Are you the kind of person who waits to fall sick before going to the hospital? Well, according to health experts, this shouldn’t be the case. They say avoiding this kind of habit is essential and would see us live healthy lives.
Janvier Ruzindana, a general practitioner at La Nouvelle Clinic in Remera, says that it’s important that one always undertakes regular check-ups at a health facility just to check on their health.
Why it’s important
Ruzindana adds that this helps one to find out if they are suffering from a certain disease, which makes it easier to deal or handle it.
The problem with seeking medical attention when one is only sick, he says, is that they realise they are suffering from a disease when it’s in its advanced stages and sometimes can’t be cured.
“Getting regular checkups is necessary to ensure that people live a healthier and longer life. Waiting to become sick before you see a doctor only complicates matters, especially if the disease required earlier medication,” he says.
Yvan Ntwari, a general practitioner based in Kigali says making a habit of going for medical checkups at least twice a year is vital and that this should also be the case even if one is healthy and does not have any issues as far as health is concerned.
“Twice a year is not costly, especially if one ponders about all the diseases they could be preventing. For those with other problems they should discuss with their physicians on how often they should seek medical attention,” he says.
He adds that shunning this vital procedure can make things complicated.Therfore; people should embrace it in order to stay away from conditions that are dangerous to their well being.
Before the problems starts, he says it is very much possible for them to be stopped, only if one observes early regular health exams and tests. Making the whole process of treatment successful.
“In general, one’s lifestyle choices impact what and how often you need such services, making it vital and a must for each and everyone to go for medical checkups,” he says.
What to test for
Ruzindana suggests that if one decides to go for checkup, they need to ensure that they are tested for almost everything.
He, however, notes that the most common and important diseases to check for include; diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, breast and cervical cancer, body mass index, HIV/AIDS, oral health, among others.
These screenings, he says help evaluate the state of well-being and help diagnose any potential problems that might be cropping up.
He adds that there are some diseases that are very dangerous and their progression cannot be tracked very well unless the patient has regular health screenings.
“This makes it crucial that one makes those regular visits to ensure that they are not missing out on identifying any life-threatening diseases,” he says.
Ntwari says because most people nowadays have a lifestyle which doesn’t allow or expose them to live healthy, (sit in offices all day, eat from restaurants and use cars as mode of transport), it’s a must to get screened even if there is no visible health problem.
These regular check-ups ensure that one doesn’t spend much in the long run.
This is the case because regular health check-ups mitigate the risk of potential health ailments that can turn out to be dangerous, according to Ntwari.
He says it can also, in certain cases; help reduce the risks of undergoing surgery and other serious medical expenditure.
Why it’s a must for some people
Ruzindana says elderly people and those with chronic diseases should frequently visit doctors.
He notes that with today’s fast paced life where everyone is working longer hours, people are becoming more sleepless, fatigued and stressed, adding that, it is most unfortunate that all this is done at the great expense of our health. The least that one can do is go for a medical check up to ensure that their bodies are still in good condition.
“Check ups can detect symptoms of fatal diseases like cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure while still at their initial stages and they can be prevented and treated early enough,” he says.
He says that not all symptoms are easily visible and can therefore go undetected. For example, women many times don’t realize they have breast cancer till it is in its later stages.
He notes that this makes it vital for women above the age of 35 to always go for screening for different types of diseases.