Monday, May 18, 2009

Health Care and Medical House Cleaning

House cleaning is a chore that no one likes, but it has to be done in order to keep a home in shape. In the same way, your health needs a regular medical house cleaning, at least once a year, to ensure that your body is in shape. According to, regular checkups are a valuable tool in maintaining good health, and taking proper care of your health at the right time can prevent a lot of problems in the future. It's good to find out that you have a problem, before it is too late to cure it. So appropriate tests should be done at the right time. The main aim of a check-up is to detect illness at an early stage, or better still prevent illness occurring in the first place. Some tests saves so many lives that it is definitely worth the money spend on it. In adults up to about 40 years, a check-up every two years is appropriate. Older adults should be seen every year or so.

Sutter Health Plan has some suggestions for keeping you and your family healthy:
1. Review screening tests and immunizations that are appropriate for you and make sure yours are up to date.
2. Exercise “aerobically,” enough to raise your heart rate to about (220 – your age) x 70%. Your goal is to do this at least 30 minutes every day, but every bit helps.
3. Achieve and maintain normal body weight.
4. Eat foods low in saturated fat and trans-fatty acids and high in calcium and fiber, with plenty
of fruits and vegetables. Take a calcium supplement, if necessary.
5. Practice safe sex, use condoms and a reliable method of contraception.
6. Do not smoke, and avoid inhaling others’ cigarette smoke. If you need help quitting, please ask your doctor.
7. “Safety-proof” your home to prevent poisoning and accidental use of firearms. Check your smoke detectors regularly.
8. Don’t drive or allow others to drive while under the influence of alcohol or other mind-altering
9. Use sport helmets appropriately, regardless of your age.
10. Children under 12 and adults shorter than 4’9” should not sit in automobile seats with airbags in front of them.
11. Seek help early for depression, mood changes, alcohol or drug abuse.
12. Perform regular skin self-examinations. Protect your skin from sun damage with sunblock and clothing.
13. Find balance in your life between work, home and play time. Include stress reduction activities (fun!) into every day.

According to, there are some basic factors of a routine physical check up:
--Medical History: Prior to your physical examination, you should tell your doctor about your diet, exercise, medication you are taking, alcohol and tobacco use, sexual behavior, family history of diseases, such as cancers like breast, bowel, prostate and melanoma; diabetes, asthma, glaucoma, gout, heart attack etc. and any symptoms you may be feeling. This information is vital because it affects your risk factors for various illnesses and, consequently, the tests your doctor may decide to give you.
--Physical Exam: The doctor will check your height, weight and blood pressure, and listen to your heart beats, lungs and carotid artery for abnormalities such as a heart murmur or lung obstruction. A doctor who is very thorough may also check your mouth, ears, lymph nodes, thyroid and rectum and feel your abdomen for abnormalities, and scan your skin for signs of cancer.
--Counseling: After the medical history and physical exam, your doctor should talk to you about any risk factors you may have and discuss what habits you should change to maintain good health. The physician will also tell you what lab tests you need and how often you should have them.
--Lab Tests: Some tests, such as mammography and pap smears, are usually based on guidelines set by respected research organizations. In addition, your doctor may want to run tests for diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis or prostate cancer, and to screen your heart, liver, kidney, blood and urine. The extent of other tests your doctor recommends will be determined by any risk factors you may have based on your medical or family history.

