Our bodies are complicated machines. There’s so much going on underneath our skin, it can be hard to discern what, if anything, is actually wrong when we go through periods of just not feeling very well. While it’s important to see a doctor regularly to make sure that you’re in the best physical and mental health possible, there are also a few checks that you can be doing to rule out some pretty significant health problems and make sure that you’re on the right track. Here are three checks you can do to monitor and maintain your health.
- Blood Pressure Test
Your doctor should be checking your blood pressure whenever you go in for a check-up, but if you’re over 40 or have a family history or other risks that may contribute to high blood pressure (hypertension), it’s a good idea to test more frequently. Abnormally high or low blood pressure can be an indicator of overall health and a change in blood pressure may indicate an underlying disease that needs to be addressed immediately.
Safeway’s pharmacies provide blood pressure management services — every Safeway pharmacy has an in-store blood pressure machine. Results are displayed on a colour monitor and customers also receive a printout of their results. Safeway also offers customers a Hypertension Management Smart Card, which helps to keep track of changes in blood pressure over the course of uses of the blood pressure machines. Safeway pharmacists can use the data collected on the smart card to help patients monitor and manage their hypertension between visits to the doctor.
2. Medication Reviews
Prescription drugs can be enormously beneficial to our health — conditions that would have previously been debilitating or even fatal can often now be managed with modern medication. That said, when a patient is taking multiple medications at the same time, prescription drugs can interfere with each other and affect each other’s effectiveness or create undesirable results.
To help prevent this from happening, Safeway offers a Medication Review service — pharmacists will review all of a customer’s prescriptions as well as any non-prescription drugs, vitamins or supplements the customer may be using. After carefully reviewing everything, the pharmacist provides a report that customers can take to their doctors in order to get their prescriptions changed if necessary.
3. Depression Screen
Mental health is just as important as physical health and it’s key to have a good handle on your emotional wellbeing. It can be difficult to figure out how serious negative feelings or mental fatigue may be, which is why online depression screening tests can be helpful. Tests like this one ask users to self-evaluate symptoms of depressive episodes and then gives a score to help determine the likelihood of a major depressive disorder. While short tests like this shouldn’t be used as diagnostic tools, they do let people know if it may be a good idea to follow up with a doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.