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Health 101

When was the last time you had a full medical check up? Yes, we admit any medical examination is an intimidating process. However, with our busy lifestyles bringing upon us modern diseases, one can't afford to wait. So be proactive about prevention. A healthy lifestyle, which includes a balanced diet, exercise and an annual medical check up, are a must for every man who doesn't want to become a statistic. If you're not sure what to get checked for, here are our top 10 tests for dreaded ailments:

1. Urine Test: This is a standard test, which reveals so much about how well your body is working. A urine test or urinalysis is screened for signs of infection and conditions such as diabetes, kidney stones or gallbladder problems.
 
2. Blood Test: This test allows your doctor to determine and pinpoint or to support diagnosis, monitor or determine treatment or to screen for undiagnosed conditions.

3. Cholesterol Checks: Cholesterol is different from most tests in that it is not used to diagnose or monitor a disease but is used to estimate risk of developing a disease - specifically heart disease. Because high blood cholesterol has been associated with hardening of the arteries, heart disease and a raised risk of a heart attack, this test is imperative.

4. Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no symptoms. Some people may not know they have it until they have trouble with their heart, brain, or kidneys. When high blood pressure is not found and treated, it can cause heart or kidney failure.

5. Diabetes Tests: To check for diabetes, your physician tests your blood sugar level in a sample of your blood. The test result shows if you have diabetes and if so, what type. But doctors do not diagnose diabetes on the basis of a single test.

Typically they conduct two or more glucose tests before confirming their diagnosis. The most common tests to measure glucose are the fasting plasma glucose test, the random blood sugar test, and the oral glucose tolerance test.
 
6. Depression: Now you may feel a little blue and not think that you could be clinically depressed. There are ways to check if you are not yet ready to spend time on a psychologist's sofa. There are great resources such as
www.lessons4living.com/  depression_test2.htm, which have simple questionnaires that can help ascertain your state of mind.

7. Prostate Cancer Screening: Ask your doctor to take a sample of your blood to check for .PSA' (prostate specific antigen). PSA is a protein produced by both normal and cancerous prostate cells. A high level of PSA can be a sign of cancer but your PSA level can also be raised in prostate conditions that are not cancer (benign) or if you have an infection. Your doctor may want to rule out urine infection before carrying out a test.

8. Lung Cancer: You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that you should quit smoking. Although many risk factors can be avoided, it is important to keep in mind that avoiding risk factors does not guarantee that you will not get cancer. Also, most people with a particular risk factor for cancer do not actually get the disease. Some people are more sensitive than others are to factors that can cause cancer. Talk to your doctor about methods of preventing cancer that might be effective for you.

W h a t  f o o d  t o  e a t
According to adam.about.com, diet and disease are very closely linked. So it makes sense to eat a balanced and healthy diet to prevent disease. Health experts confirm that osteoporosis is linked to deficiency in calcium, a fibre poor diet can leave one exposed to certain cancers and coronary heart disease. A sodium rich diet can increase your chances of getting hypertension (High Blood Pressure) and saturated fat can be closely linked to heart disease.

What is an ideal balanced diet plan?
1. Two to four servings of fruits and three to five servings of vegetables a day
2. Six to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta a day
3. Two to three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese a day
4. Two to three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese a day
5. A high fibre diet including whole-grain breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables

A healthy reality also includes daily exercise, so do anything you can. Walk, dance, ride a bike, play golf, but make sure to participate in some kind of physical activity regularly. Start small and work up to a total of 20-30 minutes at least three times a week.

Exercise will ensure that you maintain your weight at the optimum level. So do watch portion sizes and if you need help figuring out what's good for you to eat then visit a nutritionist. If you have extra flab, work with both a fitness trainer and a nutritionist. That way you will know what to eat and how to exercise properly to remain healthy. The results will be worth every cent spent.

Source: Arabian Woman
Posted: 26/06/2008


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