Unfortunately, illness is a part of life. You can either hide from this fact and blindly hope for the best, or you can take control of your health and wellness journey.

The new year has picked up steam, and its already rushing towards winter and flu season.

This month we want to highlight the importance of preventative testing, and screening. It sounds like a cliché, but:

Prevention REALLY is better than cure.

Be brave.

We know that it is scary to go to the doctor for screenings, scans and blood tests, but the truth is that illness will always be unpleasant. However, finding out early enough to still be able to do something about it can dramatically improve your prognosis.

Science is on our side!

Many modern-day diseases and health conditions can be managed and even cured with the right treatment at the right time.

Conditions like kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiac disease can all be successfully managed if they are diagnosed early.

“We caught it early”…

Even certain cancers and other degenerative diseases, or immune disorders can be treated, as long as you are diagnosed in time.

Obviously not all medical conditions can be cured, but for many of even the worst possible diagnosis’s, early and effective treatment can vastly improve your life expectancy as well as quality of life.

Do it for your loved ones.

Another important part of early diagnosis is the fact that certain medical conditions are hereditary and your relatives might have an increased risk of developing the same disease. If you take the time to have yourself checked out, you can inform your loved ones of any increased risks they might have, and in doing so benefit their health as well.

Speak to your doctor about routine annual screening and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

Preventative care also includes vaccinations and other risk limiting actions.

Vaccinations have been proven time and again to be an important and effective first line of defence in our fight against all manner of diseases and illnesses.

Vaccinations for infants and young children save lives and have helped to basically eradicate diseases like Polio and small pox. They also drastically cut diphtheria, pertussis and measles outbreaks and contribute to the overall health of the community.

Speak to your doctor about getting a flu shot and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

Now is also the time to get your covid-19 vaccination, or if you have already been vaccinated, to speak to your healthcare provider about receiving a booster shot.

Sexually transmitted disease screening and prevention.

To further limit the risks and prevent illness, preventative sexual health practices are important. Many viral diseases and other sexually transmitted diseases(STD’s) are difficult or impossible to cure, but can be successfully prevented through consistent safe sex practices.

Make it a yearly thing.

Annual check-ups are one of the most important parts of your wellness routine. By visiting your doctor for a thorough yearly health screening, you will be able to set a baseline for your health from which to work.

This check-up will then either show that you are on the right track, and you should continue to embrace your healthy lifestyle, or it might show that you should pay special attention to one or two aspects of your health. Whatever the outcome, remember to come back 12 months from now!

How to take control of your health.

If you have decided to take responsibility for your wellbeing, congratulations!

Step one is to give your doctor a call…or to find a doctor you trust if you do not have one yet.

During the check up the doctor will measure and weigh you, as well as check your vital signs, like heart rate and blood pressure.

Your doctor might also request that you have blood drawn for specific tests.

Your doctor will also conduct a verbal consultation and speak to you about your own health concerns as well as your family’s medical history. Based on this interview she might decide to send you for further tests or screenings.

The best time to get an annual check-up is a year ago. The second-best time is right now.

 Mediplus offers a wide range of benefits that cover all kinds of preventative tests and screenings for different diseases. Speak to your doctor and look at your benefit schedule to determine the best course of action for you to make informed health choices!