The quality of your life can be determined by whatever health issues you are experiencing. As Healthtracka, one of our areas of focus is preventative health testing. Why? Well, because the only way to know for sure is to get a health test. That way health issues do not turn into serious health problems. Health testing puts you in the know of what is happening in your body and how it is affecting you in your day to day life. With that in mind and now that you are a little bit older, you may wish you had some of these tests earlier but it is not too late to do them now.
Routine health testing is not something that is common in Nigeria. The perception that exists is that these tests are unavailable and if they are the cost is high. Routine health testing can help us detect health problems early which gives a higher chance of recovery. It also allows for necessary lifestyle changes that will cause you to live a healthier life.
1. Blood pressure
Blood pressure is what happens when your blood pushes against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps. Your arteries carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Both high and low blood pressure can lead to serious health problems but can initially be repaired with lifestyle adjustments or medication. While chronic stress itself does not lead to high blood pressure, the behaviors that are adapted to deal with the stress can put you at risk. For instance, an unhealthy diet (comfort food), lack of regular exercise or not sleeping well can put you at a higher risk of getting high blood pressure. On the other hand, if you experience dizziness, faint, have a hard time concentrating, fatigue or nausea, this can be a sign of low blood pressure. Having your blood pressure checked regularly can help you make necessary lifestyle changes and improve your life.
2. Cancer Screening
Cancer screening is the testing of healthy individuals to identify cancer before they show any symptoms. For breast and cervical cancer, early detection increases the chances of survival. It gives women the chance of successful treatment. The two cancers that are the most common in Nigeria are breast and cervical cancer. It may be a daunting thought to get screened for cancer but the numbers are even scarier. In 2017, out of the 14,089 Nigerian women diagnosed with the cancer, 8240 died. It is estimated that 50.3 million of the country’s women aged 15 years or more are at risk of developing cervical cancer.
3. Hormonal Profile
Hormones are the chemical messengers of the body. Hormonal imbalance can cause a host of issues. Getting a hormone profile test can help identify if your levels are above or below normal. Your day to day habits can affect your hormone levels. Not only can untreated imbalance take a toll on you and your body, it can lead to serious conditions like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Smoking, being overweight or obesity, not sleeping enough, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and high stress levels can put you at a higher risk of experiencing hormonal imbalance. Lifestyle changes like diet and exercise can help improve your hormone balance. Hormone therapy is also a common treatment.
4. STD Screening
Screening for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is a way of taking your health into your hands. Whether you are at a low or high risk, as long as there is a slight possibility, it is better to get tested and know for sure. Other than getting tested, being aware of your own personal risk to STDs is important. The more sexual partners you have, or your partner has puts you at a higher risk of contracting an STD. This is important because of the health problems that are caused by STDs. These include infertility, miscarriage, still birth, cancer, liver issues among others. Some of the most common STDs in Nigeria are chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. These can cause infertility, abdominal pain and organ shut down.
5. General Health test
A general health test assesses your overall health. You do not only have to get a health test when you are sick. General health tests screen for medical issues, assess risk for future problems and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Doing this regularly (yearly or bi-annually) will help you to stay on top of your health. With such testing, you avoid certain medical treatments and the cost that comes with them. This is because you would have caught the health issue before it becomes a problem.
Right now you may be feeling fine. Even those who seemingly look healthy need to be screened. The quality of your life can be improved with a change in diet, regular exercise, staying away from certain foods as well as taking medication. First you will have to know if there is a health issue and what exactly it is. Sickness in your body can affect many aspects in your life. The earlier you know, the better you can deal with it. Whatever age you are, it is not too late to do one of these health tests.