In recent years, there has been a quiet revolution in medicine and health care, with a move away from the traditional emphasis on treating disease and increasingly toward prevention. Moreover, the concept of prevention itself has expanded, from simply preventing disease toward actively taking measures to optimize health. Key aspects of this new trend in health maximization are screening tests for particular conditions and regular monitoring of significant indicators of health, such as blood pressure, in order to spot early signs of a potential problem so it can be dealt with before it develops into illness. Furthermore, with new technology, you can monitor many aspects of your health yourself, so you can get expert medical advice early.
Health professionals also increasingly benefit from new technology to offer a range of sophisticated health checks and tests. However, the many health check options available can be confusing. This book aims to demystify health screening and tests so you can make good choices about monitoring and maintaining your health.
The book is divided into four main sections. The first, “Monitoring your health,” provides an overview of health and health checks, from the factors that affect your health to the ways in which you can keep an eye on your health. The second section, “General adult tests,” gives detailed, accessible information about the most common and useful tests, including not only tests that a health professional might carry out, but also those you can do yourself, such as checking your skin. The third section, “Optimizing your health,” gives practical advice on measures you can take to ensure you keep as healthy as possible, from diet and exercise, to information about vaccinations and psychological health. The final section includes information about important but less commonly performed medical tests, such as biopsies to analyze tissue samples, as well as an overview of screening options to consider and pages for you to copy and use to record your own and your family’s health check results.