Slowly, 2021 is drawing to a close. Typically, as the year comes to an end, the general atmosphere is that the end of the year is a time for review. Companies review the performance of staff and of their business accounts. We tend to pay more attention to the noises our cars make and send them in for servicing. The end of year signifies a time of looking back and putting things in order.
Many times the human body has been compared to a machine. It is made up of many different units that come together for effective functioning. Just like any machine, as people age, wear and tear takes its toll on us and if our parts are not checked, replaced or refurbished, we break down. To prevent this, here are a few important examinations that are essential for effective functioning of our machines.
Note; you should always consult your primary healthcare provider before making medical decisions.
Blood Pressure Measurement
Hypertension is a common problem as we age. It is often called “The Silent Killer” because it does not come with overt signs and symptoms. Its effects can be felt in all organs of the body especially the brain, heart, kidneys, and eyes. Though silent, it may have some signs and symptoms. The commonest complaints include constant headaches, blurring of vision, as well as general feeling of malaise. If unchecked and untreated, hypertension can result in strokes, blindness, or heart attacks. It is essential to get your blood pressure checked to ensure that you are within normal limits. A helpful tip is to keep a blood pressure diary where you record the values and the dates on which you get your blood pressure measured. This will help you and your doctor to monitor your values.
Diabetes is a common bedfellow of hypertension. Persistently elevated blood sugar levels are a classical indicator of diabetes. It is a disease that is projected to affect 370 million people worldwide by the year 2030. It is important to measure and monitor blood glucose levels to ensure that they are within the normal values. For already diagnosed diabetics, this enables you and your doctor to monitor the efficacy of the medications you are on.
- Mammogram: Women over the age of 40 are encouraged to have mammograms every 1-3 years to screen for breast cancer. In addition to this, monthly self breast examination should be done by all women. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women who do not smoke. If at any time you find a lump, contact your primary health care provider
- Prostate Exam: Men, who are over age 40, are likewise encouraged to have yearly prostate exams to assess the prostate gland. This ensures early detection of any prostate disease if present.
- Full Blood Count: A basic essential blood test that is useful in identifying the presence of an infection, anaemia, and many others.
- Urine: is a great indicator of the health status of a person. The presence of micro-organisms, red blood cells, and other microscopic elements can give a clue to any underlying health conditions. In addition, further testing of urine may be required in individuals with diabetes, kidney disease, or hypertension.
Worthy of mention are eye tests, especially in people who wear glasses, dental workups, chest x-rays, and liver function tests. [However, these are better decided according to the discretion of your doctor.]
A car designed to run on petrol will not function effectively if it is not given the correct fuel. In the same way, we need the right fuel to keep our machines running well. This is the time of year to re-evaluate your diet. Are you eating a lot of processed unhealthy foods? Do you drink enough water? Are you exercising enough?
We only have one body, and it must be our prime priority to take good care of it. As the year closes, take some time and have a good look at your machine.
Take it to the workshop and get it serviced, replace the engine oil, top up your brake fluid, and enjoy your next ride on the open road!