For most of us, our health isn’t something we have much say in. We might do the right things – eat a good diet, exercise regularly, keep a handle on a stress – but much of it is guesswork. What goes on in our body isn’t something we pay attention to, until it goes wrong.
While this works on some levels – it’s better that than falling into the grips of hypochondria – it does make life hard in other ways. For one thing, the vast majority of illnesses respond better to treatment when they are caught at an early stage. So that means by leaving much of our health alone until the moment the symptoms become unbearable, we miss the chance to jump on any issues before they become serious.
Thankfully, technology is providing some of the answers that can help limit this issue. There are ways and means of monitoring your body to ensure that everything is behaving as it should be – and if you find it’s not, you know how to take action. But first, let’s bust one of the bad things you shouldn’t do in the name of health monitoring…
Full Body Scans
Full body scans are a medical fad, with very little diagnostic use. The medical profession doesn’t hold them in high regard, believing they can flag issues that are actually nothing to be concerned about.
A full body scan might have a diagnostic use if you’re unwell, but if you’re healthy and just want to check how things are… they could be disastrous. They are not recommended for a variety of reasons, but the primary one is that there is no evidence they are useful in identifying illnesses at an early stage. So it’s best to avoid them.
So, with that out of the way, what might actually be useful?
Blood Pressure Monitoring
It’s relatively easy to take your blood pressure at home; there are many devices you can buy to do just that. You can then input the values you find into a blood pressure calculator and see how you are doing. If you find anything amiss, you can flag them up with a doctor. Given that blood pressure is a major contributor to the risk of heart problems and stroke, this is definitely one kind of monitoring that’s beneficial.
Blood Sugar Monitoring
If you don’t have diabetes, why would you monitor your blood sugar? The best reason is one of awareness. Non-diabetics monitor their blood sugar at home to see the impact of certain meals and stresses in their lives. When they are able to identify spikes, they know they need to either reduce or stop the behavior that led to the spike. If you’re concerned about how healthy your meals are or the impact of external stress on your body, this type of monitoring could keep you on track.
Quality sleep is not a given for most of us, so using apps and devices designed to monitor our sleep can help us make changes. If you’re struggling to get your requisite hours of deep sleep it can impact you in a thousand ways, including contributing to your chances of heart problems and obesity. You might just sleep easier knowing you’ve got the situation under control.