Reluctance to schedule routine checkups can prevent early intervention for a number of diseases that become more challenging to treat as they progress.
ESTABLISHING A RELATIONSHIP with a primary care physician while you’re healthy can allow for simpler, less invasive, and more effective treatments. Many diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, can be treated much more easily if detected early. Left unchecked, these diseases and disorders can be devastating.
Even with chronic disorders that require lifelong management, such as diabetes, early detection is highly desirable, so they can be controlled sooner. Having extra time to implement lifestyle changes has a greater effect on the management of the disease. Special diets, therapies and exercise regimens take time to start and more time to impact your health.
WHY GO TO THE DOCTOR?
Seeking medical help is far from admitting weakness. Some things require expertise to repair. If your car needs maintenance or breaks down and you don’t know how to fix it, you take it to a mechanic. If your health breaks down and you don’t know what the problem is, a doctor can diagnose the problem and treat it so you can feel better.
It’s important to recognize that you cannot address every medical issue by yourself. Physicians undergo extensive training in order to effectively diagnose and treat medical conditions.
Even when you feel fine, you may have health problems. Certain diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, may cause few or no symptoms, but these conditions can lead to further complications and health problems, such as heart disease or stroke. Routine health screenings can detect such conditions early, and treatment for them may reduce your risk of developing related medical problems.
Schedule a wellness exam with a doctor and request these screenings:
Blood pressure should be taken at least once every two years starting at age 20. More than 50 percent of men older than 55 have high blood pressure, greatly increasing their odds of having a heart attack or stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cholesterol levels should be checked at least every four to six years starting at age 20, according to the American Heart Association. Approximately 31 percent of men have high cholesterol, doubling their odds of getting heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Diabetes testing should occur consistently if you have risk factors, such as a family history of the disease, high blood pressure or cholesterol, heart disease, or being overweight. Diabetes increases the chances of suffering a heart attack hypertension, stroke and kidney disease, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Do you have a primary care physician to help keep you healthy? To find one, visit us at summithealthcare.net/find-a-doctor.