As I started this path of becoming a healthier happier version of myself, I did something I should have done a while ago. A complete medical check up. Do you remember when was the last time you had a medical check up? It doesn’t count if you are going to the doctor to take your child, your mom or your husband, I mean a real visit to check how things are inside you. I am not proud to say it took me about two years to get this done, but life gets in the way, commitments, trips, holidays, and before you know its been a year and you haven’t booked that medical appointment. My other challenge, and I am sure you can relate to this if you don’t live in your home country, is to find a reliable doctor, someone you can trust and who is within the medical network (meaning covered by your insurance company…I wont get into too much detail because it’s very complicated), but it is a huge deal in the US because costs can increase significantly if you don’t have an insurance. Lastly, and this reason is probably the first reason, who likes to go to the doctor? There are so many other fun places and cool people to meet (and little time) that who wants to actually take the time to deal with call centres, doctors, lab tests, x-ray’s? Nobody.
Yes it is boring, I totally agree but my dear friends, we all need to make it a habit, at least once a year. Why wait until our body is collapsing or taken to the limit? It will also be cheaper to prevent than to treat illnesses.
So, we need to ask ourselves what are the minimal/general considerations when we finally go to see the doctor? (We know it is not a fun visit, so you might as well get the best out of it, right?) I have a few recommendations that will make the visit more productive. The tests below are common practice so be mindful of what they look for, and in case the doctor doesn’t order them, ask for them.
- Complete blood count (CBC) checks white blood cells, red blood cells, haemoglobin and platelets. This test can uncover anaemia, infections and even cancer of the blood.
- Metabolic Panel tests glucose in your blood, which can show if your heart, kidneys and liver are functioning well.
- Lipid Panel tests for good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL), triglycerides and calcium among others. It can show if there are risks associated with cardiovascular diseases.
- Urine Analysis tests for bacteria and infections that in women can lead to cystitis and bladder complications.
- Stool tests show parasites, bacteria that may be present in your digestive system that can cause a lot of different digestive issues.
- Breast mammogram – for women over 40, its important to also get your breast checked, it’s definitely not a fun experience but so worth doing it.
Remember that some tests can be false positives and false negatives; apparently this happens more often than we think. So if you feel something is not quite right, get a second opinion. Don’t be shy, question your doctor and ask for alternative options to medication.
For the record, I got checked for ALL of these and even though I have healthy habits, I was a bit nervous to see the results. (After all, many things can change in a year). Luckily, I got positive news, my doctor took the time (because I asked for it) to go over every detail in the tests and he was kind enough to explain absolutely everything. I have to increase vitamin D and I decided to look for natural ways to increase it but supplements are an option as well. My next challenge is to get my husband to complete a full medical check up. (Work in progress)
So the question for you is: when are you going to book for your medical check up?
Don’t wait until your body is falling apart; make it a priority if you haven’t done it yet.
If you find this information relevant, please share it and let me know your thoughts.
Note: This blog is meant to be a general guideline. If you have already been diagnosed with any illness there will be other tests that should be included and discussed with a specialist doctor.