Mon – Fri 9 - 12 a.m.
Mon, Tue, Thu 3 - 5 p.m.
call 069 - 61 90 10
In cooperation with
PKD am Städel
Praxisklinik für Diagnostik
60596 Frankfurt am Main
H. R. Schröter,
Dr. N. Kühne
Dr. K. Martchenko
Check Up – Preventive Medicine
Why consider doing a check up?
When getting a check up from the practitioner of your choice you will only be granted a "snapshot" at your general health. Seen as a preventive examination it will show you that, in the best of all cases, "everything is fine" and there is no need to act. If, however, you are diagnosed with a disease that needs treatment or risk factors are revealed there will be the chance to react early and in an appropriate way.
There are many reasons for patients to decide to get a check up; e.g. non-specific troubles like having a general feeling of a "loss of energy", formal reasons like having passed another decade of age, being concerned with the partner’s health, or even due to important decisions like making a big investment.
What does this actually imply for the GP carrying out the examination?
The original task of a practitioner was to use the "art of healing". He made a diagnosis on the basis of the patient’s troubles and treated the diagnosed disease in accordance with generally accepted guidelines. A medical check up as a preventive measure, however, changes this task as it serves to maintain health. Diagnostic measures are used to get medical results that enable the practitioner to react and treat in good time ("primary prevention").
This implies for the practitioner to carefully and thoroughly make a diagnose taking the respective conditions and demands of the patient’s situation into account.
A preventive check up may include the following examinations:
An extensive physical examination and a check of the patient’s medical history
Recording of necessary information to evaluate the patient’s health (previous conditions, medical risks within the family)
Examination of the cardio-vascular system during repose and under strain (ergometry, spiro-ergometry)
With these tests the blood pressure, heart rate, possible cardiac arrhythmia or circulatory problems as well as the oxygen uptake are registered and measured and, with it, the patient’s physical condition and capacity.
This diagnostic data can then, for instance, also be used to set up an efficient training schedule.
Examination of the bronchial system and the lungs (spirometry, body plethysmography)
The physical capacity is considerably determined by the parameters of the lungs and the bronchial system that are checked with this simple examination. It reveals the lung volume and airway resistance rendering scores of additional information as well as indicators of early stages of bronchopulmonary diseases, such as asthma, COPD (a "smoker’s lung") and others.
Cardiac sonography (echocardiography, color duplex sonography)
This test screens and measures the function of the cardiac chambers, muscles and valves as well as the pericardium. Many cardio-vascular and lung diseases lead to (initially asymptomatic) disorders of the heart that can be revealed by this test.
Sonography of the large vessels – carotid artery, abdominal and leg vessels (veins, arteries, intraabdominal vessels)
The condition of our vessels reflects our actual biological age. State-of-the-art techniques such as color duplex, power duplex or contrast sonography will show even the slightest stenoses of the vessels so that the consequences of revealed risk factors can be noticed and measured in good time. This enables the practitioner to give preventive recommendations long before a vascular disease shows its symptoms and causes any organ damage.
Sonography of the organs - Thyroid gland, abdominal organs (liver, gall bladder, bile ducts, pancreas, spleen, kidney, suprarenal glands, bowels, prostate gland), lymph nodes
The imaging techniques of sonography have become an indispensible part of detailed examinations and diagnostics without having any side effects. State-of-the-art technology (3D, contrast sonography, high temporal and spatial resolutions) combined with the excellence of our expert colleagues practicing at PKD (up to level 2 of the German Society for Ultrasound in Medicine) guarantee diagnostic accuracy and security. Focal changes of the organs (e.g. because of tumors) or diffuse (e.g. inflammatory) changes can, for instance, be screened.
Laboratory tests – blood / serum, urine, stool
Laboratory tests are an essential part of any preventive check up. Due to the manifold possibilities of analysis staged diagnostics have become indispensable. At a first stage the basic tests (such as blood count, liver and thyroid function tests) have to be done. If anything is revealed by the parameters, some special tests will be added at a second stage – usually there is no need for taking a second blood sample.
When meeting with you, the patient, to discuss all the test results after your check up, we will critically evaluate and explain them to provide you with a final comprehensive report. The data, and especially the image data, will then be stored digitally and so be easily accessible later. New diagnoses, recommendations for treatment or necessary observations of a disease’s progression will be discussed at the interdisciplinary conference at PKD. If it seems necessary or in case you ask for it, we will inform your GP.
How to enhance your check up?
Endoscopic examinations are an important possibility of enhancing your routine check up. Medical specialists now recommend regular colonoscopies starting from the age of 50. In genuinely justified cases – e.g. because of a family history of suffering from gastrointestinal tumors, because of unclear abdominal pain, blood in the faeces - they are even recommended at an earlier age. PKD am Städel offers colonoscopies and gastroscopies as preventive measures.
Details zum Ablauf der Untersuchung und zur exzellenten Expertise der dort tätigen Untersucher finden Sie hier.
Bone density (DXA-Scans)
Our bones lose their density with age. We therefore experience a generally higher risk of fractures. This "natural" development can actually be slowed down by adopting a healthy lifestyle with regular physical activity and a diet rich in calcium. Nevertheless, there are many risk factors that can also substantially accelerate the process. This can then lead to - usually unnoticed – osteoporosis, the decalcification of the bones.
The technically complex DXA scan is a simple examination for the patient. It precisely measures the condition of the bones and allows the practitioner to determine a necessary treatment in accordance with the guidelines. The DXA scan is the only internationally recognized technique to do this.
For further information click here to get the german Patienten-Newsletter Bone density.
Sleeping makes up an essential part of our everyday life. It is a highly active process, especially for our brains.
To wake up relaxed after a good night’s sleep we need to go through different successive stages while sleeping. If this process is disturbed and fragmented, we will first experience some rather unspecific symptoms, such as fatigue during the day or falling asleep momentarily, a loss of energy, a lack of concentration, etc. Advanced stages can lead to metabolic disturbances, overweight, high blood pressure and mental disorders. All of these symptoms can be experienced by the patient even while he is not really awake, literally speaking. With an EEG, however, we can screen the brain waves that cause so called arousals – reactions that will make us wake up.
Typical causes of fragmented sleep are heavy snoring, pauses in breathing during the night as well as unwanted spasms of the patient’s legs (the restless legs syndrome).
With the help of modern sleep medicine these disturbances can clearly by detected. When screening your sleep at home (by cardiorespiratory polygraphy) reveals typical patterns of disturbances, you will get an enhanced polysomnography screening at the comfortable PKD sleep laboratory to provide you with a comprehensive analysis.
There is no need for any special preparation.
If you are interested in further information on this and on possible therapeutic treatments, just click here.
Further information: SPIEGEL ONLINE, 10.09.2013