It’s that time of year again; many of us are preparing to jet off on holiday for a week of relaxing by the sea and catching some tropical rays. You’ve probably drawn up a list of things to pack and you may be running around trying to gather sun lotion, after sun and essential travel medication, but have you remembered to book a health check? The last thing you want to do is to spend your holiday in a clinic or a waiting room, so why not visit a private GP in London and have a quick health check before you go?
Benefits of a health check
Health checks are a great idea; not only do they help to ensure that any problems are detected and treated as early as possible, but they also give you peace of mind, which is especially important if you are planning to head off on holiday. A health check with a GP is nothing to be worried or scared about and it will not take long. A health check can also help you to reduce your risk of developing serious health conditions in the future; if you have the results of tests and you are at an increased risk of certain conditions, you can make changes or start a course of treatment to reduce this risk.
What happens during a health check?
A routine health check includes a series of quick and simple tests, including your BMI (body mass index), your blood pressure, your cholesterol and your risk of diabetes. The BMI is used to determine if you are a healthy body weight; obesity and being overweight increases the risk of a host of health issues, including heart disease, strokes and some forms of cancer. Your doctor will work out your BMI using your height and weight; if you are overweight, you may be advised to try and lose weight by adopting a healthy, balanced diet and doing regular exercise.
Your blood pressure measures the pressure of the blood when it flows through the arteries; if you have high blood pressure, this is a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes and you may need treatment to lower your blood pressure. Lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking, cutting down on drinking alcohol, eating a healthy diet and doing more exercise can also reduce blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, this can also be problematic and further tests may be recommended.
Cholesterol is a type of fat, which is essential for bodily functions; however, high levels of cholesterol can be very dangerous. There are two types of cholesterol; if you have high levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein), you have an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes as a result of atherosclerosis, a condition, which causes narrowing of the arteries.
Your doctor will also ask you questions about your general health, your medical history and your family history; you will also be asked if you have any allergies or you are taking any medication.