Essential health checks

Summer may have been a bit of a wash out this year but it’s time to look forward and be at your healthiest to face autumn head on. A few simple health checks will have you fighting fit by winter.

Flu vaccinations

Get in early. Every year there is a rush with people waiting until the last minute to get a flu vaccination which often results in those who need it most missing out. If you are over 65 or have a chronic health condition such as heart or lung disease, then a bout of flu could have serious health implications.

Pneumonia vaccination

As with the flu, pneumonia can have serious health implications and can be fatal for those with chronic health conditions or older Australians. Consider if you would benefit from a vaccination.

Annual check up

Make sure you’re in the best health to tackle the extra bugs which can attack your immune system. Cold sores, mouth ulcers, runny nose and tickly throat can all be indications that you’re feeling run down and susceptible to disease. Simple blood tests and a routine health check will highlight any areas of concern.

Cholesterol/diabetes check

As the cooler nights draw in, diets can become a little less rigid and comfort food, which is often higher in fat and sugar, is what is craved. For those battling with cholesterol or blood sugar levels knowing what you’re up against is the best way to overcome ill health. Get your blood tested and talk to your GP about a health management plan.

Bowel cancer

Those over 50 years of age should have an annual test for bowel cancer, a disease which kills 80 Australians each week. Government funding for this screening program has dwindled out but you can request a test from your GP or buy a simple-to-use kit from your pharmacist.

Breast cancer

Early detection of changes in breast tissue offers women the greatest chance of beating breast cancer. Free screening is available to women aged 40-70 years of age. If you haven’t been screened recently, you should arrange a check via your GP.

For more information on which health checks are available, visit www.healthinsite.gov.au.

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