Want to stay healthy? Ensure your well-being with these 10 routine health checkups

health check up
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Health is the utmost priority. This is true for all everywhere. With regular health checkups, you can keep track of the changes in your body. They can also help you prevent health problems by identifying risk factors and providing you with information on how to reduce your risk. Health checkups allow healthcare professionals to provide personalised guidance on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Knowing that you are getting regular health checkups can give you peace of mind and help you feel more confident about your health. And you can have more control over your life. Here are 10 regular checkups you should do to keep track of your health and your life:

Blood and urine tests

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Set of vials and test tubes of blood. Photo: Pexels/ Karolina Grabowska

Blood and urine tests are vital tools for assessing overall health. Blood tests provide insights into various aspects of your health, including blood cell counts, liver and kidney function, electrolyte balance, and more. They often involve drawing a small amount of blood from a vein, usually from your arm.

Urine tests, on the other hand, analyse urine for indicators of kidney function, hydration levels, and potential health issues. Providing a urine sample is typically a simple process that involves collecting a midstream sample in a sterile container. These tests help doctors diagnose and monitor conditions, track the effectiveness of treatments, and catch potential issues early.

Blood pressure checkup

high blood pressure
Blood pressure metre is one of the must-have medical devices. Photo: Pixnio

Regular monitoring of blood pressure is crucial for detecting hypertension, or high blood pressure. This non-invasive test measures the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. Blood pressure is expressed as two numbers, systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number). The test is painless and involves wrapping an inflatable cuff around your arm and using a device called a sphygmomanometer to measure the pressure.

Hypertension often has no symptoms, so monitoring it helps prevent heart disease, stroke, and other complications. Individuals with risk factors or a history of high blood pressure should have their blood pressure checked regularly, as well as anyone above a certain age, as recommended by their healthcare provider.

Cholesterol levels

cholesterol-test representational image
Representational image. Photo: Picpedia

Cholesterol level assessment is crucial for assessing heart health and managing cholesterol levels. A blood test measures different types of cholesterol, including LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol. The process involves a blood draw, similar to other blood tests.

Monitoring cholesterol levels is important to reduce the risk of heart disease and related conditions. Those with a family history of heart disease, those with high blood pressure, and individuals with other risk factors should have their cholesterol levels checked periodically.

Blood sugar level

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Representational image. Photo: Pexels/ Nataliya Vaitkevich

Blood sugar, or glucose, levels are assessed through a blood test. This test is essential for the early detection and management of diabetes. It involves a blood draw, usually from a vein in the arm.

Monitoring blood sugar helps individuals understand their risk of diabetes, and for those already diagnosed, it aids in managing the condition. Regular testing is recommended for individuals with diabetes, those at risk due to obesity or family history, and during routine medical checkups.

Dental checkup

dental hygiene and dental care for all
Representational image. Photo: Pexels/ Andrea Piacquadio

Regular dental checkups are vital for promoting oral health. These visits usually include a dental examination, cleaning, and sometimes X-rays. The dentist examines your teeth, gums, and mouth for signs of decay, gum disease, and other issues. X-rays help identify problems not visible to the naked eye, such as cavities between teeth or bone loss.

This prevents dental problems, maintains oral hygiene, and catches potential issues before they become severe. It is generally recommended to have a dental checkup every six months, but the frequency may vary based on individual needs and oral health status.

Eye exam

An eye exam is important for identifying vision problems and eye diseases. During an eye exam, an optometrist or ophthalmologist assesses your visual acuity, examines the health of your eyes, and may check for conditions like glaucoma or macular degeneration.

The process involves reading eye charts, using special instruments to look into your eyes, and possibly dilating your pupils for a more comprehensive view of the retina. Regular eye exams can detect issues early, ensure proper vision correction, and maintain overall eye health. Adults should have a comprehensive eye exam at least every two years, or as recommended by their eye care professional.

Thyroid function

Thyroid gland
Thyroid gland

A thyroid function test evaluates thyroid hormone levels to ensure proper metabolism and overall health. This blood test measures levels of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). It is commonly done by drawing blood from a vein in your arm.

Thyroid function tests are important for detecting conditions like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Individuals with symptoms such as fatigue, weight changes, or changes in heart rate, as well as those with a family history of thyroid disorders, should undergo thyroid function testing. The frequency depends on the specific situation and medical advice.

Body mass index (BMI)

body mass index bmi regular health checkups
Photo: Pexels/ Ketut Subiyanto

The body mass index (BMI) is a simple calculation based on your weight and height. It helps assess weight-related health risks and whether an individual is underweight, average weight, overweight, or obese.

BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. While it does not directly measure body fat, it serves as a useful screening tool. To calculate your BMI, you can use online calculators or consult healthcare professionals. Regularly checking your BMI can help you monitor weight changes and potential health risks associated with weight fluctuations.

Cancer screenings

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Photo: Pexels/ Klaus Nielsen

Cancer screenings, such as mammograms for breast cancer, Pap smears for cervical cancer, and colonoscopies for colorectal cancer, are essential for early detection and prevention. These tests involve various procedures, such as mammograms using X-rays to detect breast abnormalities, Pap smears collecting cells from the cervix for analysis, and colonoscopies examining the colon and rectum for polyps or signs of cancer. The specific test and frequency depend on age, gender, and risk factors. Regular screenings are crucial for identifying cancer at an early, more treatable stage.

STI screenings

sexually transmitted diseases people
Photo: Pexels/ Jernej Furman

STI (sexually transmitted infection) screenings are important for sexually active individuals to ensure sexual health. These tests involve analysing blood, urine, or other samples to detect infections like HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and more.

The process depends on the specific infection being tested for. Regular STI screenings are essential to catch and treat infections early, prevent complications, and reduce the risk of transmission. The frequency of testing depends on individual risk factors, sexual behaviours, and the recommendations of healthcare providers.

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