Regular health check-ups can identify any early signs of health issues. Finding problems early means that your chances for effective treatment are increased. Many factors, such as your age, health, family history and lifestyle choices, impact on how often you need check-ups.
It Is A Good Idea To Visit A Doctor Regularly, Even If You Feel Healthy. The Purpose Of These Visits Is To:
Health Checks Are Usually Incorporated Into Routine Medical Care. Your Doctor Will Often Perform These Checks When You Are Visiting For Another Condition, Such As A Cold Or Another Problem. Your Doctor Will Then Tell You How Often You Need To Have A Health Check.
Having A Health Check Is Also A Time To Examine Your Lifestyle To See What Improvements Can Be Made. This May Be Something You Regularly Do Yourself Or Discuss With A Healthcare Professional.
You can do a basic health check at home to review your health in relation to:
Diet – a healthy diet improves your general health and wellbeing. Have at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day.
Physical activity – regular physical activity is good for your mental health, heart and bones, and can prevent many diseases. Aim for 30 minutes to an hour of moderate physical activity a day. Moderate physical activity takes some effort, but still allows a conversation to be held (for example, brisk walking, gentle swimming, social tennis).
Smoking – smoking increases your risk of many diseases, including heart disease, stroke, lung disease and thin bones. If you smoke, quitting as soon as possible helps reduce the harm.
Weight – maintaining a healthy weight range helps prevent longer-term diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis.
Regular health checks can help to identify early warning signs of disease or illness. Heart disease, diabetes and some cancers can often be picked up in their early stages, when treatment may be more successful.
When you have a check, your doctor will talk to you about your medical history, your family's history of disease and your lifestyle. Your diet, weight, how much you exercise, and whether or not you smoke and drink alcohol or take illegal drugs will also be discussed.
If you have high-risk factors, such as a family history of a condition, it may be more likely that you will develop a particular disease. Regular checks may help your doctor pick up early warning signs.
If you have a high risk of a particular health condition, your doctor may recommend more frequent health checks at an earlier age.
These are some common tests, but your doctor may recommend others according to your situation.
Health check-ups for heart disease may include:
Blood pressure – have your blood pressure checked every two years if it is normal, you are aged under 40 years, and there is no family history of high blood pressure. Have it checked yearly if you are over 40, your blood pressure is on the high side, or you have a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack. Be advised by your doctor.
Blood tests – check cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides, among other things. High levels may indicate an increased risk of various health problems, including heart disease. If you are over 45, you should have these blood tests once every five years. If you are at high risk of heart disease and have a family history, you should be tested every year from the age of 40.
Electrocardiogram (ECG) – this is a non-invasive and painless medical test that detects cardiac (heart) abnormalities by measuring the electrical activity generated by the heart as it contracts.
Obesity Tests – being overweight is a significant risk factor for many health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Ask your doctor to check your body mass index (BMI) and waist measurement every two years. If you are at a higher risk, you should have your weight checked more frequently.
Tests for diabetes include a fasting blood sugar level test, which measures the amount of glucose in the blood after fasting (not eating for an amount of time). It is usually done before you have breakfast. Depending on your risk level, you will need to be tested annually or once every three years.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
Eyesight Tends To Deteriorate With Age. Serious Eye Conditions Such As Glaucoma, Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy And Macular Degeneration Are More Common With Age.
People Older Than 65 Years Should Have An Annual Examination. However, More Frequent Testing May Be Recommended For Those With Certain Risk Factors, Such As:
If You Already Wear Prescription Glasses Or Contact Lenses, You Should Have Your Eyes Tested Every Year. Adults Who Do Not Wear Prescription Glasses Or Contact Lenses Should Have An Eye Test Every Two Years.
Advancing age is a significant risk factor for osteoporosis in both men and women. A bone density test helps to determine the health of your bones. Generally speaking, people over the age of 50 should be assessed for the need to have a bone density test.
In order to stay in good health and identify possible health issues at an early stage, it is important for women to have regular health checks. There are a number of specific tests that you should make part of your regular routine.
It's recommended that women between the ages of 50–69 years attend the Breast Screen Australia Program every two years for screening mammograms. There is no evidence that clinical examination or self-examination offers any health benefits to women.
You should have a general check-up before becoming pregnant to discuss any health risks during pregnancy. Once you are pregnant, regular antenatal checks help monitor your baby's development, pick up abnormalities and assess your health.
Tests related to pregnancy may include ultrasound scans, urine tests, blood tests and genetic testing. Some antenatal tests are recommended for all pregnant women, while others are only necessary for women at increased risk of complications. Be advised by your doctor.
It's a good idea to make regular health checks part of your regular routine. This will help you stay healthy and pick up potential problems early.
Health checks for prostate cancer
Discuss testing with your doctor. It is not recommended that all men are routinely tested for prostate cancer. You will need to consider the benefits, risks and uncertainties of testing, as well as your risk of developing the disease.
As you get older, keeping an eye on your health becomes more important. Speak to your doctor about:
You Should Also Speak With Your Doctor About Immunisation, In Particular:
Check-Ups With Other Health Professionals May Include: