Many people ignore their health, even though it is one of the most important things in their lives. Data gathered in the USA and analyzed by Health Testing Centers showed that one in four Americans didn’t get a routine checkup in 2019, even though four out of five Americans had health insurance.
There are a variety of reasons why people avoid these preventive measures. One of the reasons is that they don’t know what to expect. Many people think that routine checkups involve only a physical exam, but multiple health areas should be covered.
For some, it may be a lack of insurance or transportation that prevents them from getting to a doctor. Others may feel healthy and see no need for a checkup. Some people may even be afraid of what the doctor might find. However, skipping regular checkups can be dangerous. Medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes often have no symptoms in the early stages but can be caught through routine testing.
By getting regular checkups, you can catch these conditions early and get treatment to prevent serious health problems down the road. Here are seven health areas you shouldn’t overlook in your routine checks:
1. Heart Health
Keeping your heart healthy should be a top priority because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 17.9 million people died of cardiovascular diseases in 2019, representing 32% of all global deaths.
While many factors contribute to heart disease, some lifestyle choices can help reduce your risk. A big part of maintaining heart health is knowing your numbers. This means keeping track of your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
If you have any family history of heart disease, it’s essential to get checked out by a doctor regularly. Making small changes to your diet and exercise routine can also go a long way in preventing heart disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables and getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day are two simple changes that can make a big difference in your heart health.
2. Mental Health
Mental health is a vital part of overall fitness. Just as we regularly check ourselves physically with blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, it’s critical to check our mental status consistently.
Unfortunately, mental health is often overlooked. This can be for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, people may feel like they don’t need to check their mental health because they feel fine. Other times, people may be embarrassed or ashamed to talk about their emotions. However, just like physical health, mental faculties can fluctuate and change over time.
This is why we must regularly check in with ourselves and mental health professionals, especially if we’re struggling. We can also keep track of our moods in a journal or talk to our friends and family about how we’re feeling. Checking in with our mental health regularly is an important way to stay healthy and happy.
3. Dental Health
Good dental health is essential for overall health and well-being. That’s because the mouth is home to millions of bacteria, some of which can cause disease.
Plaque, a sticky film of food debris and bacteria, is one of the main culprits behind cavities and gum disease. Regular brushing and flossing help to remove plaque, but it’s also essential to see dental practitioners regularly for professional cleanings. Tartar, a hardened form of plaque, can only be removed with special tools.
In addition, regular dental visits allow one to talk to a dentist about good oral hygiene habits and any changes in dental health. They can also identify problems early on and provide treatment to prevent further damage.
4. Eye Health
As people age, their risk of developing eye problems increases. That’s why it’s important to have regular eye exams, even if you think your vision is fine. Many eye diseases don’t have symptoms in the early stages, so by the time you notice something is wrong, the condition may have already caused significant damage.
Regular eye exams can help catch problems early when they’re more likely to be treatable. They can also detect other health problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. And even if you don’t have any vision problems, an eye exam can help you maintain good eye health.
So don’t wait until you have symptoms to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor. Ask about how often you should have your eyes checked and keep up with your appointments. It could save your sight.
5. Gut Health
The gut is home to a diverse community of microbes that play an important role in human health. These microbes synthesize vitamins, help digestive processes, and protect the body from pathogens. In addition, the gut microbiota has been linked to conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Given the importance of gut health, it is essential to check for imbalances regularly. The most common way to do this is through a stool test, which can identify changes in the gut microbiota composition. In addition to providing valuable information about gut health, stool tests can also help to detect other problems such as infections or nutrient deficiencies. As such, they should be a part of routine health care for everyone.
6. Immune Health
Immune health is essential for overall well-being and should be regularly checked by medical professionals and individuals. The immune system is responsible for fighting off diseases and infections. When it is not functioning properly, the body is susceptible to a wide range of health problems.
Some of the most common symptoms of a weakened immune system include fatigue, frequent infections, and slow wound healing. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must see a doctor or other healthcare provider as soon as possible to check your immune system.
There are various ways to boost your immune health, including eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep, but taking steps to check yourself can help you avoid serious health problems.
7. Sexual Health
Last but not least, checking in on your sexual health is also always a good idea. After all, it is integral to your overall physique.
Regular checkups can help to identify any potential problems early on before they have a chance to develop into something more serious. Plus, it’s always good to know that you’re in the clear — it can give you peace of mind and help you to relax and enjoy sex more.
So, if you’re sexually active (or even if you’re not), make sure to schedule regular checkups with your doctor or sexual health clinic. It could be the best decision you ever make.
While it may seem like a lot to remember, routine health checks should cover all aspects of our health — from our hearts and minds to our teeth and eyesight, to the state of our gut flora and immune system, and even our sexual facilities. It’s easy to forget about some of these when we’re busy, but neglecting any part of our health can have severe consequences in the long run. So don’t forget to add regular checkups to your calendar.