Preventive health check up

Why Do We Need a Health Check?

Preventive health check up

About a year ago when US presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sparred over their competencies for office, a key criterion came under the scanner and the outcome was awaited with much anticipation around the world: the results of their mandatory health check.

Your health can often hamper your ability to perform under various stressful conditions, be it at home, at work, or when you face the world at large. A preventive health check up can help you pursue your goals to the best of your abilities and in the best of health.

Benefits of Health Check Ups

  • Prevention is better than cure, to which extent health checks can help you identify any ailments early on and seek the right treatment.
  • Routine complete body check up and blood tests can also help you monitor and control any existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, etc.
  • Do away with mental disturbances about inexplicable symptoms that you and your family are worried about.
  • Keep a check on hormonal imbalances due to conditions such as thyroid and get on the required medication at the earliest.
  • There’s nothing like a clean bill of health to keep you motivated towards your health goals!

 

When Do Adults Need a Check Up?

How often do you need these check ups? Depends largely on these factors:

  • Age: If you are healthy and under 30 and with no risk factors such as being overweight or being a smoker, you can opt for a health check once every 2 years. For those who are sexually active, screening for sexually transmitted diseases and infections are recommended more regularly as per your physician’s advice. For women, a pap smear is also recommended to screen for cervical cancer from as early as 21 years of age. Between 30-40 years, the recommended time frame for health checks for healthy individuals is 1-2 years. Mammograms are recommended for women post 40, and should be repeated at the same intervals, once every 1-2 years. For those between 30-40 years of age with existing medical conditions and for individuals above 50, an annual health check is most recommended.
  • Lifestyle factors: Inactive lifestyle, poor diet, exposure to excess pollution, stressful job, smoking, higher consumption of alcohol – all of these factors and other increasingly common lifestyle challenges can also mean you need a regular health check to keep track of your health.
  • Family history of medical conditions: Do you know of any genetic illnesses that you can be prone to such as thalassemia or is there a family history of heart disease? Specific health checks such as cardiac health check up and those that include genome mapping can help you catch the disease early and get on a preventive course of treatment.

Now wondering what you need to do to prepare for a health check? Read more here.

Looking to understand any pre-existing medical conditions before you opt for
health insurance cover? Look no further than MediBuddy for a wide-range of
health checks and consultations at your closest healthcare centres. 

Common types of cancer

Common Types of Cancer in India: Understand the Causes, Protect Yourself!

Common types of cancer

Simply put, cancer is a condition where cells in a particular part of the body multiply at an uncontrolled rate, often forming tumours and invading other parts of the body due to this accelerated cell formation. There is, however, nothing simple about the disease itself. Sometimes triggered by lifestyle causes, sometimes by genetics, and sometimes by untraceable causes, this disease leaves us curious about who can be at risk.

Awareness plays a key role in controlling the disease by catching it early on and treating it in the early stages. Here’s a list of the most common forms of cancer in India and a few causes that contribute that you should know about.

Common Types of Cancer in Women

Cancer can attack any part of the body. Going by statistics though, women are noted to be more prone to:

Breast cancer – One woman dies of breast cancer for every two women diagnosed with the disease in India. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer is a leading form of cancer prevalent among women. The chances of developing breast cancer post the age of 40 years is higher, which makes a mammogram essential for women in the age group at least once in two years.

The causes for early onset of the disease and for breast cancer in general is often attributed to poor lifestyle, poor eating habits, irregular sleeping hours, high stress levels, early onset of puberty, late menopause and pregnancy beyond the 30s. Read more about the causes, symptoms and diagnosis of breast cancer.

Cervical cancer – Every eight minutes, one woman dies of cervical cancer in India; it kills over 33,000 women In India alone annually. The disease stands in pace with breast cancer as yet another leading cause for cancer deaths in women. A striking fact about this type of cancer is that it is mainly caused by HPV (the human papilloma virus). The virus is transmitted through sexual contact. The disease originates in the cervix and also involves the uterus. It is noted to be more common among women who become sexually active at a young age.

Others – Other forms of cancer are also prevalent in women, although not as common as breast cancer and cervical cancer. These include ovarian and uterine cancer. The causes for these types of cancer are varied: hereditary or family history of the disease; owing to hormone therapy for other conditions such as fertility treatment or breast cancer treatment; obesity; no history of pregnancy; and genetic mutations.

Common Types of Cancer in Men

Cases of oral and lung cancer in men and cervical and breast cancer in women account for over 50% of all cancer deaths in India, making in essential to understand these types and cause of cancer as well:

Oral cancer – While oral cancer is not a common type of cancer globally, it is in India, and accounts for around 7% of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in a year. This form of cancer includes cancers of the mouth, lip, inner cheek, palate, and most part of the tongue. The primary cause for oral cancer in India is the excessive use of tobacco products, whether it’s tobacco chewing or smoking.

Lung cancer – A lethal and very common type of cancer in India, lung cancer is attributed to a number of causes, chief among them the use of tobacco products. Other causes include environmental pollution, chulha cooking in villages, and carcinogenic compounds. Read more about lung cancer.

Prostate cancer – The prostate is a walnut-sized gland below the urinary bladder. Its primary function is to secrete fluid that nourishes sperms. The gland is prone to hypertrophy with age, i.e., it grows in size. It is also very prone to cancer with age. It is the second most common type of cancer in men in the world and also accounts for about 240,000 global deaths each year. While its prevalence in India was once low, poor lifestyle has seen an increase in the number of cases reported in recent years.

Common Types of Cancer in Children

Cancer in children is described to be quite different from that in adults, especially since causative factors are not as apparent. Only 3% of all forms of cancer occur in children. They may be fast growing but also equally sensitive to chemotherapy treatment, making cure a practical and achievable goal.

