By Dr Lebo Ncha
Is it not intriguing that our year plans usually outline things that we want to achieve in our careers, families and socially and seldom our health?
Each one should also have health plans and goals of what we want to achieve for the year. With the year already in motion I hope that you have gone for your screening, for those who have not it is important to still do so.
Top of the agenda should be non-communicable or lifestyle diseases.
These include amongst others, cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks and heart failure), diabetes, strokes and cancer.
To address diseases of lifestyle, we need to check ourselves for risk factors that predispose us to them and these include: elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, elevated blood glucose levels and abnormal pap-smears. The link between risk factors and disease are as follows:
• High blood pressure leads to strokes, heart attacks and heart failure
• High cholesterol levels lead to heart attacks and strokes
• High blood glucose (sugar) leads to diabetes
• An abnormal papsmear leads to cervical cancer
The above-mentioned risk factors can be investigated by conducting screening tests, which are defined as tests that are used to identify the possible presence of an undiagnosed disease in individuals without signs or symptoms.
These tests are normally provided for or conducted by your GP or local pharmacies and they are fairly non-invasive.