Annual Health Screening

It’s the start of the New Year and a good time as any to become more mindful about your physical and mental wellbeing. It is a great time for a health check to evaluate your current health status and make any life changes you may need to make at this stage to help reduce the risk of future disease and to ensure you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

It’s an ideal time to have a general health check such us an Annual Health Screen to include blood tests, urine test, weight check, BMI assessment, blood pressure check, electrocardiogram (ECG) to assess heart health, general and more specific examinations if needed. It is vital to ensure your screening tests such as cervical, breast, and bowel cancer screenings are up to date. Examinations can help to identify and diagnose other cancers such as prostate and skin cancers and other abnormalities.

Blood tests include a full blood count, kidney and liver function, glucose, cholesterol levels, calcium and magnesium levels and iron storage.

Conditions such as thyroid disorders, vitamin deficiencies and hormonal changes can also be checked with a simple blood test and may help in making a diagnosis as well as evaluating your current health and to help guide you to take simple steps to improve your health.

Lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise levels and reducing fat and sugar in your diet as well as maintaining a healthy BMI can reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes and improve your overall wellbeing. Preventing disease and early diagnosis of conditions improves outcomes and treatment success.

Maintaining healthy nutrition and checking for vitamin deficiencies can help improve your general health.

Vitamin deficiencies can lead to a number of health conditions. For example, Vitamin D plays an important role in bone metabolism and helps maintain strong bones and can help in the management of osteoporosis. However, Vitamin D is also extremely important in maintaining a healthy immune system which is even more crucial in the current climate. During the Winter months many people do need to take Vitamin D supplements, but it is important not to take too much either.

Ensuring your nutrition is adequate by checking other essential vitamins such as B12, folate and iron levels can help identify causes of fatigue, thinning hair and poor cognitive function.

Vitamin B12 keeps your nerves, blood cells and DNA healthy. Vitamin B12 is mainly found naturally in animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. Plant based food do not naturally contain B12 so if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet you have to ensure you do not become deficient. Nutritional yeast can be used as a supplement for B12. Folic acid also helps make healthy red blood cells, deficiency can cause a type of anaemia and cause fatigue; good sources of folic acid include dark green leafy vegetables, spinach, asparagus beans peas and lentils.

Advanced screening tests can be recommended if signs or symptoms of diseases are found or if there is a higher risk due to your family history. These include tests such “Virtual” angiograms and colonoscopies, ultrasound, x-rays and CT or MRI scans. Primary prevention and early detection of health conditions is essential in maintaining optimal health.

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