Stay Healthy: Here Are Eight Health Checks You Should Get Done This Year!
by Lou-Ann Jordan Jan 9, 2023
A Happy New Year to you!
There is something about starting a new year that is thrilling. In addition to offering the chance to begin anew, it also tends to prompt refocus.
Often, we assess various areas of our lives and the level at which we’re functioning in them. Such an assessment is always good because it can help us make necessary changes. For example, we may decide to consume less sugar, exercise more often, eat out less, or read more.
Undoubtedly, our health is an area that deserves our attention. Also, while reviewing and possibly revising our diet is vital, other critical aspects of our health shouldn’t be overlooked. The Caribbean culture is such that many fail to get regular health checks. Some only visit a doctor when ailing. However, we’ve all learned how crucial it is to maintain our health over the past two years. We need to know if there are any underlying issues we’ve been ignoring.
With the year ahead of us, what better time to examine when last we had a health check done, identify which tests need to be updated and schedule a few. Now, if you’re uncertain where to start, we’ve collated several physical checks that you can consider getting done according to your age and gender.
Here are eight health checks you should schedule to get done this year.
Tooth decay is a risk at any age, so regular brushing and flossing go a long way in safeguarding our choppers. However, scheduling an appointment with your dentist to check for cavities and have a cleaning done is an excellent idea. Along with your standard dental hygiene practices, planned visits to your dentist can help prevent serious issues from developing, which will cost a pretty penny in the long run.
Have you been squinting a lot lately or having headaches? These can be signs that you may need to consider getting glasses or changing your lens; either way, you should schedule an eye exam. Usually, optical businesses or optometrists offer free or discounted eye exams. Additionally, there are other serious eye conditions that you should be on the lookout for as you age. Cataracts and glaucoma are two common ailments. Moreover, other medical diseases act as risk factors for some eye conditions.
First, carrying out regular breast self-exams is critical. The John Hopkins Medical Center advocates the significance of self-exams because many diagnosed breast cancers were discovered during self-inspection. For guidelines on how to do the self-exam, click here. Having a mammogram done is essential if you’re in your 40s or will join the fabulous 40+ age group this year. Screening mammograms are known to help in the early detection of breast cancer.
We know visiting the doctor is a dreaded practice for some men. However, it’s time to defy that stereotype and take care of your health. Predominant among men of African descent, prostate cancer is best fought with early detection and treatment. Medical practitioners advise men in their 50s and those in their 40s who may have had a relative with the disease to begin prostate screening tests.
Blood Pressure Tests
Hypertension is a common ailment in the Caribbean. Many of us might have heard our parents or grandparents casually state that their pressure was high. However, left unchecked, high blood pressure can cause heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, dementia, kidney disease, and a host of other complications. Your blood pressure should be checked on a regular basis. You can do the tests with the at-home kits or on a visit to your doctor.
Pap Smear Screening
As women, there’s a misconception that unless sexually active, we don’t need to have a pap smear. Pap smears are usually done with human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, helping to detect cervical cancer. However, not all cervical cancers result from HPV infection. Therefore, it is advised that you get tested even if you’re not sexually active. The Hopkins Medical Center cautioned women to begin screening at 21. Furthermore, women between the ages of 21 and 65 with normal pap smear results can repeat the tests every three years.
Very often with there are no symptoms of STDs. Therefore, the only way of knowing if you’ve contracted one is through testing. As such, these are critical tests to have done, and it’s best not to wait for symptoms to show. Why not schedule an examination as you plan your year?
Blood Sugar Testing
After the holiday season, you’re guaranteed to need to test your sugar! Seriously, you should have your blood sugar tested to ensure you maintain the appropriate level for your age. Fatigue, unexpected weight loss, dehydration, and increased urination are notable reasons to get checked, as they may indicate high blood sugar. There are home tests in which you can invest, or better yet, a visit to your doctor can provide you with the information you need to manage your glucose levels.
You’re likely to get bogged down as the year progresses, but before you do, take the time to make a health plan with a difference. Consult your physician to see which tests are necessary for you at this juncture in your life.
We’re sure you’ve heard the adage that your health is your wealth. It is, and you’ve got to secure it!
Do you need to find a doctor? Search the Find Yello business listings to find a doctor near you.