Remember when you were a kid and your parents used to take care of all your health appointments? You didn’t have to worry about a thing, all you had to do was show up, get examined and leave. Well, things are a little different now.
These days, booking in an appointment that isn’t for my hair is such an effort. But as we get older, some of these appointments become more important as we become more affected by our actions and age.
5 Health Appointments You Should Make
They say you should be going to the dentist every 6 to 8 months to make sure that your teeth are healthy and clean. But more importantly, to make sure your gums are in working order. In the UK, gum disease affects 3 out of 4 adults over the age of 35. And according to the Gum Disease Information Bureau, 50% of all cases are caused by smoking. So if you are a smoker, then a trip to the dentist should be at the top of your list.
Get Your Blood Work Done
Now, don’t panic with this one. I’m not telling you to see what hereditary diseases you might have and become a hypochondriac a la What The Health creator, but it is good to know how your blood cell count is doing. Sure, it gives way to finding out the more scarier stuff, but it also reveals any allergies, how dehydrated you are and how well your immune system is functioning. Your blood work also shows your cholesterol, electrolyte levels and can identify any thyroid problems.
Knowing these little details could help prevent something more serious from happening in the future.
Find Out Your Body Composition
Same idea as the blood work. Knowing what’s going on on the inside can influence the actions you take on the outside. Are you retaining more water than you should? How much body fat do you have and where is it mostly located? Do you have enough muscle on your body? Are you eating enough (or too many) calories for your body?
Our muscle and fat protect our organs and bones, so it’s important to make sure we have the right balance of everything.
This is one that I’m still talking myself into doing. I have so many moles, and I really need to get them checked as I’m not sure if they have changed or even how long they have been there. But not knowing could lead to something more serious and I’m all about prevention over cure.
I recommend mole mapping to everyone, but more so to those who live in sunny climates, have fair skin or who have a lot of moles. I know in Australia, melanoma is a problem so if you live there and are reading this. Go! Go book your appointment now.
Thought I’d leave the worst one until the end. Sorry. But this one should be your priority. In Dubai, we get tested every year, and they usually follow up with colposcopies if the results show abnormalities. I know that in the UK it isn’t as thorough or as regular, which is shocking considering the current HPV vaccination campaign. I remember trying to get a test when I was 22 and was rejected and told to go private. I’m not sure on the policy across the continents, but I really feel that we should be getting these exams from being sexually active and more regularly than every three years.
If you are eligible for a smear test, then please take it. And please take the follow-up options, no matter how scary they seem.
And remember prevention is better and cheaper than cure!