Our Health Checks
A blood pressure test measures the pressure the blood exerts against the walls of the blood vessels when the heart contracts and when it relaxes. A blood pressure reading consists of two figures, the higher figure when the heart contracts is known as the systolic, and the lower pressure when the heart relaxes is known as the diastolic. Blood pressure that is too high can cause stokes and cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol is a naturally occurring fatty substance in the human body. There are two main types of cholesterol – High Density Lipoprotein, sometimes known as good cholesterol (HDL) and Low Density Lipoprotein, sometimes known as bad cholesterol (LDL). Very often though total cholesterol levels can become higher than they should be – when this happens the risk of heart disease is increased.
A high sugar concentration in the bloodstream may indicate the presence of diabetes. Diabetes is usually caused because the pancreas produces an inadequate amount of insulin (Diabetes 1) or the insulin that is produced is not utilised properly (Diabetes 2). Diabetes 1 is generally most common in younger people while Diabetes 2 generally affects those over the age of 50.
Cardiac monitoring, or an electrocardiogram (ECG) test is a non-invasive procedure that monitors the electrical activity in the heart. This electrical activity, and hence the pattern shown may vary dependent on whether or not the heart is working normally. The purpose of this ECG test is to detect one of the most common irregularities of the heart – a condition called Atrial Fibrillation (AF) which carries risks linked to stroke.
SPO2 is the peripheral capillary oxygen saturation. Low oxygen levels can be a sign of poorly functioning lungs, or in particular it can be a sign of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is thought that some 3 million people in the UK have this disorder while just 900,000 have been diagnosed.
If a person is overweight it can increase their risk of diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and stroke. The Body Mass Index (BMI) provides an indication to as to their status and is calculated using their height and weight.
Our lung function tests measure the forced expiratory volume (over one second) (FEV1) and the forced vital capacity (FVC) which together can indicate the presence of chronic bronchitis, chronic asthma, or chronic emphysema – collectively or individually these conditions are known by the generic term Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). We also measure the peak flow. These tests complement the oxygen level tests and provide a good indication as to the functionality of the lungs as well as the indication of COPD.
Complementary to the body parameter measurements and the body fat percentage our dietary analysis examines current diets and look for ways it can be improved. We provide a month of meal ideas that are tailored to a range of needs, from losing weight to avoiding constipation to increasing iron intake.
Stress is one of the biggest reasons people have long term absence from work in the UK. It is an unpleasant feeling of pressure or tension caused by challenging or demanding circumstances such as work or family situations. It can also cause physical symptoms such as racing thoughts, poor sleep, or anxiety.
CVD risk assessment
A cardio vascular disease risk assessment calculates the risk a person has (in terms of a percentage) of any cardiac event including stroke of heart attack in the proceeding ten years. It is calculated using blood pressure, age, smoking status and gender. While not included in the CVD risk assessment certain other factors we establish can increase or decrease the risk.
Urine analysis is a non-invasive test that can help identify various conditions that may present with minor, or no symptoms. The presence of various substances in the urine may indicate the presence of a number of conditions; these include diabetes, malnourishment, high blood pressure, infection, kidney problems including kidney stones, or minor internal bleeding.
Full 12 lead ECG
Like the basic cardiac monitoring the full 12 lead ECG captures the electrical signals emanating from the heart and a tracing is produced. The purpose of this ECG test is to detect the possible presence of any one of a number of arrhythmias, (abnormal heart rhythms) – these arrhythmias include conditions known as supraventricular arrhythmias (abnormalities emanating in the upper heart), ventricular arrhythmias (abnormalities emanating in the lower heart), slow or irregular heart rhythms, or problems with the hearts’ electrical conducting system – some arrhythmias can cause major problems while some are so minor they may not even be noticed.
Body fat percentage
If a person is overweight it can increase their risk of diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and stroke. So to complement our body parameter measurements we also measure the body fat percentage (BFP). To perform this test we send a tiny electrical current through the body; the resistance to this current allows us to measure, in terms of a percentage, a persons’ body fat. Generally for men a healthy BFP would be 25% or below, and for women a healthy BFP would be 31% or below.
This test includes a platelet count and a mean platelet volume. Platelet, or clotting cells are the smallest type of blood cell and are important in blood clotting. When bleeding occurs, the platelets swell, clump together and form a sticky plug which helps stop the bleeding. If platelet levels are raised there is a risk of blood clots forming in blood vessels. If platelet levels are too low there is a risk of easy bruising and uncontrolled bleeding.
White blood cell
This test consists of some six different measurements including white cell count; neutrophil test; lymphocyte test; monocyte test; eosinophil test; and basophil test. Each of these measurements can indicate various factors relating to health that are explained in more detail prior to the assessment.
Red blood cell
This test consists of some eight separate measurements including total haemoglobin level; red cell / blood ratio; red cell count; red cell size; amount of haemoglobin per cell; haemoglobin concentration per cell; and red cell distribution width. Each of these measurements can indicate various factors relating to health that are explained in more detail prior to the assessment.
Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that is found in virtually all meat products and certain algae such as seaweed. It helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells and is also needed to make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Around 70% of the vitamin B12 in blood is inactive, this test measures levels of the biologically active component of vitamin B12, thought to be the best early indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Thyroxine (T4) is one of two hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Most T4 is bound to carrier proteins in the blood – this test measures the level of T4 which is free, or unbound, circulating in the blood. High levels of Free Thyroxine can indicate an overactive thyroid while low levels can indicate an underactive thyroid. An overactive or underactive thyroid can cause multiple emotional and physical symptoms.
This test includes iron volume, total iron building capacity, and transferrin levels. The Iron test measures how much iron is in your blood with the aim of identifying iron deficiency anaemia or iron overload syndrome (haemochromatosis), while the iron binding capacity is a measure of the amount of iron that can be carried through the blood. Transferrin is made in the liver and is the major protein in the blood which binds to iron and transports it through the body. Low levels of transferrin indicate iron deficiency while high levels indicate iron overload.