Preventive Health Checkup - Which one to select?
Preventive health checkups are aimed at identifying pre-existing diseases or likely risk of particular diseases before the onset of actual symptoms. The majority of preventive checkups are aimed to specifically screen for a chronic disease or contain a series of tests to ascertain the overall health condition of an individual. These help people to identify health risks and hence, take corrective actions before the one of any chronic condition.
Which tests are included in Preventive Health Checkups?
Preventive checkups typically consist of biochemistry tests to screen for an individual’s risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, thyroid, kidney & liver mis-functioning. Some providers also offer basic imaging services, such as X- rays and ultrasounds, in addition to pathology testing services.
Which Preventive Health Checkup is best for you?
With different laboratories offering their own set of customised health checkups, it becomes extremely confusing for an individual to choose the correct one for himself. Further, in a price sensitive country like India, many people usually go for the checkup which is least costly. However, while deciding on the type of health package, it is important to take into account factors such as age, sex, previous medical history and hereditary considerations. We recommend our users to follow the below basic guidelines while selecting a health package:
- For healthy individuals with no medical history: They should opt for a Full body checkup basic package which checks the functioning of major organs of the body. The biochemistry tests should test the proper functioning of liver, kidney, thyroid gland & heart along with checking for any infections and elevated blood sugar level.
- For diabetic individuals or people with family history of diabetes: They should opt for a package which includes HbA1c test as diabetics are recommended to check their HbA1c level every 3/4 months. As diabetes has adverse impact on various body organs, it is recommended to also include tests which check the proper functioning of all major body organs. This package is also recommended for individuals whose one/both parents are diabetic as such individuals are at a much higher risk of developing diabetes in future.
- For senior citizens: As individuals above 60 years are more susceptible to certain diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, the package should necessarily include tests for all these diseases.
- For obese individuals: For people whose BMI is above 25, it is recommended to go for a health checkup which helps in identifying the underlying reasons for obesity along with the impact of obesity on their health. Hence, the health checkup should include Thyroid Profile and Cortisol level (to check for underlying cause of obesity) along with HBA1c and Lipid Profile (to check for onset of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases due to obesity).
- For people with sedentary lifestyle: Physical inactivity is known to cause early onset of various diseases such as heart diseases, depression and arthritis. Hence, for people with long desk jobs with minimal physical activity, it is advisable to choose a preventive health checkup which checks for cardiovascular diseases (lipid Profile), diabetes (blood sugar and HbA1c) and arthritis (vitamin profile).
While the above pointers are useful is selecting the correct preventive health checkup, it is important to understand that getting oneself tested is only the first step. The next important steps include doctor consultation, diet consultation, periodic testing and corrective action. By taking all above steps and with requisite lifestyle and dietary changes, you can surely aspire to live a more meaningful and healthy life.