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Health Screening: The benefits of starting young

General Health

You may think you're too young to benefit from a health screen. But there are important reasons to start monitoring your health young!


Helen Marsden

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We all like to have benchmark ages for things: whether it's starting to settle down at 30, getting a short haircut at 40 or buying a sports car at 50. Some of these stereotypes exist for a reason, but why should you only start caring about your health at a certain age? Your blood sugar level doesn't shoot up the second the clock strikes midnight on your 40th birthday so it is important to take a keen interest in your own health and fitness from a much younger age. Today's sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits are causing many age-related conditions to be seen in younger and younger people. Getting a health screen in your 20's or 30's can nip bad habits in the bud. Even if nothing abnormal is detected, a health screen can establish your base-line position (i.e. what's normal for you) in a whole host of areas which you can use as a reference for future health checks.

I'm a 24 year old female, and I have always assumed (as we all do!) that I have good health, although I am aware of my family history of high cholesterol but failed to act on it. Having taken a Medichecks health screen last month, I was delighted to discover that I had not in fact inherited high cholesterol and actually had good levels of protective HDL cholesterol. There is a strong sense of satisfaction that comes with having had a health screen - a feeling that you have been proactive about your own wellbeing. However, what if I had discovered that I had high cholesterol? Would I wait until I was 40 to act on this? No, I would actively try to reduce my cholesterol and in doing so reduce my risk of developing heart disease in the future. Taking a health screen while still young enables you to make small, but important changes to your lifestyle that should, hopefully, prevent a number of lifestyle related of health issues blighting you in middle age.

Certain health issues can affect people at any age. Take thyroid function (included in all our health screens) for example, having an overactive thyroid is actually far more common in under 45's and is therefore an important test for anyone with symptoms. Other health issues such as bone loss/osteoporosis are far more relevant for people over a certain age, in this case post-menopausal women. It is for this reason that we have a range of health screens, all measuring certain body and organ functions, but some specialising in particular areas of health. We would recommend that people in their 20s and take our Essential Blood Screen every 3-5 years. This test comprises 40 individual tests to measure and evaluate the body's major organ functions. Our more advanced health screens are aimed at people as they get older, or for people who wish to check-out a specific family history. We can always add on any test if it isn't included in the screen - just call our advisors and ask.  Our advanced health screens include the Well Woman Check Plus which incorporates tests for osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, and is therefore more suited to people in their 40s, 50s and beyond. We recommend 1 or 2 baseline health screens in your 20's, rising to 3-5 in your 30's rising to every 1 or 2 years after your 40's. This way you can keep a close eye on any changes and take preventative action. Most of the conditions we test for in our health screens can be managed through lifestyle changes and/or a course of medication. 

We are accustomed to having regular dental and sight checks ups, so why shouldn't we have regular health check ups? By having regular health screens throughout your life you can easily track any changes (for the better or worse!)  and act accordingly, safe in the knowledge that you are doing everything in your power to achieve and maintain good health. Don't sweep your health worries under the rug- act today!

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