Some tests to detect diseases, according to, should be scheduled with a primary care doctor if you are experiencing any health care problems associated with lab tests, diagnostic issues, or physical exams that indicated further testing was merited.
--Blood pressure: Both high and low pressure have effect our health badly. High blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Having a yearly blood pressure test will provide your health care professional with a baseline level to compare during subsequent visits. Once you are detected of not having the normal blood pressure it is better to check up on a regular basis.
--Urine testing: Routine urine test is done to test for sugar, for any blood and protein that might suggest a bladder or kidney problem, for hepatitis, infections etc.
--Blood Tests: Tests may include blood count, blood glucose, thyroid function, electrolytes (sodium and potassium), cholesterol and others, depending on family history.
--Cholesterol level: Every adult should have the cholesterol level checked occasionally. A high blood cholesterol level is an important risk factor for coronary artery disease. If it is high more specific tests like HDL and LDL cholesterol levels can be done. With increasing age, the risk decreases and is usually not recommended for very elderly patients.
--Chest X-ray: X-rays can be done to detect lung abnormalities (tuberculosis, emphysema or lung cancer) early enough to initiate a successful treatment plan.
--EKG (Electrocardiogram)—Men and women over 50 should have a baseline EKG done and repeat the test every two to three years. The EKG shows an electrical map of the heart rhythm and can indicate any changes or potential problems including heart attack, high potassium and irregular heartbeat.
--Cancer Testing:
A.) For women : A Mammogram should be done annually after age 40, along with monthly BSE (breast self-examinations). For early detection of pelvic and cervical cancers, a PAP smear and pelvic exam should be conducted every one to three years and yearly for women with a higher risk of disease. A Bone mass density test should be done for women with high risk of osteoporosis.
B.) Tests for men : Prostate and PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels should be checked for early detection of prostate cancer. Prostate checks are suggested in men from about fifty years of age onwards every year or so.
C.) Fecal occult blood test: This test, which should be done annually, checks for blood in the stool as an indicator of possible colorectal cancer.
D.) Colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy : These tests are done to detect colon cancer. If you have a family history or other risk factors for colon cancer, Colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years. People over 50 should have a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years.

According to, almost everyone is guilty, in one way or another, of neglecting their health even if they don't intend to. Stressed-out moms and dads usually spend long working hours in the office to finance their kid's education and pay for bills. On the other hand, there are model teens who forgo the 'luxury' of sleeping eight hours a night just to finish school papers and projects. All forms of compromise you make, such as insufficient sleep and fatty diet, have subsequent effects in your health. In your quest for achieving a good life, you often sacrifice your health and medical condition. The overwhelming pressure brought about by work, school, and personal concerns can very well make us oblivious of symptoms of serious illness or disease. Most of the time, people learn about their troublesome health and medical condition, like cancer and stroke, when it's already too late to be treated. No matter how busy you are, health and medical experts say you should always subject ourselves to regular check-ups. It is so normal for you to visit the doctor only when you feel there's something wrong. But the thing is, not all symptoms of deadly illnesses can easily be felt and seen. For instance, a woman who has breast cancer may never notice the small lump in her right breast until she takes some time to self-assess her breasts. You may think we're perfectly fine until you suddenly breakdown in a middle of the day and find out we're not in tip-top shape after all. Younger people need to undergo general medical checkups with special attention on blood pressure or blood sugar (to prevent on-set of heart diseases and diabetes). Those belonging to the senior citizen-bracket should go for check-ups that can detect certain kinds of cancer. Aside from general health and medical check-ups, women have to undergo pap smear annually to prevent cervical cancer or diseases related to reproductive system. It is also a must for women in their forties to subject themselves to mammogram. Breast self-checkup every month would suffice for younger women. Pregnant and lactating mothers also have to undergo pre and post natal checkups. Health and medical experts also advice parents to bring their children to the doctor for necessary immunization and proper health care. Since regular health checkups is indispensable, you should see to it that you have a family doctor. A family doctor is the one to hold all the medical records for future reference.

Doing regular cleaning in your home will keep the chores under control. Regular health check ups will help maintain do the same for your physical and mental well being. Make sure that your health is maintained properly and kept in order to avoid bigger problems later. Regardless of busy schedules, everyone should undergo regular medical check-ups to detect or prevent illnesses and diseases.

Until next time. Let me know what you think.


Blanket said...

Good thoughts shared inside out is a good way to good health.

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TwinMed said...

this is indeed a very thoughtful post.Good health needs regular check ups and with the upbeat lifestyle diseases are attacking all at a fast pace.

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