IMA indicates five Ds that determine when to get a health checkup Important to watch out for signs that the body gives and take steps to counter negative stress New Delhi, 06 July 2017: According to studies, people go to the doctor only when they are experience a health problem or if they are looking for specific diagnosis or treatment. Many others get a health check up done as a follow-up to some chronic problem or disease. However, many are still unsure about how frequently they should get examined and under what circumstances. As a general rule, the purpose of a periodic health examination is to ensure primary prevention, identify risk factors for chronic diseases, detect diseases with no apparent symptoms, promote self well being, and update clinical data since last checkup. Experts at the IMA feel that there are five Ds that can be used as determining factors for getting a health check up done: Decade, Death, Divorce, Diagnosis, and Decline. Speaking on this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, "The key to getting yourself checked is any kind of change, be it your social profile or mental status. The first determinant is when you enter a new decade of your life. Health needs and issues vary with age and therefore, one must get a checkup done according to age. The second and third are negative stress factors such as Death and Divorce. Divorce need not be just between a couple but also that from profession and friends. A death in the family, an underlying disease, or any other stressful event can precipitate symptoms in a person. Fourth is when you have a likelihood of or are diagnosed with some medical condition. Lastly, any decline in an existing health condition or any unusual and unexplained health issue or symptom which you may be observing for the first time in life warrants a checkup." A health check up consists of updating your health statistics, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. The doctor also gives advice on the kind of dietary and lifestyle changes one needs to bring in with age and according to other determining factors. Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, "People today are leading a life full of stress and worry. The human body responds to how one thinks, feels, and acts. When a person is stressed, anxious, or upset, the body reacts in a way which will indicate that something is not right. For example, one may experience a rise in blood pressure after a particularly stressful event such as the death of a loved one. While it is always better to get periodic health checkups done, it is also imperative that a person gets examined in case of any particular event that may cause the body to react differently." Here are some lifestyle changes one can make to overcome stress. • Take time out for relaxation In this age of smart phones and gadgets, it is a must that we take time away from them and relax the mind and body. Yoga and meditation are a good way to do this. • Indulge in physical activity Get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. • Eat healthy A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can give you all the essential nutrients for the body to function well. Eat healthy and avoid junk food as far as possible. • Get good sleep our mind and body can function well only if they are well rested. Get a good night's sleep and when possible get a power nap in the afternoons.