It is common knowledge today that the brain and the body are one. Yet, we still tend to refer to them as separate entities, as if one can function without the other. Of course, there are some aspects that could continue functioning for a while, but that is another matter entirely. Regular health check-ups serve as a crucial bridge between these two interconnected systems, ensuring their harmonious functioning and overall well-being.

Unifying body and mind helps in thinking about one’s health and one’s goals to address any ailments or concerns. In this article, we will focus on how taking care of our physical health can help our mental health as well.

Essential Health Check-ups

  1. Detecting changes in hormones – Changes in hormones can stem from underlying conditions or they can also be the cause of some symptoms themselves. Early detection and appropriate care will ensure to bring back healthy levels of hormonal function. Hence also the effects on psychological and physical wellbeing.
    • PCOS and other issues which may impact mood etc. One example of this is the detection and monitoring of PCOS which can manifest in sleep problems and anxiety.
    • In men, testosterone in particular – Inadequate levels of testosterone in men can pose issues such as low libido and low mood. Higher than normal testosterone can also have an effect including mood swings and aggressive behaviour.
  2. Iron and thyroid issues – Simple screenings such as blood testing can tell you if you have low levels of iron in your blood. A doctor can also order tests to see thyroid function. Both low iron and low thyroid function can result in fatigue, difficulty with motivation and palpitations.
  3. DiabetesDiabetes is chronic and often tricky to control. Routine check ups can assess where you are in terms of blood sugar maintenance. Symptoms of diabetes can manifest physically which includes blurry vision and an increase in urination. They may even show up as more mentally including confusion, irritability and fatigue. Untreated diabetes can be very dangerous.  
  4. Coeliac Disease, IBS and food allergens – These are generally tested for after bloods and other simpler screenings, since they are more specific. They are nonetheless important. All of these can cause pain, constipation or loose bowel movements and have an effect on mood, including excessive irritability.

While this list is not exclusive, it serves to showcase the importance of maintaining routine check-ups as you go along. Keeping in mind that our bodies are connected in function and even in symptomatology can help us keep more of an eye out for anything that feels out of the ordinary; and to mention all the  symptoms even if seemingly unrelated.

Jessica Saliba Thorne is a Gestalt psychotherapist. She has experience within the mental health field and sees adults with mental health difficulties, relationship issues and trauma at Willingness.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue, health checks can be booked here.