Our bodies tell us when they are not well but sometimes we miss the signs. This is why it’s important to have regular health checkups, more so as diseases like Cancer, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure become silent killers if they are not detected early in your body.

 

Diabetes

It’s estimated that three and half million South African have diabetes, and that many more are undiagnosed. Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are chronic, while prediabetes — when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes, and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy, can be reserved. If you have a family history, or you are obese and your lifestyle puts you at risk of developing diabetes, you should test for diabetes. There are three kinds of tests —glycated hemoglobin text, glucose test and blood sugar test — which you can take.

 

Cholesterol

More and more South Africans are getting diagnosed with disease like cholesterol and diabetes, which have also started affecting young people. To keep your cholesterol fully in check, you need to a lipogram. This is a blood test that analyses your cholesterol levels, including the amount of good and bad cholesterol, as well as triglycerides. They are a type pf fat in the blood. High cholesterol is linked to heart diseases.  Testing depends on factors like age (from 20 but frequently older than 50), weight, family history and lifestyle, as alcohol and smoking increase the risk of high cholesterol.
Blood pressure

It’s estimated that about one in three South African adults who are aged 15 years and older suffers from high blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of getting a heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. You should check your blood pressure every time you go to your general practitioner. Alternatively, you can go to a clinic, including Clicks Clinics, which have a nurse on duty every day.

 

Healthy at home

 

Your teeth: Reduce your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss if you clean your teeth

regularly and visit the dentist at least once a year.

 

Your diet: Improve your health by eating nutritious and healthy foods by adding more fruit and

vegetables to your diet, and removing high-fat and processed food.

 

Weight control: South Africa has the highest rates of obesity in Sub-Saharan Africa, with diseases

that are related to obesity becoming the biggest killers after HIV/Aids. Other than eating healthy,

it’s recommended that you get 2.5 hours of exercise a week.

 

Smoking: It increases your risk of heart and lung diseases including lung cancer and strokes.

 

Drinking: Drinking uncontrolled amounts of alcohol can increase the risk of liver and heart

diseases and depression among many other illnesses associated with alcohol. Daily intake

should be limited to two standard drinks a day.