-up and most likely the response you will get would be a resonant “NO.” More often than not, an annual medical check-up is something that gets overlooked. In this fast-paced world, it is easy to get a myriad of physical ailments and most people wait until they are ill to see the doctor. With so much going on in their lives, people forget to schedule this much needed check-up. Sure you exercise regularly, eat healthy and practice stress management, but there still is a lot to gain from an annual health check-up. You may appear to be healthy, which could be deceiving since there are many illnesses in the initial stages that may have no or few symptoms until late in their progression.
Think of it as a tune up for your body and mind. An annual check-up is a comprehensive review of an individual’s health. It is an opportunity for health professionals to make an in-depth analysis of your overall health condition. It is also a chance for you to tell your trusted doctor your symptoms, complaints and concerns regarding your health status.
To get most out of these clinic visits, you have to be upfront honest with your doctor. Do not be reluctant to share facts about your lifestyle habits, behaviours as well as significant life changes, even if you think they are insignificant. It is crucial that your personal and family medical history records are declared as this will enable your doctor to identify certain health risks and effectively come up with a personalised plan to ensure that your health maintenance needs are met. Information such as past illnesses, vaccinations, and prescribed medications are reviewed. Family history will determine if you are at risk of certain diseases. Routine screenings such as ECG and blood chemistry tests can detect signs of diseases at their earliest stages.
Vital signs such as height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate are taken to set a baseline measurement. Physical examination will be performed by the attending doctor as part of the annual medical check-up.
As soon as your annual medical results are available, a follow-up medical consultation should be made. It is where the doctor will explain the findings of the physical examination and laboratory tests and makes the necessary medical assessment & recommendations. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need clarification regarding a test result, a medical term, or want more information about your condition. Be pro-active and take advantage of this meaningful discussion with your doctor in setting goals and developing health plans for you to achieve better health. It is the perfect time to receive health counselling, get professional advice in improving your quality of life, and consequently increasing your life expectancy. Furthermore, knowing your health status can give you peace of mind. Nothing is more rewarding than knowing that you are at the right side of health.
It is recommended though to have a family doctor to do all your health checks. By being able to establish a good relationship with your doctor ensures you of better communication. When an illness arises your doctor will know the best treatment for you.
Regular annual medical check-up will help you and your family stay healthier. All the information you learned about your health will contribute to your children’s well-being and conceivably keep you around longer to guide them to adulthood.
Remember that annual health check-up is necessary as you age. As people get older, they become vulnerable and more prone to various medical conditions, possible chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases and stroke. Many of these conditions, if detected early, can be efficiently managed and complications can be prevented.
Unfortunately, a lot of older people have overlooked the need to do an annual medical check-up. They say it’s lengthy and costly. The prime reason why people avoid doctors is because they feel that nothing’s wrong with them until it’s too late.
So make room in your calendar once a year for that trip to the doctor. Remember, an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure. Schedule one soon, and do it for the ones who love you and the ones you love.