Have you Got Your Annual Check-up Done Yet?

Generally, we visit the doctor only when there is something wrong. Sure, you feel fit and healthy and have not called in sick even once in the past year. But given that we lead very sedentary lives that are high on stress and low on activity, getting that annual health check-up is the only guarantee that your health is at its 100%.

With lifestyle related diseases rampant today, getting regular health check-ups is one way to ensure that you can take a preventive approach to disease management. Some of the factors to take into consideration are your age, family history, and lifestyle choices. Family history, in a number of cases, influences the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer as well. With the help of regular health check-ups, problems can be identified earlier and treated on time. So how should you prepare for a health check-up?

The first step that you should take when preparing to take an annual health exam is by identifying a good physician. Once that has been done prepare a checklist which details:

• Your family medical history

• Types and number of surgeries

• Smoking history

• Medication and immunization list

• Allergies list

• Life changes that impact overall health

• Weight gain

You should also know that there are three kinds of health check-ups; routine physical examination, preventive health check and master health check-up. Preventive health check-ups are especially important for people with risk factors owing to family history or lifestyle choices such as smoking. A routine health exam assesses the condition of an individual’s general health while a master health check-up is more detailed and aids early detection of health problems. According to a number of studies, getting a whole battery of tests annually is not required since some of the invasive ones can actually have a negative health impact in the long term. If you are of relatively good health, have made the right lifestyle choices, and have no family history of heart-related diseases, diabetes, cancer or strokes here are a few things that you should ideally get assessed annually.

Haemogram:

A haemogram is a broad screening blood test to check for anomalies such as anaemia, infection, and other diseases. A haemogram check:

• Haemoglobin

• Packed cell volume

• R.B.C. count

• MCHC/MCV/MCH

• E.S.R.

• Peripheral Smear

• Platelet Count

• Total W.B.C./Differential Count

Biochemical Parameters:

The biochemical profile forms the database for most diagnostic investigations of internal diseases and includes:

• Fasting Sugar

• HbA1C

• Urea /Creatinine

• Uric Acid

• PP Blood Sugar (only for diabetic patients)

Lipid Profile:

Lipid Profile tests help identify an individual’s risk to heart disease and depending on the results, along with other associated factors, are taken into consideration to develop a treatment plan.

• Total Cholesterol

• HDL Cholesterol

• LDL Cholesterol

• Triglycerides

• Total Cholesterol /HDL Ratio

Liver Function Tests:

Liver Function Tests, also known as Liver Enzyme Tests are done to detect if the liver is functioning properly. These tests detect inflammation and damage to the liver and check the level of the certain liver enzymes. A typical Liver Function test will include:

• Total Protein/Albumin/Globulin

• SGPT/SGOT

• Alkaline Phosphatase

• GGTP

• S. Bilirubin

General Tests:

Apart from the above tests, there are a couple of preventive tests that fall under the category of general tests to check the overall health of an individual and identify if he/she is at risk for deadly diseases like cancer. These tests include:

• Complete Urine Analysis

• Stool Test(optional)

• ECG (Resting)

• X-Ray Chest

• Ultrasonogram of the abdomen

• Pap Smear (for women)

• Clinical examination

Along with getting all these tests done make sure that you keep a record of them as well. Instead of keeping mounds of physical records that can be easily displaced, look at digitizing them and store them on a secure healthcare platform that you can easily access from your smartphone. That way you are in control of your medical history and can pull it out whenever you need – anytime, anywhere.

Health check ups at Companies, the Good & Bad.

We tend to ignore medical check ups when we have no illness thanks to our busy work schedules. Working the entire week, stretching out late nights at work, living in remote affordable localities are some of the reasons why we opt to relax over the weekend rather than going out and getting a medical check-up done. Being cautious is something that we always tend to ignore. Increasing competition in all industries is forcing companies to keep their doors open to customers 24*7. This creates the necessity of people working at nights. Changes like these in our normal lifestyle encourages health problems. It is only when there is an illness, we start looking for doctors and laboratories to get medical tests done and cure our health problems.

To overcome this ignorance, having regular health check ups in companies can help immensely. Regular check ups enable us to diagnose serious health ailments at an early stage, saving us from aliments and also the costs needed to cure the illness. For example, visiting a dentist need not be necessary only when you develop a cavity of for a root canal. It could be for just a gum check or cleaning of teeth. Bleeding gums while brushing, flossing or if you experience a persistent bad breath are early signs for bigger dental problems. If you sense a cavity, filling it early will save the amount on a root canal treatment. What you have avoided is a major dental problem and definitely the cost involved.

Most ailments requiring surgery do not occur overnight but build up over a period of time. In many cases such ailments can be detected early through regular check ups. You can save as much as 50% on healthcare costs with regular check-ups, exercise and balanced diet. The idea is to avoid severe health complications which could also take a toll on your physical well-being as well as financial health.

Our lifestyle and food habits have a significant impact on our body and health. Some of the most common aliments that affect people are blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and so on. Getting these check ups done on a regular basis will help diagnosing such problems at an early curable stage. Getting them done in companies ensures that employees do not neglect these important regular checks needed. “Health is wealth” is a good saying that we all know. Good health of employees ensures good productivity which in turn ensures the company’s productivity and success.

Unfortunately, given the broken health care system we end up paying hefty amounts to some doctors who prescribe unnecessary medicines, tests and even suggest operations which are not required. This causes tensions and burns our pockets for no reason. Companies organizing regular health check-ups by recognized and trustworthy doctors, clinics and hospitals can prove beneficial to its employees. It will create an awareness among people about it’s importance, help them to remain fit, diagnose health problems at an early stage and make sure that we follow the saying, “Prevention is better than cure”.

Ravi, savetime.com

Ravi is a young passionate, optimistic and dedicated IT engineer and an ISTQB Certified Software Testing professional. Ravikishan takes up responsibilities with utmost enthusiasm. He is always willing to walk an extra mile to achieve his targets with an immense amount of perseverance to fulfill his dreams. He loves adventure travel, listening to soft music and playing football.