Behind a relatively healthy look often there are hidden changes that are too subtle to catch in our daily life. To find out about these concealed illnesses, we might need to be a bit proactive. Use our common sense and some time investment it should be easy to go see the doctor and do a check-up test to shed some light over what is going on behind the appearances.
Visiting your GP is a good starting point to highlight the risk factors in terms of age, gender, overall physical condition, nutritional habits, stress type and heredity illnesses. Even tough the annual visit with the doctor is necessary, many of us due to time constraints, relocations, doctor changes or just because we are too busy miss this opportunity to do a check-up when they are health. But this is a proven method to improve our longevity chances.
How are regular check-ups organized around the world? In England and Bulgaria everyone can do a regular check-up every 5 years until he reaches 40-50 years while in places like Germany and the USA these are more often. An impressive example is Japan where the employers care about the result of the annual health check-up so much that many patients reduce their alcohol and food intake before they go to see the doctor, hoping to get a better mark. There is not a clear practice worldwide, but it is recommended to at least once a year do a check-up if we have the financial means and discipline.
Recurring check-ups can help us catch wide spread illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure while also allowing us to establish base levels for blood cell counts and other indicators. Establishing a reference point is a major trend, which aims to catch faster changes in our body. Ringing the alarm early, the change of key health indicators helps us diagnose diseases on time. Some of the regular tests are more detailed and include electrocardiogram, and fibrogastroscopy (endoscopic examination of the esophagus and stomach), and fibrocolonoscopy (endoscopic examination of the intestine) examinations only if there other indicators for this and history in the family.
Before your visit at the doctor it is worth spending a bit of time forming the questions you need answers on and preparing some answers for questions you will surely get asked. For example:
Do not forget that doing a blood test is best early in the morning, before you have had anything to eat (no coffee and cigarettes as well), at least 8 to 10 hours after your last meal.
To be able to catch a change in your tests, you should be doing regular check-ups over the years. Do them when you are healthy so you can spot the difference and keep a record of each test.