Give Your Body An MOT – My First Ever Health Screening

Do you think it’s strange that most people have never had a full medical check-up?

It’s not something I’ve every really thought about before.

I give my car a yearly MOT, I go to the dentist regularly for a checkup, and I even check my computer for viruses. But I’ve never had a proper medical check-up. Even though my health is the most valuable thing I own. The only times I’ve ever been to the doctor is when things have gotten so bad that I can’t handle it without professional help.

It’s baffling really. My health is so important and I take it completely for granted.

Once I started thinking about how little I know about what’s going on inside me, it got quite scary. I’ve been really tired lately, is it just that I’ve been travelling too much, or is there something wrong? I had a stomach ache the other day, was it just bad seafood? I drink quite a lot of alcohol, what damage have I done to my liver?

So when I was offered the chance for a complete health screening courtesy of SOZA health, I leapt at it.

From their website:

“Soza Health offers a preventative and integrated health screening system that empowers people to take control of their health”

The screening would take about an hour and cover all sorts of things. I think it normally costs about £250, although my fiancé’s and mine were free because we were guinea pigging for their new service.

The Health Screening

Emma and I turned up at the nicest hospital I have ever seen, and were immediately ushered into the examination room.

Sorry for side-tracking here, but the place was seriously fancy. The lobby felt more like an art gallery than a hospital and after our health screening we were offered a hipster brunch, complete with avocado, sourdough and poached eggs. If you are based near Reading and need to go to hospital, I recommend selecting Circle. It’s private but they’re required to take NHS patients as well.

circle-reading-art-gallery

The screening would measure our:

  • Fat Percentage
  • Hydration
  • Basal Metabolic Rate
  • Central Blood Pressure
  • Peripheral Blood Pressure
  • Blood Glucose Level
  • Triglyceride level
  • Cholesterol Level
  • Augmentation Index
  • Saliva PH
  • Urine PH
  • Urine Sodium
  • Chronotropic Myocardial Response
  • Lung Functionality
  • Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) balance
  • DEI

I don’t even know what half those things are, but I definitely want to know if any are wrong.

The tests were all pretty straightforward and taken by a nurse. A finger prick for blood which was then put into a few machines. A breathing test. Then lots of standing up and down with wires attached while a computer recorded all sorts of things.

I reckon they could have done it a lot quicker because most of the time was spent explaining what everything did. which was kind of interesting, but after the two hours it took to screen both Emma and I it was just too much. A completely different experience than the 100 miles-an-hour ten-minute consultations I am used to on the NHS.

After the tests were done the machine immediately generated a report with all our results and a doctor was summoned to explain them.

The Results

As the test went on, I got more and more nervous. I felt like I was in sitting an exam, but with serious consequences. I was also pretty sure that something would be wrong. How could there not be after almost 30 years of taking my body for granted?

You can see my complete report here, but the highlights are that I am pretty healthy:

health-check-basic

Well, that’s a relief!

But even though I was classified as ‘healthy’, once we delved deeper into the numbers there were a few things that needed monitoring:

health-screening-page-3

It also picked up that I am probably slightly asthmatic. I had asthma when I was a kid but thought I had grown out of it.

Then we got to Emmas’s results.

emma-health-check

The screening picked up that Emma was on the way to becoming diabetic. She isn’t diabetic yet, but her blood glucose levels are slightly too high and if she doesn’t change her sugar intake she will probably develop more serious diabeties.

That’s crucial to know. Her whole family has a history of diabetes and if she can catch and manage it before it becomes a problem that will have a huge impact on her life.

Making it A Regular MOT

The doctor gave us a bunch of tips and small lifestyle changes that would help improve the problem areas.

soza-health-recomendations

But the main thing I took away was the potential problem areas should be monitored. We will both be making health screening a regular thing, going every year or two. At £250 a go, I think it’s well worth it. If the problem areas don’t get any worse, that’s great. If they do, we should act.

Also, NHS, if you’re reading this. How about offering free health checks to everyone once a year? It could save an absolute fortune in prevention.

  • Joe

    That looks really interesting, I’d love to get one done!

    I had a quick look at your report and it said you had the lungs of an older person – is that because of the asthma? I would’ve thought the BJJ would give you a higher/better score?

    Did they give you any explanation as to your tiredness? I’m knackered most of the time and wonder if I’m lacking in something (apart from sleep).

    It makes sense that the NHS would offer this. But then you would have to try and get people to act on the advice!

    • http://www.arbing.co.uk/ Sam Priestley

      @disqus_uJH83fLQcJ:disqus. Yeah I thought that was pretty interesting too. I’m generally quite fit and spend a lot of time doing BJJ. But I do think I get out of breathe quicker than most people who train as much as me so it kind of makes sense. Must be the asthma I suppose! I was planning on going to see someone on the NHS to check properly for asthma and see if anything can be done to improve it. Maybe an inhaler before training?

      They had a few ideas on the tiredness. The main one was that my blood didn’t have enough oxygen. That was partly due to the lung issue and partly because of my veins are slightly constricted. There were a few diet changes he suggested to help with the veins. He also said it could be slight depression or stress related. Since then I moved to Gran Canaria and have been in the same place with no commitments for a few weeks, and am feeling quite a bit better. So I reckon it was mostly to do with doing too much.

      • Joe

        That’s good its getting better.

        My cardio is pretty poor. I only do BJJ twice a week on average but I’ve started doing interval training on the rowing machine at the regular gym twice a week.

        In only few sessions I’m getting less out of breath on the rower and possibly in BJJ (its hard to tell as each class is different).

        If you are doing BJJ most days then maybe adding HIIT isn’t a good idea as you’ll be over doing it though?

        I saw stress mentioned a few times when having a quick look at you report. Have you heard of adrenal fatigue? I’m not if it’s a 100% real thing or more of a concept but it might be worth looking into. Apparently it can cause long lasting low level tiredness.

        It’s hard to get the balance right between being active and overtraining and being productive and overworking. Sounds like stopping in the Canaries for a while should help though!

  • Alex Spuggie

    Thank you. Are there any more free ones left? I’ll probably give them a call

    • http://www.arbing.co.uk/ Sam Priestley

      @alexspuggie:disqus, I am not sure I am afraid. Maybe drop them an email or give them a call?

  • Soza Health

    Sam, thank-you very much from Soza Health for this comprehensive write up. We have recently launched an upgraded report, and if you would like me to re-run your existing data to produce the report in the new format, just ask. The new report adds the personalised recommendations that the Doctor provided you manually as well as presenting the results in a new layout. Tim.

    • http://www.arbing.co.uk/ Sam Priestley

      Hello Tim. Thanks, that would be great. How do I get the new report generated?

  • Joe

    Also, how did they measure your body fat? Was it with calipers or something more fancy/accurate? I use the machine in Boots but I fear i’ts not accurate!

    • http://www.arbing.co.uk/ Sam Priestley

      It was some electrodes they stuck to me. They send an electric shocks through you. I don’t know how accurate they are to be honest!