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5 Important Health Tests You Should Do Between Doctor's Visits

Adults over the age of 40 are now entitled to an NHS health check every five years. The aim of these health tests is to help you avoid common conditions like heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and stroke before they start. But is once every five years enough? The wealth of health tips available on the internet these days can help you with self-diagnosis when you have specific symptoms. However, there are warning signs you can be aware before you experience symptoms. Keep track of the following 5 things as part of your own home health screening.

1. Weight

Excess weight can be hugely harmful to your health; it’s linked to conditions like heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Most of us would rather not think about the number on the scale, but there’s a good reason that it’s the first thing your doctor wants to know during a health check up! It’s a good idea to weigh yourself every few weeks to check you’re within a healthy range. Modern weighing scales have all kinds of high tech features that make it simple to keep track of your health. The Beurer Extra Wide Body Composition Analysis & Scale is able to measure your weight, body fat percentage, muscle ratio and bone mass all at once. It can then tell you your BMI; the number doctors use to tell if you are overweight for your height. With storage for 8 different users, it links to your phone or tablet so you can see one the free HealthManager app whether your weight is changing over time. Perfect for taking care of your health at home!

2. Blood Pressure

High blood pressure causes your arteries and blood vessels to constrict, limiting the amount of oxygen and nutrients that can reach your heart and brain. This puts you at a serious risk of problems like heart attacks. Monitoring your blood pressure at home is easy with a unit like the Beurer BC-54 Bluetooth Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor. It works just like the ones they have at the doctor, inflating to measure how quickly your blood is moving. Being aware of your blood pressure can help you to make positive changes that will keep it at a healthy level and improve your overall wellbeing.

3. Testicular or Breast Cancer

Women are frequently told that they need to check their breasts for signs of cancer regularly, but how many do it? 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point – that’s why it’s so important to do a monthly check. By staying aware of what your breasts normally look and feel like you will be able to notice symptoms quickly. You can do this in the shower or while applying moisturiser.  Just make sure you feel your breasts, armpits and collarbone, checking for lumps, strange textures and problems with your nipples. The need for health tests like this is less well known about for men. However, testicular cancer is the most common cancer among men aged 20-35. If you catch it early enough testicular cancer is almost always curable. To make sure that you notice any symptoms as soon as possible you should be checking yourself around once a month. All you need to do is feel your testicles, checking for any lumps, abnormalities or changes in size. You can do this in the shower, it only takes a couple of minutes!

4. Cholesterol

High cholesterol causes heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and other dangerous conditions. It’s easy to slip into bad habits when it comes to food, but eating a lot of processed, fatty things will put you at risk. Two out of three people in the UK have high cholesterol and you could quite possible be one of them without knowing it. The Care Diagnostica Cholesterol Health Care Test can tell you what your cholesterol levels are. This is one of the main things a doctor or nurse will test you for during a check-up, so it’s a good thing to keep track of at home via health tests. If you find out that your cholesterol is too high you can take action to improve your lifestyle; it could save your life! 

5. Blood Sugar

Diabetes is an increasingly big problem in the UK. When left untreated it can cause serious complications like heart disease, nerve damage and sight problems. 6% of people have the disease and rates are rising all the time as our lifestyles become unhealthier. The best way to find out if you are at risk of diabetes is to check your blood sugar levels. Diabetes causes your body to be unable to control how much sugar your body absorbs – this leads to a state called hypoglycaemia that can be very dangerous. The SELFCheck Blood Glucose Level Test is a quick and painless blood test that will tell you in less than two minutes whether you are at risk of diabetes. It’s especially important to do these health tests every year if you are overweight, have high blood pressure or polycystic ovary syndrome or if you have a family history of diabetes.