Nowadays, well-being and life quality are essential. Even if you feel in top form, a health check can be useful because it helps to be better informed about your risks. In fact, the medical check-up or health check-up is surely the best way to make a complete point on your health state and allow an early diagnosis.
The health check up is a preventive and periodic medical examination.
The content of the health check must be adapted to each individual according to his age, sex, risk factors, lifestyle habits, ...
The health check or check-up includes several examinations to know the general health state of a patient. Besides, it makes it possible to follow the evolution of a disease. Previously, this type of review was restricted to the military. Today, it is systematically done at birth and at school during medical visits.
This annual health check-up is recommended from a certain age, about 40 years old. Besides, a check-up allows, among other things, the diagnosis of genetic and infectious diseases as well as detecting weak signals of epidemics or emerging syndromes at early stage.
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Full health check-up
The health check-up lasts between two and three hours. The examinations depends on the patient age and condition. Generally, a full check-up includes:
A medical interrogation: the doctor asks the patient to describe the symptoms they feel, also collects the information provided by the patient; age, family history (genetic diseases, cancers, cardiovascular diseases ...), body mass index, lifestyle (diet, smoking, sex life ...). Any complaints from the patient or their requests.
Auscultation: Using a stethoscope, the doctor listens to body sounds such as heartbeat, waterborne sounds, and carotid and femoral artery sounds.
An electrocardiogram or ECG: this examination corresponds to the electrical activity of the heart via electrodes placed at the ankles, the handles and on the chest.
X-ray of the chest: it can detect possible problems in the chest, lungs and heart.
A blood sample: blood count, sedimentation rate, blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, transaminases, gamma GT. Furthermore, this examination may include; a blood count or hematological examination, it aims to evaluate the elements contained in the blood. The search for microbes or parasites under the microscope. Establishment of a metal profile to identify any deficiency or overload of heavy metals, trace elements and toxic metalloids.
A urine analysis: search for the presence of blood, sugars, albumin, etc.
An oral examination
Visual and auditory tests
Pulmonary radio: screening for tuberculosis and lung cancer.
At the end of this health check-up, an examination with a doctor is carried out and, in some cases, it may be decided to carry out additional tests (screening for HIV or hepatitis C) and other analysis depending on the patient's health state and requests.
Women health check-up
Age is an important factor in carrying out a health check-up. Indeed, the appearance of certain pathologies is strongly linked to it. Before the age of 40, it is recommended to perform gynecological examinations. In fact, a smear is performed in women from 25 years to one year apart. After two smears with normal results, the examination will be performed every three years thereafter. It can detect cervix cancer early. Blood pressure should be measured once a year if someone in the family under 50 is hypertensive. If there is no family history, blood pressure is measured once every three years. Moreover, weight gain and a very salty diet are also reasons for regular blood pressure checking.
For women between the ages of 40 and 50, mammography is an essential examination. In fact, it can detect breast cancer, which is the most common and deadly pathology in women. Besides, people with a family history of type II diabetes should also check their blood glucose and cholesterol levels at least once every three years. In addition, colorectal cancer screening is done once every two years for men and women whose family members have been affected by colorectal cancer. Women over 50 years old must undergo a gynecological control and examination at least once a year.
Men health check-up
At the age of 50, men must undergo a medical check-up even if they are healthy.
This allows to detect the various conditions that may appear after a certain age: cardiovascular diseases, problems with the prostate, sexual disorders, etc. These examinations should be done at least once a year:
- A measurement of blood pressure and a blood sample to assess cardiovascular risks.
- An examination of the prostate.
- A skin test is also required for many moles, frequent sun exposure, light-skinned redheads, or a family history of skin cancer.
The following examinations should be done every two years after 50 years:
- A urine test to measure hematuria, proteinuria and glycosuria can be used to check whether the kidneys are functioning normally or have a failure that needs to be treated as quickly as possible.
- Screening for colon cancer is also recommended, especially if there is a family history of colorectal cancer.
- An eye exam is performed to measure visual acuity, intraocular pressure, and fundus to detect AMD, cataracts, glaucoma, or other ocular problems.
- Screening for prostate cancer is recommended before age 45 if there is a family history of prostate cancer.
The objective of the health check-up, at 50 years in men, is to maintain good health by detecting any future diseases. In fact, this prevents the disease worsening and avoids heavy treatment in the future. Moreover, early treatment increases the chances of recovery or, at least, slows the disease progression.