It is a good habit to visit a doctor periodically, even if you feel healthy. This is necessary because you need to check for medical problems and assess your risk of future medical issues. On World Health Day, Dr D S Chadha, Head- Internal Medicine, Fortis Vasant Kunj talks about the most important medical tests you need to get done every year.
• Health checks for your heart:
Blood pressure checkup, 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. Electrocardiogram (ECG) detects heart abnormalities. Obesity tests are important because being overweight is a significant risk factor for many health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. You need to get your body mass index (BMI) and waist measurement checked every two years. If you are at a higher risk, you should have your weight checked more frequently.
• Health checks for diabetes: Tests for diabetes include a fasting blood sugar level test & HbA1c which measures an average of last 3 months’ sugar readings and is highly dependable. Depending on your risk level, you will need to be tested annually or once every three years.
o Also assess for risk factors for diabetes like family history of diabetes, overweight or obesity
o Smoking and a sedentary lifestyle are risk factors. Women with a history of diabetes in pregnancy and women with a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are at risk.
• Health checks for bowel cancer: People at high risk of bowel cancer may need a colonoscopy every five years. During this test, the doctor inserts a slender instrument called a colonoscope through the anus to visually check the rectum and large bowel for any abnormalities.
• Health checks for your bones: 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 opt for a bone density test.
• Health checks for women: Breast cancer screening, Cervical Screening Test are a must and can help reduce the risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer which claim the lives of several women year.