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Do you know how healthy you really are?

September 25, 2019

 

I recently shared some insights about why we seem to be losing the battle with chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure and strokes. If you didn’t get time to read that article, it is available on my website.

 

But, today I would like to ask you a simple question. Do you know how healthy you are? I know I have asked this before but I want to ask this question again. Many of us judge our health simply by the way we feel. And while that is not a bad thing, sometimes there are silent things happening that we will not be able to be aware of simply because they have no sign or symptom. Simply because you don’t feel unwell doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy.

 

In fact, many chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and even diabetes and some forms of cancer may not have a symptom in the early stages. And sometimes, the first sign of the problem can kill you. We have all heard of people who get strokes, heart attacks and clots out of the blue, people who had no sign of any health problem.

 

So, I would like to encourage you to actually make time and find out how healthy you really are. Please take a moment right now and plan when you will do this. This could be the most important thing you do for the remainder of this year.

And when you do go for a health check-up, there are 3 important things you should do

  • First, take a lifestyle wellness assessment to assess your health and your risks. These are a set of questions that can help your health care provider understand your health and your unique risks. You can take my online assessment here. You can also speak to a doctor or health care practitioner to assess your risk for any problems.

  • Second, have your doctor conduct an examination on you. Don’t simply go for blood tests.  An examination can help them assess your health and even guide what steps need to be taken. Then get some tests and additional checks done. These could include:

    • Body composition check. This checks your weight, body mass index, body fat and muscle percentages, fat around your internal organs and a body age test. A body age test compares the age of your body against your real age

    • A blood pressure measurement

    • Some blood checks. This should include at the very least a blood sugar test, a lipid profile test (cholesterol check), a blood count that looks at your blood cells and a liver function test

      • Other tests may be recommended based on your age, gender and risk

      • I also recommend a Vitamin D test if you don’t spend enough time in the sun

    • Imaging tests like ultrasound scans and other such tests should be done with a recommendation from a doctor

    • Cancer screening. Based on age and gender there are some cancer screening tests that can be done. For ladies, a cervical cancer screening should be done at least once every 1 to 3 years.

Whatever tests you do, consult with a doctor to guide you on what is best for you.

  • Third, get the results interpreted and then discuss a plan to stay healthy. This should at the least include a discussion about your diet, physical activity, stress management, rest and sleep, water consumption and perhaps what herbs or supplements can boost your health.

Please note that going for blood tests or other health tests is good but is not enough. For 2 reasons:

  1. Having normal results is a good thing but that only means that as of the time of your test, everything looks ok. But that does not mean that you will stay well.

  2. Although they can help to detect a problem early which could actually help to save your life, sometimes even lab tests may not detect a problem in the very early stages. They too have limitations.

The only sure way to stay healthy and well is to proactively make choices that are good for you. And you need to get guidance on how best to do this. Online searches are can be useful but it is best to have this discussion with a qualified health professional who should take into consideration information from your health and family history,  your unique risks, a medical examination and any tests you have done.

Get into the habit of doing this at least once a year. And get your family to do this too. Remember that such an exercise can actually save your life and avoid unnecessary problems in the future.

 

Health check-ups are usually not covered by medical insurance. Just like car check-ups and servicing are not covered by car insurance. While this may seem like an expense, it is actually an investment. Because many people neglect or sacrifice their health for other things like making money, working and pleasure but many have also found that in the end, they have to sell a lot of their assets and possessions to get back their health.

Make the decision that is best for you. Don’t leave this newsletter until you have set a time to do this health check-up.

 

If you want help with this, please get in touch with us. You can send us an email at support@wellcare.co.ug or you can call our wellness clinic on +256701 450 450, +256775 829 938 or +256414 220 888.

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