Look Under the Hood - Know Your Body

Apr 15, 2010
Look Under the Hood - Know Your Body

Look under the Hood - Know Your Body
By Sarah Maywalt

Isn’t it the truth that it doesn’t take long for us to see when we are having a bad hair day? Seriously, how long does it take to notice when we chip a fingernail, or forget to shave or put on lotion? Our body is quite fixable from the outside. When we see it needs change we have a choice to do something about it. Some choose action right away, some say in a little while, when I have time, etc. Our body is much like the body of a car. We can wash and polish it weekly and it will look beautiful. We can ignore its appearance, and still get around just fine. Eventually, for the car to last its expectancy, given the type, age, and amount of activity, there comes a point where we have to take a look and inspect under the hood. Some cars need a peek more often than others. Each one is unique based on the circumstances of use. Given my age, gender and family history, I chose to look into my maintenance/preventative care earlier than some would guess. And it paid off!!

As the author for the initial health awareness article for Esther’s News, I wanted to share the very basic idea that we should add another recommended/routine screening exam after every 10 years of life. We would be wise to endure if we want to last to our full life expectancy!! It is good to know what’s going on under our hood. Then we can at least know that we have done what we can to be aware. Please see below as a reference of the recommended exams. Let’s face it, it seems pulling teeth might be more pleasant than some of these!!! As you already know, and I have experienced, they are life saving in many cases.

So here are a few tips/choices:
1. Listen: Take time to listen to your body. Don’t ignore symptoms that have been "nagging" you unless you are comfortable with a recent diagnosis and treatment recommendation.
2. Consider: Try to consider your options before you enter an exam. We are thankful for the results that reflect we are healthy. Do we ever consider what would be best for us if the opposite were to occur?
3. Research: Do you know you have choices and doctors just don’t have all the answers (hello, they are human too). The best doctors tell you all your options and give guidance based on your wants and needs.
4. Ask: If you are not clear on information or recommendations you receive, keep asking. Many medical insurance policies pay for second opinions and routine screening.
It is never too soon to ask about preventative measures for your internal health (under the hood). Your physician should have medical and psychological family history data to accurately assess when you need further evaluation. Take a checklist to your doctor to discuss the following:
weight (BMI),  cholesterol, blood pressure, mammogram, pap smear, colorectal cancer, diabetes
sexually transmitted infections, HIV infection, bone density. This list in not all-inclusive, just some suggestions to get you started. Always seek the advice of your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The medical and/or nutritional information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.


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