You may have probably heard the saying “health is wealth” more than a million times and think it is one of those boring cliches the world can do without. While it may be overused, it contains a simple truth; good health is the key to enjoying life. But most people do not fully understand what it means to be healthy.
The fact that one may appear fine and not be taking any medication does not mean that they are healthy. You cannot, by yourself, determine if you are healthy or not. To truly know that, you would need to have some tests and screening done. A test or screening is very essential in determining how healthy you are. This way, you can detect issues while they are at the growth stage and begin treatment quickly.
While there are so many tests and screening you could possibly do, there are a few which are very important, especially as a Nigerian, and we shall have a look at some of those tests here.
1. HIV Tests
UNAIDS and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS reported that there are an estimated 1.9 million people live with HIV in Nigeria. An HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) test is almost seen as compulsory in a country like Nigeria. Although it is usually encouraged for those who are getting married to get tested for HIV, anyone can get the test when if they feel like it. Contrary to what most people may feel, HIV is not only contracted through sexual activities. So even those who are abstaining should get themselves tested as they may have gotten the virus through other means including sharing sharp objects like razor blades or clippers or being injected with the blood of an infected person. While HIV has no cure and would eventually develop into AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), being aware of your status early (if positive) can help you with managing it better.
2. Diabetes Test
Diabetes can be very serious, especially when the person is unaware that they have it. Most people feel that because they do not consume sweets and soda, they are safe from diabetes, but that is not true. Carbohydrate is broken down into glucose, just like sugar from sweets. So, if you consume an unhealthy amount of carbohydrates, like many Nigerians, then you are at risk of getting diabetes. But there is no way of knowing that unless you go for a test. One study suggested that 11.4 million Nigerians are living with diabetes, that’s about 1 in 17 Nigerians. Early detection would lead you to observe changes in your lifestyle which would help you live life better.
3. Blood Pressure
When last did you get your blood pressure checked? For most people, the answer to that is ‘never’. But being aware of your blood pressure levels is very important. Every day, we encounter one stress or the other, all of which can cause our blood pressure to surge more than necessary. High blood pressure could lead to stroke, heart disease, and other problems. High blood pressure is not something that is written on the lines of the head, so there is no way to know if you have high blood pressure until you get a test done. This test should be done as often as possible or every three months to be on the safe side.
Another important health test every Nigerian should under this category is the cholesterol test. A cholesterol test is a blood test that finds out the amount of each type of cholesterol and certain fats in your blood. A high level of LDL cholesterol in your blood may put you at risk for heart disease and other serious conditions.
4. BMI (Body Mass Index)
Obesity is a problem in itself and could also lead to other problems as well. It is not just being fat but being overweight. So not everyone who is fat is necessarily obese. A good way to find out if you are obese is to have your BMI checked, which would measure your body fat based on your weight and height. A good BMI, between 18 and 25 indicates that you are fit.
5. Cancer Tests
Cancer is not something anyone hopes to get but it happens. But as deadly as cancer is, early detection would allow early treatment, and the cancer could be gone easily. The only way to find that out is by going for a test. As a woman, you should go for a mammogram regularly to check for signs of breast cancer. Men should also have to go for tests for prostate cancer. Other cancer tests you should go for include lung, mouth, skin, and cervical cancer.
Other Important Medical Tests To Do Today:
- Ergonomic evaluation
- Eye test
- Kidney function test
- Liver function test