Have you ever gone to your annual physical and felt as if you are sitting
through a grand inquisition? After checking your weight and blood pressure,
the nurse sits with you to ask a series of questions related to your health,
and possibly even your family’s health. Then, in comes the physician
for the second round of interrogations along with some potential poking
This series of questions isn’t asked because your
doctor is a busybody and they aren’t trying to make you uncomfortable either.
It’s a good thing! The purpose is a health assessment—to create
an inventory of your health history, potential necessary screenings and
current health concerns.
Between doctor’s visits, you can and should be doing a health assessment
of your own! After all, who is a better advocate for your health than
you? Doing your own check-up can help you have a clear view of your current
health. This practice allows you and your doctor work together, more efficiently
to prevent future health problems. It also creates awareness and accountability
of your health goals and ultimately allows you to take better care of
yourself through lifestyle changes.
The following is a list of recommended ways that you can monitor your own
health. With the help of your physician, you’ll stay sea worthy
for many seasons to come!
Height and weight: both height and weight should be monitored regularly. Unexpected weight
loss can indicate serious illness and loss of height is related to osteoporosis.
Excess weight, especially in the waist area increases the risk of diabetes,
heart disease and more. You should measure your weight regularly, especially
if you are working on a weight loss goal. Height should be measured periodically,
through Wellness screenings or at your doctor’s office.
Blood pressure: Keeping tabs on blood pressure can help you to limit the risks of heart
disease and stroke. High blood pressure is present in about 70% of patients
with heart attack and 77% of those with stroke! Blood pressure problems
respond well to lifestyle changes and medications too. Blood pressure
should be checked at least every two years and at least annually if blood
pressure is above 120/80mm Hg. Your Wellness health coach can check your
blood pressure any time for you as part of your Wellness program.
Lipid levels and blood sugar: Your cholesterol and blood sugar are checked each year through your Wellness
screening. These are important screenings as they help evaluate your risk
of heart disease and diabetes. If you are already working with your doctor
on either of these facets of your health, you can regularly monitor them
through our self-pay daily health screenings. If you have not yet screened
your lipids or blood sugars, here are the basic recommendations. Lipids
should be evaluated every five years, or more frequently based on your
current levels and doctors’ requests. Blood sugar should be evaluated
beginning at age 45 or earlier if you have heart disease or risk factors
for diabetes such as obesity, family history, high blood pressure or cholesterol
or have had gestational diabetes.
Other screenings that are generally recommended and should be part of your
annual physical conversation include:
- hearing evaluations
- eye exams
- colorectal cancer screenings
- cervical cancer screenings
- fracture risk screenings
doctor will recommend these based on your age, gender and other risk factors.
CCH Wellness has a
Self-Assessment Worksheet for anyone to use to track their own progress or numbers. You can download it
here (PDF). In addition to these recommended screenings, there are some wonderful
online tools to help you do an assessment of your current health and to
evaluate future needs. Check out some of these online quizzes below to
help you better manage your overall health.
American Heart Association offers a self-assessment called
Life’s Simple 7. Try this quiz for your overall health.
Rate Your Plate nutrition quiz from the
Brown University Institute for Community Health Promotion to help you assess your nutritional habits and decide how to make improvements,
which is recommended by
Jamie Marchetti, MS, RDN, LD, of CCH
Utilize the following websites to assess your current mental health and
be sure to consult with a
doctor any concerns you have:
Have you been questioning your hearing? Use American Speech-Language-Hearing
Self-Test for Hearing Loss quiz to determine if you should see a
physician or an
Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA, works at CCH
Wellness as a Technician and Phlebotomist. Campbell County Health Wellness works
to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups
and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. At Wellness, you
daily community blood draws, lab tests, and health and wellness screenings in Gillette, Wyoming, from
6-11 am Monday-Friday. To learn more about Wellness, please visit
www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.