Bone cancer: A common type of cancer in children, bone cancer originates in the bone tissues of the limbs, i.e., arms and legs. It also involves fibrous tissue, cartilage, and nerve tissue of the musculoskeletal system. Bone cancer can attack the body during the first 20 years of age when there is maximum growth in the musculoskeletal system.

Leukaemia: Cancers that begin in the bone marrow or from the blood and lymphatic system are termed blood cancers. There are three distinct types of blood cancers, and leukaemia is the most common form among the three. It is caused by an increase in immature or faulty white blood cells (WBCs that fight disease) in the bone marrow. These cells could spread and multiply across the body, causing damage to other organs as well.

Most forms of cancer can be prevented, screened for and/or detected early.

 There are many cancer screening health checks available close to
you, find them on MediBuddy.

How to prepare for a health check up?

Preparing for a Health Check: The Dos and Don’ts You Must Know

How to prepare for a health check up?

The reliability and accuracy of a test rest largely on the test subject –that’s you in case of a health check! So what are the things you must do or avoid ahead of a health screening or a lab test? Read on to find out:

To-Do List Ahead of Your Health Check Up

  1. Get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep has been known to affect blood glucose and blood pressure levels and can influence other tests as well.
  2. Fast for at least eight hours. In rare cases, some tests require fasting for 12 hours too. Stick to drinking plain water post dinner the previous night.
  3. If you are under routine medication for other conditions, you may have to skip or postpone them according to your doctor’s advice until your urine or blood sample is taken. For example, medicines such as beta-blockers may have to be stopped three days ahead of the test.
  4. If an ultrasound has been scheduled for you, drink several glasses of water ahead of the scan. A full bladder forms a convenient path for the ultrasonic waves.
  5. In case of a treadmill test, wear appropriate footwear and attire that allow you to take the test comfortably.
  6. Tests such as a colonoscopy may require you to take a laxative the previous night as per your physician’s guidance.

 

Things to Avoid Ahead of Your Health Check Up

  1. Don’t forget to follow specific instructions given by your physician or healthcare centre.
  2. Avoid eating salty food at least 24 hours ahead of your exam as it can elevate your triglycerides and blood pressure.
  3. Avoid exercise or strenuous activity immediately before a health test as it can raise your heart rate or drop your potassium levels.
  4. Watch what you drink. It’s best to avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol well ahead of tests and sample collection to keep your blood pressure down and avoid irregularities in test results.
  5. In case of a pelvic ultrasound, avoid urinating for at least one hour prior to the exam.
  6. If you are going in for a mammogram, do not use perfumes, deodorants, powder or cream under the arms or around the chest as it can interfere with the quality of the test.
  7. Pap smear, urine or stool tests are ideally done 5-6 days after the last day of menstruation.
  8. A stream of other things to avoid at least 24 hours ahead of a pap smear – sex, tampons, vaginal creams, and medications such as vaginal suppositories used for infections

A lot of the dos and don’ts are conditional, based on specific ailments and the purpose of the test. If you have any questions about your health check or lab tests, speak up! It’s best to clarify them to ensure a precise medical report! Talk to a specialist through MediBuddy.

Common blood tests

What Do You Know About These 8 Common Blood Tests?

Common blood tests

As you age, and as early as 30, the importance of monitoring your health to prevent life-threatening ailments becomes a crucial part of your health management.  With timely blood tests, you can check and prevent conditions like diabetes, heart disease and thyroid irregularities. But before you walk into a health check befuddled about the number of tests prescribed, get acquainted with why you need them:

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

A complete blood count test helps diagnose certain types of cancer, infections, and anaemia. It’s particularly an important test for Indian women as we are prone to iron deficiency anaemia that needs to be treated. The test is usually repeated once a year.

Kidney Function Test

Your kidneys play a vital role in keeping you healthy. Some of their primary functions include filtering waste materials from the blood, controlling the levels of water and essential minerals in the body, and helping in the production of Vitamin D. Kidney function tests (KFT) help ensure kidney function by measuring several parameters such as blood urea, serum creatinine, total protein, etc.

Lipid Profile

The lipid profile test measures triglycerides, total cholesterol, and HDL and LDL levels, making it an essential test to monitor your heart health. If you’ve done the test previously recording normal readings, it’s recommended to repeat the test once every 2 years. For those who suffer from obesity, heart disease or diabetes, an annual test is recommended.

Liver Profile

Working alongside other organs, the liver helps absorb, digest, and process food. Blood tests can assess liver function and inflammation. A liver function test can be done annually to screen for liver health and to diagnose conditions like alcohol-induced liver damage, Hepatitis C and B or fatty liver.

HBA1C

HbA1c stands for glycated haemoglobin. Measuring HBA1C levels allows physicians to gain an overview of average blood sugar levels over a period of weeks or months. People with diabetes will need to get this test done routinely to ensure they are on the right medicines and treatment plan. For others, the test is recommended once a year or as deemed necessary by a physician.

Blood Glucose

As the name suggests, this test helps measure the level of glucose in the blood. Yet another essential for diabetics, it is recommended to check for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. The HbA1C test is additionally recommended if pre-diabetes or diabetes is suspected.  An annual test is suggested if the reading is normal.

Thyroid Profile

The thyroid produces triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) – two major hormones. Any imbalance in their levels can indicate either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.  Thyroid function tests include a series of blood tests to understand how well your thyroid gland is working. These tests typically include T3, T4, and TSH.

Wondering where to head for your health check or lab test?
Look no further than MediBuddy!