When we feel healthy, we understand that there is little motivation to go out of our way to make an appointment with our local GP. Why should we, if we feel great?
Your doctor might offer to give you standard health checks when you come in for something like a cold or the flu, but if you’re in the (very enviable) position of being healthy for most of the year, these tests just don’t end up being performed. Even if you are healthy, it is worth considering health issues that are predominant in your family which you can bring up with your GP
A visit to your GP can be hugely beneficial to uncover issues that can aid in uncovering both emerging and future health problems that are commonly suffered, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, in addition to recommendations about your current lifestyle (stress, lack of sleep etc.).
Recommended regular health checks for adults
Here we list some of the most common tests that occur for people. Some of these depend on age and family history, so are highly dependent on personal circumstances.
Heart check-ups are simple ways to detect heart abnormalities. Tests can include a simple blood pressure check or a blood test. Blood tests check both cholesterol and blood triglycerides, and can be used to find a variety of health issues, one of which is heart disease.
Tests for obesity
A 2007 statistic from the World Health Organisation labelled Australia as having the third highest rate of obesity in the world. Because being overweight can cause a myriad of debilitating health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, it’s valuable to ask your doctor to check your body mass index and waist measurement every two years. If you are determined to be obese, strategies can be implemented to manage your health.
Checking for diabetes
Approximately 1.7 Australians have diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, which should indicate how problematic this is for the average Australia. Because 500,000 estimated people have undiagnosed diabetes – which without diagnosis can lead to significant health issues – it is important that adults be tested. A common test is a fasting blood sugar level test, which measures the amount of glucose in the blood after fasting, and depending on your risk level, you will need to be tested either every year or once every three years.
Health checks for bowel cancer
Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women over the age of 50, so health checks are highly recommended. Common checks include the faecal occult blood test, which is used to test a bowel motion sample for blood with special chemicals, as blood can be an indicator of cancer. For those with high risk of bowel cancer, colonoscopies every 5 years are necessary to ensure no abnormalities are present.
Health checks for eye conditions
Because eyesight tends to deteriorate with age, eye tests become more important as people become older. Those older than 65 are recommended to have annual examinations to ensure serious eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration are properly managed. Those who already wear prescription glasses or contact lenses and those with eye issues in their family also require more frequent examinations.
Health checks for bones
Osteoporosis is a highly debilitating issue for people as they get older. To manage early signs, particularly for those over the age of 50, it is recommended to get a bone density test. This test is designed to measure bone health, and can demonstrate early problems that can be combated.
Don’t wait any longer to make that appointment!
There are also many gender-specific tests that doctors can perform for illnesses. For those interested, the Victorian government’s Better Health Channel offers excellent test advice for both womenand men. Better yet, make an appointment with your doctor today and ask them!
If you have any other enquiries, Team Med are always happy to help – make sure to get in touch with one of our friendly team members today with any questions you might have.