Being able to self-assess your health is a critical part of your health maintenance.

There is no substitute for regular check-ups with your GP.

You should never rely on self-assessment alone.

But knowing the signs and symptoms to look for is an important component of your overall health and wellbeing.

And it can allow you to pick up any worrying health issues before they advance.

This should prompt you to visit a GP when you otherwise may wait for an annual appointment.

There’s more to it than Googling your symptoms …

Here’s how to self-assess your health.

Regular health check-ups

Always schedule regular check-ups with your GP.

As a minimum, they should be annually with the need for more frequent visits as you age or if you suffer from any chronic conditions.

The whole point of self-assessment is that it works best in tandem with your GP.

Because you self-assess, you are able to provide your GP with better information about your health.

Your GP can then make more informed assessments and consider the need for any further tests or screenings.

They can also offer better advice for your overall health and wellbeing.

Know your body

Always pay attention to your body.

Have the ability to recognise changes and be alert to whatever your body is trying to tell you.

Anything new or different that happens is worthy of review.

Monitor any changes in the following:

  • Weight
  • Skin
  • Digestion
  • Sleep patterns
  • Toilet habits
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Energy levels

When something is not quite right, most people have some sort of sense or feeling about it.

The difference comes between those who choose to act upon it and those who choose to ignore it.

Keep track of symptoms 

If you begin to experience any new or unusual symptoms or discomfort, it’s a good idea to keep a record of it.

This will allow you to tell your GP precisely when these symptoms began occurring and detail what happened rather than relying on your memory.

Record when those symptoms occurred, their duration and any other relevant factors associated with them.

Use technology

Don’t be afraid to embrace and use whatever technology is available to aid your cause when you self-assess your health.

There are numerous health apps available to use, many of them free.

Other wearable devices will monitor various aspects of your health, physical exercise and sleep cycles.

These tools can all provide valuable information when it comes to self-assessment.

Lifestyle assessment

Take a critical look at your lifestyle choices and consider whether improvements are warranted and changes should be made.

Consider things such as:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Stress management
  • Alcohol intake 
  • Smoking
  • Illicit drug use

Why you should self-assess your health

When you self-assess your health, you are employing four key strategies which work together to improve your overall health position.

They are:

Personal responsibility

This underscores the entire reason for self-assessment. You are investing in your own health and taking responsibility for it rather than making it solely your doctor’s problem.

This leads to better lifestyle choices such as an improved diet, more exercise and stress management which in turn produces better outcomes.

Early detection

By thinking about your own health and examining your own body, you give yourself the chance to identify changes or symptoms which need further investigation.

Early detection nearly always leads to far superior outcomes.

Communication with healthcare providers

Understanding and taking an interest in your own health leads to better communication with healthcare providers.

This includes better information relayed to doctors in the diagnostic process as well as an improved ability to understand treatment plans and adhere to them.

Preventative measures

Having invested in your own health, these are much more likely to be adopted.

This involves recognising certain risk factors and making lifestyle changes to reduce the likelihood of developing certain health conditions.

Book an appointment

Committing to regularly self-assess your health is a worthy undertaking and one that every Australian should adopt.

But it’s important to appreciate that self-assessment alone isn’t enough to ensure your long-term health and wellbeing.

Warning signs and key health indicators may be overlooked by the untrained eye.

You need to see a GP to book a routine blood test which offers a wide gamut of information about your general health.

Only a GP can listen to your heart and give you a general physical that can detect a whole range of maladies.

And only a GP can ask you the questions about your health that you won’t even consider yourself.

That’s why regular check-ups are needed to optimise the benefits self-assessment offers. 

At AHA Clinics, doctors take the time to really listen to your appraisal of your health, asking relevant questions before deciding if any further action need be taken.

They may encourage you to consider diagnostic screenings and offer advice about making lifestyle adjustments.

Book an appointment here today at either our Seaford Road Day and Night Clinic or our Seaford Meadows Day and Night Clinic.