There are always naysayers around health screening: it doesn’t do any good, it doesn’t save enough lives relative to the costs (fine, unless you are the person who dies because your disease was detected too late), it causes undue worry and anxiety and it adds to the workload of hard pressed GP’s as the worried well flock to their surgeries with abnormal results of no clinical significance.
But what of the people who find out early that they do show early signs of heart disease or diabetes and have time to take preventative action? And what of the thousands of people who have a health screening every year and find that they are in fantastic health? Is there no value to knowing that? We firmly believe that there is – there is nothing like a positive health screen to put a smile on your face. Many of our customers come to us, not just to find out whether there are any signs of illness, but also to confirm that the healthy lifestyle steps they are taking are having the positive impact they expect. We believe that monitoring wellness is a hugely important motivational tool for keeping people on the right path because they can measure whether it is working. You might argue that having no symptoms of disease illustrates that your lifestyle is having a positive impact, but that’s not the same as seeing your LDL (bad) cholesterol level fall as a result of cutting your saturated fat intake, or seeing your fasting glucose level improve as a result of your exercise regime, or even seeing your liver enzymes improve as a result of cutting back on your alcohol intake.
While we have hundreds of patients who come back to us year after year, just to confirm that their lifestyle changes are still doing them good, we also have nervous first-time customers who have put off having a health check for years because they fear that it is too late for them to change their unhealthy habits as the damage would already be done. In this instance a normal health check can also provide the motivation to get started on positive lifestyle changes. Take Neil, who is 45 and had his first Well Man Check last month. “ My wife has always had a regular health screen and has been persuading (nagging!) me for years to have one too” explains Neil. “ I put it off and off because I worried that something nasty would show up – I’m not exactly an advert for healthy living as I work too hard, never exercise and weigh around 20lbs more than I used to. In the end my wife bought me a Medichecks Well Man Check for my birthday so I had no excuses. I took the tests and everything came back normal – even my cholesterol was within the recommended range. I know it is stupid, but this has given me the motivation to turn around my lifestyle much more than not knowing – I feel like I’ve been given a second chance, and I want to make sure that these results stay normal for as long as possible”
At Medichecks we feel that monitoring wellness is an important component of a healthy lifestyle as it provides the motivation to keep up the good work.