7 Essential Health Check-Ups You Should Be Getting Regularly

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Apr. 14 2023, Published 8:05 a.m. ET

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Frequent health examinations are critical for preserving good health and detecting underlying medical concerns, allowing for early intervention and treatment. Despite these benefits, statistics indicate that nearly 40% of people skip recommended medical checkups. However, this habit may be more harmful than beneficial, as certain disorders may not manifest symptoms until they have progressed to a more advanced state. Therefore, many health checks should be performed regularly, depending on age, gender, family history, and other considerations. This post will examine some important health exams you should regularly get to ensure your general health.

1. Blood Sugar Tests

Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose testing, is an important aspect of a normal health checkup since high or low blood sugar levels can indicate a variety of health concerns, including diabetes, which can lead to a variety of consequences. Consistently high blood sugar levels can indicate diabetes, increasing risks of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage, and eyesight loss, among other consequences. Low blood sugar levels can also indicate hypoglycemia, producing symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, sweating, disorientation, and, in extreme cases, seizures and loss of consciousness.

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2. Height and Weight

Height and weight measurements are important since they assist in assessing a person’s general health and well-being. A person’s Body Mass Index, which measures body fat based on height and weight, is calculated using height and weight data. Obesity, a major risk factor for various health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and several forms of cancer, can be indicated by a high BMI. A low BMI, on the other hand, might indicate malnutrition or other health problems. Additionally, height measurements are essential for monitoring growth and detecting any anomalies or disorders that may impair growth.

3. Blood Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels in the blood can raise the chance of heart disease and stroke; therefore, checking cholesterol levels is essential. Cholesterol is a lipid generated by the liver and contained in some meals. There are two types of cholesterol or fat: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, sometimes known as “good” cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often known as “bad” cholesterol. A simple blood test determines the amounts of LDL, HDL cholesterol, and other lipids in the blood. Based on the findings of this test, physicians can advise patients on how to control their cholesterol levels through lifestyle modifications and, if required, medication. Eating a nutritious diet low in saturated and trans fats, increasing physical exercise, decreasing weight if required, and quitting smoking are all examples of lifestyle modifications that can help decrease cholesterol levels.

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4. Blood Pressure Checks

High blood pressure is a major factor for many health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and dementia, making it essential to attend regular blood pressure checks. Blood pressure is the force blood exerts on the artery walls as the heart moves it throughout the body. High blood pressure can cause artery walls to thicken and become less flexible. This can result in various health issues, such as heart attacks, strokes, and renal illness. It’s worth noting that an average blood pressure measurement is about 120/80 mmHg. However, it can fluctuate based on age, gender, degree of physical activity, and underlying health issues. That said, a blood pressure monitor is advisable to help you constantly check yours at home. If your blood pressure is continuously high, your physician may advise you to make lifestyle changes such as reducing salt, increasing physical activity, dropping weight, stopping smoking, and drinking less alcohol. Medication may be recommended in some circumstances to assist in regulating blood pressure, so keep this in mind.

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5. Breast Cancer Screening

A mammogram is a medical imaging examination used to detect abnormalities in breast tissue and screen for breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most prevalent disease in women, and early identification is critical for better treatment results and for lowering the risk of complications. Mammograms are indicated as a standard screening test for breast cancer in females over the age of 50. However, it may be recommended sooner or more frequently in women with a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors. If an abnormality is seen on a mammogram, more testing, such as a breast ultrasound or biopsy, may be required to establish whether cancer is present.

6. Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer screening is an important element of women’s routine health checks because it can detect precancerous abnormalities in the cervix before they progress to malignancy. Cervical cancer develops when abnormal cells proliferate in the cervix and infect surrounding tissues. Human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection, is commonly responsible for cervical cancer. Screening is suggested for all women aged 21 to 65, with the frequency of screening varying according to the woman’s age and risk factors. Experts recommend that Women between 20 and 29 undergo a Pap test once every few years, while women between 30 and 65 can get a Pap and HPV test every five years. More testing and treatment may be required to prevent cervical cancer from developing if abnormal cells are discovered during cervical cancer screening.

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7. Dental Exam

A dental examination is an essential part of maintaining good overall health. A dentist or dental hygienist will carefully examine your teeth, gums, and mouth to look for symptoms of decay, illness, or other oral health concerns. They will also clean your teeth professionally to remove plaque and tartar accumulation, which may contribute to cavities, gum disease, and other issues. A dentist will also test for oral cancer, which involves looking for lumps, bumps, or sores in the mouth. X-rays help look for hidden abnormalities like cavities between teeth. Frequent dental exams every six months are suggested to help prevent dental disorders from forming and from detecting any problems early on, so feel free to consider this. Regular dental exams can benefit your entire health in addition to maintaining good oral health, as gum disease has been related to other health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

This article was written by Meighan Sembrano and originally appeared on Your Coffee Break.

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