Health Checks You Can Do At Home
It should be easy for everyone to have access to healthcare services, and in a timely manner. But that’s not always the case, unfortunately.
According to The Global Economy website, as of 2019, Ireland had 3.32 doctors per 1000 patients, and the UK had 2.95. It rose slightly in 2020 with 3.47 doctors per 1000 patients in Ireland, and 3.03 in the UK. However this article from 2021 stating the UK has one of the lowest doctors per patient ratios for 1,000 people is an eye-opener that improvements need to be advanced, and quickly.
The consequences of such low doctor patient ratios can be easily seen across Ireland and the UK. Hospitals are packed, patients are left on trolleys, waiting lists for doctor referrals and consultations are taking years and years. In other words the quality of healthcare is not at its optimum.
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Further Reading: Are There Real Reasons For Private Healthcare Insurance In Ireland?
Thankfully, more advancements in the healthcare industry have made it possible for patients to have more access to medical services. A significant one is being able to carry out some of the diagnostic processes you would normally have done in hospital, in the comfort of your own home.
Since the pandemic, we’re all aware and experienced with testing for COVID at home but here are some of the most common health checks you can do at home before seeking professional medical advice from your General Practitioner.
3 Health Checks You Can Do At Home
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1 – Blood and Swab Tests
You can save multiple trips to the doctor’s office when you take a wide range of health tests at home. Most of these home test kits are accurate. The most common tests include HIV, allergies, cholesterol, and thyroid level checks. You can also get swab kits to identify signs of bacterial throat infection, urinary tract infections, and until more recently, COVID-19. Seek professional help once you get your results. Don’t rely on online information. Without any proper help, you could easily be misled in your diagnosis.
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2 – Blood Sugar Level Checks
When left untreated, diabetes can cause severe and sometimes fatal complications such as heart or kidney failure, stroke, and even blindness. You must be careful, especially when your family has a history of diabetes. You can buy at-home blood glucose tests to check your sugar levels. However, diabetes is complicated, so you must visit your doctor if you have other symptoms besides a high sugar level. Common signs include increased thirst and hunger, dry mouth, headaches, and blurred vision.
Further Reading: Heart Health – Irregular Heartbeat: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Photo by Mufid Majnun
3 – Blood Pressure Checks
High blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for health conditions such as strokes, heart failure, and kidney disease. Because there are usually no warning symptoms until it is very late, if you suffer from high blood pressure, you must check your blood pressure regularly.
The good news is that there are several brands of blood pressure monitors to choose from. Plus, they are easy to use. All you have to do is ensure you are in a serene environment and relaxed to get a more accurate reading. You should be able to read your blood pressure easily as well. The normal pressure for adults is between 90/60 and 120/80 mmHg.
If your blood pressure is high, you can help reduce it by cutting your alcohol and salt intake, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. But most importantly – you should seek medical advice when your pressure is high, as your doctor may prescribe treatments to keep your pressure in check.
Your health is extremely important. With these home tests, you can comfortably test yourself at home and have better control over your health and overall well-being. However, taking home tests isn’t the final answer to your health queries and conditions. Home tests can be used for the first step and to help maintain your health plan but you must always visit your doctor for professional assistance.
PIN: 3 Helpful Health Checks You Can Do At Home