– The Sun News

Are you healthy, ready, fit for 2018?

Enyeribe Ejiogu

Year 2018 is already ticking off the days. For every one that is focused and goal-driven, great opportunities exist to achieve great things. But you need to be in tip-top health status to pursue the goals you have set for the year. That is why you need to undergo vital medical check-up as a strategic first step. It is not enough to write a fantastic strategic plan. It is equally important, in fact more so, to determine your health status now. Definitely, there is wisdom in the saying that “a stitch in time saves nine.” This year, give yourself the gift that keeps on giving, by going for medical check-up. The time it will take to do is worth the effort. Your spouse, your children and the company will be better off because you took the necessary step.

Medical tests for women

In most cases, women tend to take their health more seriously than men. At the first sign of trouble, they run to the family doctor. That is one of the reasons women tend to live longer than their husbands. The doctor can help by checking you for problems that can rob you of your health. Here’s a list of the basic tests women should ask for. If the need arises, the doctor may recommend additional tests based on your personal health profile.

Blood sugar: Decades of eating the wrong foods (think soda, hot dogs, fries — you get the picture) plus weight gain (often due to hormone changes) may have overworked your pancreas. It can’t keep up and that can lead to diabetes. By the age of 45, everyone should get a fasting blood sugar test and then have another at least once every three years. Your doctor may recommend earlier or more frequent checking depending on your risk.

Breast exam and mammogram: You may be checking your breasts at home regularly and having your doctor do an exam annually, but most experts recommend adding a mammogram to the mix somewhere after age 40.  The American Cancer Society puts the age at 45. Not all breast cancer experts agree. When to start? Work with your doctor to decide.

Blood pressure: Don’t be surprised if your blood pressure starts rising now — that’s common. Fortunately, you can lower your blood pressure through diet, exercise, and medication. It’s worth the effort. Lower blood pressure is a key factor in longevity.

Cholesterol profile: Take heart: this simple blood test can save your life. More than 31 million adults in America have high cholesterol levels, a condition that can lead to heart attacks or strokes — diseases that claim a life every 40 seconds! If you have high cholesterol, protect yourself by changing your diet and taking medications such as statins.

Stepping on the scales: You blissfully enjoyed chips and hamburgers while ignoring your expanding waistline, but the scale doesn’t lie. Pay attention to the results: being overweight puts you at high risk for developing a number of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

Pelvic exam and pap: Yes, you still need these — especially if you’re sexually active. A few minutes of mild discomfort pay big dividends in protecting you from cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. Your doctor can tell you how often you need a Pap test.

Protecting your eyes: Having trouble reading or working at the computer? It’s not unusual. Be sure to get your eyes examined regularly — every 2 to 4 years until age 60 — to check for common problems like presbyopia, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Go more often if you have vision problems or risk factors for eye problems.

Health checks for men

Any man above 30 should go see a doctor and get guidance on how to do Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, to determine whether the person is at risk of developing prostate problems, either the benign type called prostate hyperplasia (otherwise known as prostate enlargement or prostate cancer is a deadly malignant disease. The prostate is the nice and very useful gland that surrounds the urethra, the vital pipe through that runs through the shaft of the penis, and through urine passes out of the body from the bladder. The prostate also plays a role in reproduction.

Blood pressure: Every adult male should ordinarily get a blood pressure reading every two years if the BP reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg. This should become yearly if the systolic blood pressure reading is 120 to 139 mm Hg or the diastolic blood pressure reading is 80 to 89 mm Hg.

Colorectal cancer: Men are now being diagnosed with specific inherited syndromes and inflammatory bowel disease. You need to discuss with your doctor to make an informed decision about screening based on your family history, current medical condition, and personal values.

Diabetes mellitus, type 2. Adults who have no visible symptoms and have sustained blood pressure (treated or untreated) greater than 135/80 mm Hg should necessarily do a check to know whether they could be near the diabetes threshold and not be aware of it.

Lipid disorders: All men who are 35 and older, and even younger men are at high risk for coronary artery disease. This has been attributed to significant changes in lifestyle and dietary patterns. That is why you need to see a doctor, preferably a cardiologist to do certain tests, such as electrocardiogram test (ECG) to check your heart. The doctor would also recommend appropriate test to check the health status of the arteries.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (such as syphilis and the others). Any man that is sexual butterfly (going from flower to flower) is definitely at great risk of infection with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which later lead to STDs. Please undergo check-up and then put “junior” under discipline by becoming faithful and sticking to your spouse. You cannot King Solomon’s record, who had 300 wives and 700 concubines. So why even start? Begin this year to observe marital fidelity. Doing that alone will make your wife a happier woman that will be more devoted and dedicated to you. Besides, you will have more time to think out fresh and better strategies to achieve your goals rather spending brain power trying to think up creative ways to deceive your wife and explain certain “discoveries” by her when she goes to the hospitals for some tests.

Vision: If you noticed last year that you tend hold papers a little farther from you before you can clearly see what is written or printed on it, then you should visit an eye clinic to see an optometrist, to check your vision and prescribe appropriate glasses.

Better still you could see an ophthalmologist, who is an eye specialist. The eye specialist will run the routine tests and also check you for early signs of glaucoma, after taking your full family and medical history.

Hepatitis: Have ever taken immunization against hepatitis? If you answer is no, then this time to do so. Usually two doses given at least six months apart for Hepatitis A; for Hepatitis B, three doses are given; the second dose is given one month after the first dose, and the third dose given at least 2 months after the second dose (or at least 4 months after the first dose).

In summary, you need to go have a heart-to-heart talk with your doctor, who will know what tests to recommend, because suggestions given above are not exhaustive.  Show yourself love, go to your doctor for medical check-up. This is a clear and present need.   


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