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Importance of preventive health checkups

Prevention is better than cure. A stitch in time saves nine. More than being just simple proverbs that we learned in school, in all likelihood, there must have been times in our adult life, when we realized the profundity of these simple one-liners. In some way or the other, we all must be through situations that reminded us of the importance of prevention and how our habit of procrastination had cost us, dear. And if it’s about our health and when we are sick, it really hits us hard – we feel bad. This is where the relevance of preventive health care comes in.

Our healthy lifestyle has come to a halt. Our work leaves us with no time to involve ourselves in physical activities. This is affecting us today with chronic heart diseases, cancers, mental disturbances, diabetes, and several hormonal imbalances. All of this can be prevented by planning and executing a proper health check-up to prevent the disease from spreading. Therefore, it is important to go for yearly or monthly preventive tests to increase chances for treatment and cure. How often you need assistance depends on your age, family history, and how often you smoke.

Exterminating a disease in the earliest stages is very uncomplicated and easy. However, as the disease progresses, it becomes more difficult for the patient to combat the medical condition and sometimes, despite the finest treatment, impossible. Even if you believe that you are in the peak of your health, there may be certain signs and symptoms which are not noticeable but may cause serious illnesses if not treated.

As stated by World Health Organization (WHO), a decline in the incidence and prevalence of coronary heart disease and other chronic lifestyle diseases in western countries is the result of appropriate preventive measures undertaken by these countries. Likewise, the introduction of routine immunization has been the sole reason for the elimination of the diseases. Therefore, WHO emphasizes that in the practice of medicine, preventive measures must get precedence over anything. It estimates that almost 60-70% of these diseases are preventable with timely assessment and intervention.

For instance, a heart attack may not be sudden but can happen due to the gradual accumulation of cholesterol in blood vessels. A health check-up will determine your cholesterol number and allow you to make diet changes to reduce fat intake. Keep yourself informed about what your body is demanding because it will help you to make wise decisions regarding your health.

Preventive healthcare provides many direct benefits to the individual:Not having to deal with uncomfortable or painful symptoms, feeling more energetic and just being able to fully enjoy your daily activities. However, our health care system is geared to treating illness after the fact, once the acute symptoms force you to the emergency room.

Even though many health insurances plans to cover preventive medicine such as regular check-ups, unfortunately, our medical system does not emphasize it. Therefore, the responsibility is for each individual to make sure the doctor understands the personal goal of staying healthy and that preventing disease is a high priority.

Preventive Healthcare as an investment

No one can argue that medical care is expensive, and preventing disease can help avoid a large financial loss or bankruptcy.Preventive healthcare should be considered an investment or personal insurance, with keeping your retirement nest egg as your return on investment. Take advantage of any preventive benefits that your insurance company offers; seriously, these companies are happy to cover preventive medical expenses because they have the statistics that prove how much it saves them down the road. Insurance companies employ many people with degrees in finance and economics, so they know the importance of maintaining good health and how expensive it is to treat a chronic illness or serious malady.

For you and me, the choice regarding our health is simple: Either invest a relatively small amount (which may be covered 100% by insurance) in order to stay in good health, or pay a huge amount later to treat the disease that is bound to eventually hit us. Since major medical expenses could easily exceed our maximum insurance coverage, this second choice could cause us financial ruin as well.

Weigh the relatively inexpensive cost of regular check-ups against the enormous expense of major care such as cancer treatment or long-term home healthcare visits by a nurse or health aide. Major medical expenses often destroy a person’s life savings; adding the insult of poverty to the injury of physical suffering. The years of frugally planning, saving and investing in order to enjoy your retirement years can be erased by neglecting physical health during those same years. Remember, most diseases are highly preventable by subscribing to preventive healthcare habits.

To improve the quality of life and enjoy good health throughout your life, you need to go for regular health check-ups. Spending bucks on regular health check-up are like investing in some funds that will give you good returns in the future when required. Although your body may be fit today, you cannot be sure that this ‘fit and fine’ condition will prevail till your last breath. Of course, there is the fear of unknown. No one can tell you about accidents and certainly unexpected, unavoidable circumstances. But that does not mean you take your health for granted. To fight the unknown and unexpected in the future, you can at least, take some basic precautionary measures.

Interestingly, as more and more people get on the preventive healthcare bandwagon, we will also be benefitting all of us collectively. By minimizing our individual demands on the health care system, we contribute to keeping the system efficient, affordable and functioning smoothly. On the other hand, if too many people wait too to get treated (when the illness or injury is most like more serious), the burden becomes much greater on the system overall, and the quality of everyone’s health care suffers and medical expenses rise. The inevitable result will be higher health costs, higher health insurance premiums, poorer medical services for each individual, and a highly-taxed medical system.

Who requires Preventive Health Checkup?

It has been observed that people of working age-group (35-65 years) are being increasingly afflicted by lifestyle diseases. It is recommended by international consensus and understanding that men, above 35 years of age, and women, above 40 years of the age, should undergo annual preventive health checkup. In case of a significant history of a particular disease in family, it is prudent to initiate screening tests 10 years before, when the youngest member of family

developed that particular disease (e.g. diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, cancer of breasts, prostate, colon, etc).

General preventive measures include the availability of fresh air, clean potable water, regular physical exercise, adequate rest, balanced and nutritious diet, avoidance of smoking and tobacco use, immunization against certain diseases and of course regular medical checkup.

A composition of a regular health check-up

Besides an overall physical examination, which includes the eyes and teeth, a standard health check-up is meant to assess the functioning of the heart, lungs, digestive system, liver, kidneys and, immune system status. Sometimes certain cancer-specific tests like PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) for men and mammography and some gynecological examinations in women are also included.

A health check-up primarily comprises pathology (blood and urine), imaging (x-ray and ultrasonography), lungs function test and cardiac stress test. These tests should ideally be carried out in an accredited laboratory or a hospital which is equipped with the best diagnostic tools. It is very important that the results of these tests be interpreted and examined by qualified physicians.

Different preventive health checkup packages are provided by Apex Diagnostics Solan. These include Whole Body Wellness package, Whole body master package, Diabetic package, Cardiac (Heart) package, Arthritis package, Senior citizen package etc and special packages are also designed taking in consideration the person’s physical condition and family history. Attractive discounts are also offered on various packages.

Medical research has come a long way, and as a result, people live much longer than they used to. While no one can argue that expanding the average person’s lifespan is good, many folks are not enjoying the quality of life that we would hope as they get older. Many of the elderly have chronic conditions that overwhelm their daily activities or they get diseases repeatedly, which ultimately raises health insurance premiums. Learning about and practicing preventive healthcare, is properly the best method to prevent a disease from happening in the first place.

Remember when you are healthy, you can enjoy with your family, friends and socialize more with people. When you know you are fit, you can live life in the true sense. Wishing you all a good health and a long life.


Dr. Deveshwar Pandey

MBBS (MD Medicine)