When we were kids, our parents made sure that we had an annual health check up. They’d drag us to the doctor to make sure that we were as healthy as possible.
For a reward, the doctor might have given us a treat like a lollipop, or our parents persuaded us with McDonald’s. Either way, each year, we had something to look forward to after a doctor’s visit.
However, as we’ve gotten older, some of us might not get a health check up each year. Since there’s more on our plates as adults, it’s one of those things that slips our minds.
Do you remember the last time you’ve gotten a general health check up? If not, continue reading to learn why they are essential to your well-being as you get older.
What Is a Regular Health Check Up?
A health check up is a review of your body by a qualified medical practitioner to ensure that all of your body’s systems are functioning correctly. They generally include a comprehensive review of your:
- Internal organs
- Muscular system
- Neurological system
- Gastrointestinal system
- Respiratory system
These are only a few of the systems that your doctor will review throughout your checkup. Most of these reviews happen over the course of a few appointments if your doctor suspects something is wrong.
Why Is a Health Check Up Important?
A health check up is important because it lets you know the state of your health and any changes you need to make to improve your body’s functions.
For example, let’s look at your car. Every few thousand miles, we take our vehicles to get serviced to make sure they can still run efficiently.
The same should apply to your body. It would help if you went to the doctor to make sure that everything is functioning correctly. If not, you could potentially create lasting effects which could impact the quality of your life.
Knowing more about your body helps you adapt and make sure that you’re in top condition. Let’s look at a few other reasons why you should get a health check up.
Checkups Can Identify Stress-Related Diseases
When we think of diseases, common ones that come to mind are cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, to name a few. However, these diseases aren’t only the result of internal factors. They can be the result of external factors like stress.
If you’re working in a high-intensity environment or have a lot on your plate regarding schoolwork or relationships, it can also impact your health. As a result, stress-related diseases can develop.
By having an annual checkup, you’ll have the opportunity to talk to your doctor about potential ways to reduce your stress.
Annual Checkups Can Establish Blood Test Results
Most people are aware of common issues that we face today, such as the flu or common cold. While they may be simple diseases that we can treat on our own, sometimes they may be the result of an underlying issue.
That’s why when you go to the doctor, they’ll usually ask you for a blood test. It will help ascertain any underlying conditions and help you get the proper treatment.
If you don’t know where to get your blood work done, you can always visit Discounted Labs. Their service ensures that you can get your blood taken without the need for a doctor’s visit first.
Yearly Checkups Can Reduce Long-term Healthcare Costs
As we’ve mentioned above, having a preventative health check up can help you spot any potential diseases and get the necessary treatment. However, that’s not the only benefit.
You’ll also be able to reduce your healthcare costs over time. Since you’re going for annual checkups, you reduce your risk of getting diseases since you’re more aware of your health.
Without a yearly checkup, you’ll be more susceptible to diseases, leading to you spending more money on medication or hospital visits. Also, with the onset of the new COVID-19 variant, it’s imperative to get checked so you can determine a proper plan.
How Often Should You Get a Health Check Up?
Everyone’s situation is different, meaning the rate at which they get checked will be too. But, if your family has suffered from any chronic diseases in the past, such as Alzheimer’s or high blood pressure, you should go yearly.
Some other factors that influence how often you get a health check up include:
The older you get, the higher chances there are of developing diseases. Also, men are four times more likely to develop health conditions than women, so they must be checked frequently as they age.
Common Concerns For Men
Once men are past the age of 50, there are specific things a doctor will encourage to ensure a healthy life as they progress into older age, such as:
A colonoscopy is a procedure that’s used to detect changes in the colon or large intestine. A large tube, with a camera attached, is placed inside of the rectum, which lets the doctor see any abnormalities.
Men develop colon cancer at a higher rate than women, so it’s essential to get your colon checked at least every ten years up to age 75. After that, it’s up to your doctor to determine how often you should get your colon checked.
For men that are overweight or are susceptible to other health conditions, you should get your blood pressure checked every two years. Through medication and a proper treatment plan, you’ll be able to lower it if it’s elevated.
If you are at risk of developing a heart condition or a stroke, it’s vital to get it checked a least once a year.
If you’re over the age of 50 and are overweight, taking medication for blood pressure, or have risk factors for diabetes, get tested for diabetes.
Ensure that you talk to your doctor to create a plan informing you how often you should get tested.
Common Concerns For Women
Since women deal with different bodily processes than men, there are some other health concerns that they should focus on after the age of 50, such as the following:
For women over 50, a mammogram is one of the most important tests that they can take. It helps detect any breast cancer tumors before they have a chance to spread.
It’s like an X-Ray, but instead, it reveals cancerous tissue that isn’t usually visible through the naked eye. Your doctor may ask you to come back in one or two years for another test, depending on your results.
Pap smears are another important exam that women over 50 should undergo. It’s a cervical exam that helps detect cervical tumors.
During a pelvic exam, doctors take a small sample of your cervix cells and view them under a microscope to find cancer cells. Depending on your medical history, doctors may recommend getting one done each year.
Bone Density Test
If your family has a history of osteoporosis, it’s vital to get your bone density tested after age 65. A woman’s bone health is impacted, especially after menopause, so doctors use an X-Ray to determine bone strength.
Results will determine if you need to make lifestyle changes or get prescribed medication to help increase your bone density.
Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causing of death in women over the age of 50. So as you get older, you’ll need to make getting your cholesterol checked a priority.
Getting your cholesterol checked requires a simple blood test. If your levels are regular, a doctor may recommend you for another test in five years. However, if your levels are high, you’ll need to get tests done regularly.
Where Can I Get A Checkup?
You can get a health check up at any private general practitioner or hospital. However, it’s essential to make sure that you have insurance.
Without it, the average cost of a doctor’s appointment can cost upwards of $300. If you can’t afford medical insurance, you can also look at other options such as Medicare and Medicaid.
In Google, search for “health check up near me” to find your local doctor, to avoid lengthy travel in the event of an emergency.
Make Sure You Get An Annual Check Up
As you can see, getting a health check up is important for your health. You can prevent long-term health issues and help increase the quality of your life as you get older.
It may be a nuisance, but getting an annual checkup can be the main factor in saving your life.
If you want to learn more health tips, feel free to read our other blogs for related content.