5 Reasons to Get a Medical Checkup Even if You Feel Fine
By Andrea Hunt on 01 Sep, 2017
You feel fine. You don’t take medications regularly, you don’t smoke, and you even try to watch what you eat. Chances are, you probably haven’t had a checkup in a while, right? However, doctors caution this method in terms of long-term health, since the key to a long life is also maintaining your body and catching problems early. Read more to find out why:
Your Health Helps or Hurts Your Everyday Life
Health is a key component to everything we do. It affects how we feel, sleep, eat, wake up, do simple tasks, or handle major responsibilities like our jobs. And of course, it affects the quality of the time we spend with our friends and loved ones. In terms of our jobs and productivity, it’s undoubtedly harder to work efficiently if we don’t feel good. In fact, the American Center for Prevention and Disease Control estimates that sick employees reduce US output by 260 billion USD every year.
And yet, preventable diseases are actually the biggest threats to our society. According to the World Health Organization, non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases kill more people every year and were responsible for a whopping 68% of all deaths globally in 2012.
Above all, World Health Organization reports that the #1 preventable ‘silent killer’ worldwide is cardiovascular disease:
Ischemic heart disease- when blood flow and oxygen to the heart is decreased and leads to a heart attack (7.4 million people out of 56 million people that died worldwide)
Stroke- interruption of blood flow to the brain (6.7 million people out of 56 million people that died worldwide))
Doctors say even if you opt not to get the recommended annual check-up, getting checked on a regular basis will keep you healthy long term. Here are the top 5 reasons to get a medical checkup:
# 5. Your Lifestyle versus Your Family history
You can be doing all the right things in terms of trying to live a healthy lifestyle but your genes and environment also play a key role in your life expectancy. Environmental factors such as pollution, or exposure to disease are more obvious factors, but regardless of your lifestyle, your family history and even ethnicity play a critical role in terms of your genetic risk for diseases. Likewise, if you are aware that certain conditions such as high blood pressure, cancers, or diabetes that run in your family, you can change your lifestyle to combat those risks. For some people, a family history of certain diseases can be especially alarming and a checkup can give them a sense of assurance that they are in good health. A check-up will tell you where you should make adjustments in your diet and physical activity levels.
- General physical includes:
Heart exam, lung exam, head and neck (tonsils, teeth, ears, nose, thyroid gland, eyes), abdominal exam (stomach), dermatological (skin), neurological (physical reflexes), Immunizations
- Additional Laboratory Tests:
Blood tests (screening for proteins, blood cell count), Urine Analysis (UA), Cholesterol Test (lipid panel)
# 4. You’re male
Unsurprisingly, anatomy and hormonal composition bring their own conditions and health risks. Did you realize that 1 out of 8 men will get prostate cancer during their lifetime (Movember Europe Foundation, 2016)? What’s perhaps more surprising is that World Cancer Research Fund International reported that 68% of prostate cancer cases occurred in more developed countries. In this instance, it’s important to note that prostate tumors often develop slowly and can therefore be treated effectively if 'caught' early on.
- Male checkup may include:
Testicular exam (check for tenderness, lumps), hernia exam (check for weakness in abdominal wall), penis exam (for sexually transmitted diseases-STDs), prostate exam -Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)
# 3. You’re female
After age 21, women can become more susceptible to a number of diseases in their reproductive system due to lifestyle and hormonal changes. Overall, breast cancer is the # 1 cancer in women worldwide, but check-ups can detect abnormities early on. For women, weight and body mass index are also affect the reproductive system; for example, women who are overweight with a BMI >25 % or underweight <18 % can have elevated chances of infertility.
- Female checkup may include:
Breast exam (check for tenderness, lumps), pelvic exam (check vagina, vulva and cervix for abnormalities and for sexually transmitted diseases-STDs), PAP and HPV test, bone density test, bowel cancer screening, heart health
# 2. Prevention is the better choice
Some diseases can cause extreme complications once symptoms finally emerge. For example, many people live with Type II Diabetes and dangerously elevated glucose levels and not even realize it. You can increase your life expectancy and catch symptoms early by getting regular screenings. Certain conditions are only fatal when left untreated. You can’t always stop diseases from occurring, but you can stop them in their tracks and get treated right away.
# 1. For Your Loved ones. And Yourself
It’s never too late to take control of your life. Your health is everything and it should be preserved. Reduce your risk today by living better via prevention. Whether you have loved ones depending on you or you simply believe maintaining the highest quality life. Don’t just think about your health when you’re sick, take responsibility for your well being by getting a checkup this year. Your body will thank you for it.
Are you interested in getting a medical check-up?
Caremondo partner hospitals offer check-ups both in Germany and at many locations throughout the world. Whether you want a basic physical exam or a more specialized screening, we can connect to a specialized doctor that can recommend the best check-up. Contact us today for a personalized treatment quote! [email protected]
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Anastasiya Danilava leads the patient care team. With many years of experience in medical tourism and by accompanying patients to clinics, she assists our patients before, during and after their medical trip.