The word “medical examination” elicits fear in people, who would be best off without conducting one. “What you do not know won’t hurt you” is a common slogan. But in medicine, what you do not know can hurt you. Health professionals recommend general medical examination whenever possible. This need becomes more beneficial as you advance in age.
A medical examination known as a medical checkup is a routine assessment of your health status. The physician conducts a series of investigations to assess which body part is more likely to harbor or suffer from an undiagnosed health problem.
To aid your decision-making, join me as we explore the benefits of medical checkups and their components
Components of Medical Examination
Personal history during a medical examination entails you giving your background health record. It covers past medical history, family medical history, social, and any other information that the doctor may dim fit. The aim is to gather the subject’s health information from the individual and assist in their health state.
History of closely related family members helps identify genetically related diseases. For example, with a positive family history of type 2 diabetes, blood glucose monitoring is crucial. Many other chronic diseases have a genetic predisposition, do not hide such details from your physician.
Vital sign assessment
Observation of vital signs forms a critical component of medical examination because it is the window to your health assessment. Vital signs are measurements of bodily functions that help to monitor your well-being. They include your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and body temperature. A deviation from normal is the basis for further investigations. For instance, an irregular body temperature might be due to an infection. To confirm, your doctor may order blood analysis to identify causative microbes and give proper treatment.
The physical examination is a head-to-toe examination of your health status. A doctor performs a detailed assessment of every part of your body to ascertain that all organs are functioning. This is done by inspecting your overall health, skin integrity, and the mucus membrane of the eye, nose, and mouth to rule out infection, foreign body, or any other abnormal features.
Using a stethoscope, the doctor listens to your breathing, heartbeat, and bowel sounds. The abdomen is assessed for any abnormal presentation. By tapping on the abdominal wall, the doctor can assess the presence of fluid in the abdominal cavity and outlines borders, consistency, and size of internal organs.
In addition, the doctor assesses the lower limbs for signs of edema. By pressing on the ankle joint, the doctor can identify edema and addresses its cause.
Visual and auditory acuity are other examinations your doctor can order to assess how well your eyes and ears can function.
In your medical examination is a list of must-do laboratory tests. The doctor may order urine specimens, blood for a full haemogram, renal function test, liver function test, stool for ova and cysts, and other tests according to your personal and family medical background. A test for blood sugar levels may be necessary for a person with a positive family history of type 2 diabetes.
In addition, radiological assessment of the chest cavity is almost always mandatory during a medical checkup. Your doctor will require chest X-rays to assess how well your internal organs are and rule out any infection in the chest cavity.
Other targeted radiological investigations can be ordered based on your presentation and identified health needs. The aim is to provide a concise prognosis of your health status based on available health data.
Benefits of Medical Checkups
Medical health checks do not need to be done annually, but whenever they are done, they have several benefits;
- Support early treatment for better health outcomes
Evidence from chronic disease management points out that most diseases have a long duration before actual symptoms manifest. A routine medical checkup can help reveal health problems often overlooked leading to treatment. Early treatment averts disability and complications with better health outcomes.
Help the doctor find the disease early and start you on treatment by honoring your medical checkup schedule.
- Keep track of health needs
Interaction with health care provides added benefits because a person becomes more familiar with the health care team on a friendlier basis. Such an opportunity accords the person access to health information for better health decision-making. During wellness checkups, you can ask multiple questions compared to acute care where attention is on presenting illness.
- Detect undiagnosed health conditions
A medical checkup is an opportunity to evaluate and identify signs and symptoms of underlying ill health that you may not be aware of. Early diagnosis of ill health leads to early treatment, which has better health outcomes. For example, a disease like hypertension due to high blood pressure is known as a “silent killer” disease because it rarely presents with signs. High blood pressure is likely to be diagnosed through routine health checkups.
- Establish health goals
Preemptive health seeking help identify any loaming health condition that can be arrested before advancement. It can change the trajectory of an illness by minimizing risk factors through better health goals. For example, you can adopt a more active lifestyle, make healthier food choices, and proactively seek health information. A medical examination can help you make better health decisions and avoid risky behaviors.
- Build a robust immune system
Leading a healthy lifestyle boosts your immune system. Medical checkups are an opportunity to evaluate your lifestyle and promote your health consciousness. This is reflected in how well you make food choices, engage in structured physical activity, and avoid behavior that can subject you to ill health like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Ample evidence implicates cigarette smoking in the etiology of chronic illnesses like heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and some cancers.
A healthy immune system is the bedrock of a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention.
- Moderate weight gain
Being overweight is now recognized as the leading cause of the global burden of chronic diseases with high body mass index and waist circumference associated with lower back pain, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Maintaining a healthy weight has multiple benefits. It is associated with healthier blood circulation throughout the body, and fluid balance, and you are less likely to develop chronic diseases.
Medical checkups provide the opportunity for weight moderation.
- Promotes healthy dietary food choices
You cannot interact with a wellness clinic and come out without learning a few things about healthy dieting. The focus of a wellness clinic is to create awareness of disease pattern and their prevention strategies and diet are central. A diet rich in whole grains, quality protein, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats is key to disease prevention.
- Strengthen doctor-patient relationship
You do not have to fear your doctor because you are familiar with health care. Medical checkups help strengthen the doctor-patient relationship. In the confines of a strong bond, health problems are discussed which adds knowledge to your decision-making.
- Increase quality healthy years
Medical checks can increase access to preventive health care. For example, during a medical checkup, you can follow up on unattended vaccination, screening for health conditions, and is an opportunity to ascertain your health state. There exist multiple screening tests for many chronic diseases including cancer. Early treatment of most diseases can lead to remission with better survival.
For example, A healthy medical report is reassuring and can go along to mediate more years of a healthy lifestyle.
- Reduce health care costs money
Medical care is an expensive venture. It includes the actual medical costs of health care and additional costs of lost productivity or absenteeism from work. The combined expenditure can be daunting. Delayed treatment increases complications and disability with loss of productive years.
In the long run, a medical examination saves you money and keeps you informed of your health status. A healthy person can be more productive at work and enjoy better mental well-being.
With these in mind, let us schedule that medical checkup and enjoy the health benefits.
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