I gave a lecture the other day all about aging. I called it “Growing Old Disgracefully”. In many ways, it was my personal experience of growing older. You can’t stop aging – but you don’t have to grow “old”. In other words, don’t let your physical age stop you from doing what you like to do.
So how do I stop growing “old”? There’s no secret really. I just never let anything to do with my health go unchecked. And how do I do that? I have regular check-ups, and act on the results.
For example, the little extra weight I had last year has gone, and the cholesterol has come down with it.
My annual medical check-up is an important part of my planning for the future with a good Quality of Life. Longevity alone, with no quality, just isn’t worth it in my book.
The guiding principle behind check-ups is to find deviations from normal health patterns at an early stage. Early enough that the trend can be reversed, before damage has occurred. Examples of this include Blood Pressure (BP), as high BP can affect many organs in the body, not just the heart. But an elevated BP generally gives no warning symptoms.
Another example is blood sugar. Again, it requires sky-high sugar levels before the person begins to feel that something might be wrong. And by then the sugar levels have affected vision, the vascular system and many other systems, all of which can decrease your future Quality of Life. Amputation of a limb is a common result of unchecked blood sugar levels.
Cardiac conditions and abnormalities, be that in anatomy or function, can also very adversely affect your Quality of Life, but are very easily found during a routine check-up. Various blood tests and an ECG can show just how well the cardiac pump is functioning, and also how well it will continue to function in the future. Another of the silent killers can be discovered in your lipid profile, with Cholesterol and its fractions HDL and LDL, being intimately connected with your cardiac status.
There are actually so many of the conditions that can affect your enjoyment of the future that can be discovered early. Renal (kidney) function and liver function can be monitored through an annual check-up, as can prostate size (indicated by the PSA blood test) or breast tumors (by mammogram).
The Bangkok Hospital Pattaya has a program called Healthy Living 2015 with up to 50 percent discounts on check-up packages. Even better news is that the discount program continues through to 31 December this year.
I do urge you to take advantage of this, for your enjoyment of the future, if nothing else.