Routine Health Check-Ups Are Important For You

What Does A Routine Health Check-Up Mean?

It simply means that a healthy person, not curretnly facing any illness in particular, should at least visit their doctor once a year for a general health check-up. It enables doctors to evaluate general state of wellbeing and diagnose health problems which may be in their early stages however not showing any critical signs. Health check-ups are an important step in preventing bigger health issues in the future.

“A routine check-up is largely dependent on age, sex, and family medical history. Regular health check-up is also a preventive measure against chronic diseases and wake-up call to catch any disease at its earliest stage”, says Dr Elhadi Eltayeb Abbas, Senior Consultant and Head of Department, Internal Medicine, at 
RAK Hospital.

“This examination is also known as a wellness check-up and in this case you do not have to be sick to request this examination”, Dr Samer Al Fil, General Practitioner at Prime Medical Center TECOM.

Different Type Of Routine Health Check-Ups

Doctors suggest full body check-ups for everyone, how ever fit, young or old they are. In a few instances, doctors can also opt for a selective approach over full body tests for healthy adults.

"A health check should include basic tests to screen anaemia, diabetes, cholesterol, liver and renal function test, thyroid, colon cancer (stool), cardio-vascular screening, lung function test and abdominal and KUB ultrasound. In addition a male package could also include prostate screening and uric acid as well. A female package on the other hand should have additional tests to screen for cervical cancer, breast cancer as well", says Dr Keyvan Azimi, General Practitioner at HealthBay Clinic.   “Routine health check-up include a personalised check list from person to person. Therefore one should visit a family physician to assess what general health check-ups they need to undergo. It all depends on your age, family history, lifestyle, what you eat, how active you are and whether you smoke or not”, says Dr Akram Abou Dakkan, Specialist Emergency Medicine at Emirates Specialty Hospital.

Here are some health checks to consider at different life stages.

In your 20's and 30's

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol and glucose levels
  • BMI, waist and hip measurements
  • Dental check and cleaning
  • Skin cancer checks
  • Testes self-checks (men)
  • Breast self-checks (women)
  • Pap smear every two years (women)

In your 40's

All of the same checks as in your 20's and 30's plus:

  • Type 2 diabetes risk assessment
  • Cardiovascular risk assessment
  • Mammogram (women)
  • Eye checks for glaucoma

In your 50's and 60's

All of the same checks as in your 40's plus:

  • Osteoporosis risk assessment
  • Bowel cancer screening, also called FOBT (faecal occult blood test)
  • Visual acuity and hearing impairment tests

Dr Akram Abou Dakkan says, “Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women. Women aged 50 to 69 years who have screening mammograms have a lower chance of dying from breast cancer than women who do not have screening mammograms. Women under the age of 40 have to do self-breast exam on a monthly basis and clinical breast exam annually unless they have risk factors, women above 40 should do annual clinical breast exam and mammography.

All men 50 and above or African-American or family history 45 and above should do prostate cancer screening (blood test and clinical exam)”, he adds.

“If you have a high risk of a particular health condition, your doctor may recommend more frequent health checks at an earlier age. Some such conditions include: coronary vascular disease (CVD), hypertension, high cholesterol and high triglyceride (dyslipideamia), obesity and physical activity, diabetes, breast cancer, cervical cancer, Colon cancer, lung cancer and osteoporosis”, says Dr Fatemeh Aghanasiri, General Practitioner at Aster Clinic, Arabian Ranches.

Benefits Of Routine Health Check-Ups

They will help in the early detection and treatment of potential health problems, and an annual full body check-up is a good opportunity for your doctor to assess your general health.

"An annual health check highlights the importance of prevention. A routine check can help detect potential health issues before they could become a problem, thereby giving the patient the best chance for getting the right treatment and promoting good health", says Dr Keyvan Azimi of HealthBay Clinic.

 “Early detection leads to another benefit, which is far less expensive medical treatment. Whether you’re paying for health costs , or you have a good insurance package, the cost of prevention and early detection is so far less than the cost of treating a disease or any kind of significant health issue”, suggests Dr Samer Al Fil, of Prime Medical Center.

How To Prepare For Routine Health Check-Up

Preparing for your routine check-up can help you get the most out of your time. It should include:

  • List of current medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs and any herbal supplements
  • List of any symptoms or pain you are experiencing
  • Medical and surgical history
  • Names and contact information for other doctors you may have seen recently
  • Any additional questions you would like answered
  • Dress in comfortable clothing and avoid any excess jewellery, makeup, or other things

Dr Akram Abou Dakkan, of Emirates Specialty Hospital says, “Find out if you are due for any previous planned general screening or vaccination, write down a list of issues and questions to take with you, Try to go fasting at least 8 hours, try to stop smoking and drinking the previous day.”

What Does A Routine Health Check-Up Include

When you visit a doctor for a health check-up, they will ask questions about your personal and family medical history, check your height and weight, body mass index, temperature and your blood pressure. The doctor will examine eyes, ears, throat, chest, abdomen, and will carry out blood tests to check sugar, cholesterol level or whatever they may think fit for you. If you smoke, the doctor may order a chest x-ray, and if you are worried about a specific condition that runs in the family, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease or stroke, do not hesitate to discuss and ask your doctor about it.

Following Up After Routine Health Check-Up

The doctor will follow up with you via phone or via email after the results are out, and may call you in for a consultation and discuss the results with you. Doctors generally send a copy of the report to you. If there are any problem areas, the doctor will tell you what you should be doing. Depending on what the reports suggest, the doctor can recommend further tests. If no health problems arise, you are set until next year.

What Residents Say

Nour Shubair, 24, Palestine says, "Every four months usually I do regular check-ups every year, and lately my health check-up result showed vitamin D3 deficiency. Now I have started to take the vitamin pills until my next check-up."

Sreooshi, 31, housemaker says, “Whenever we go to India we get a full-body check-up done as our insurance in Dubai don’t cover all tests. But every six months we make sure that we get the basic tests done in Dubai such as vitamin, urine and blood tests. Also, post my delivery, every 3 to 4 months I visit gynaecologists for anaemia, calcium deficiency, USG of uterus and abdomen check-ups.”

Nouran, 32, Graphic Designer says, “I am very conscious of my health. I never skip my dental check-up routine and breast cancer check-ups twice a year. In 21st century’s lifestyle, it is the least we can do to keep our health in check.”

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