Have you been blessed with relatively good health? Do you find that you don’t use the services of a doctor very often and likely wouldn’t seek their help unless you were seriously ill? That’s a very common mindset. Why would you go to the doctor when you aren’t sick?
In reality, well-care is an important way to stay ahead of diseases and their devastating effects. While the common cold and flu won’t necessarily cause you too much harm, other illnesses will. Many things that can hurt us or seriously affect our health do not present with dramatic symptoms until things have gotten out of hand. Well-care can prevent the escalation of disease that can morph and lead to life-threatening issues.
You may recall taking your child to the doctor for well-baby checkups when they were developing through their first two years of life. These visits were designed to help your baby stay on track with its development and intervene if something wasn’t quite right. The frequency of visits made health care easy and prevention a sure thing. After your child reached two, these visits dropped off to as-needed.
While you likely don’t need to visit the physician as often as a new baby, there is value in regular annual visits as well as milestone visits as we age. An annual exam can alert your physician to changes in your body and its systems that you may not notice on the day-to-day. Having a ‘baseline’ of your blood work, and laying eyes on your physical being, can help prevent illness and/or enable early intervention if something comes up.
Some common annual tests include:
- Full blood panel
- Pap smear and other gynecological exams
- Breast checks
- Prostate checks
- Mole and skin checks
- Hearing and sight exams
Not so common – but equally important – checks as we age include:
- Memory and cognitive functioning
- Cancer screenings
- STD and HIV screenings
- Diabetes screenings
If you haven’t given much thought to your health because it has been awesome, consider keeping it that way by getting a routine physical or specialty screening to preserve your health and head off any diseases that might come up.
Routine health care and wellness checkups are a smart and responsible way to manage your health and save money. Contact your health provider today and see what they suggest for your age and risk factors.
3 Reasons You Should See the Doctor Every Year