Many people are of the mind that they should only go to see their doctor when they are feeling sick or unwell in some way. This is the general mindset among most patients and because of that, fewer and fewer people get annual physical exams with their primary care doctor. However, there are many reasons why you should never skip your annual physical exam, even if you feel healthy. Get to know some of the reasons why you should never skip your physical exam so you can be sure you are doing what is best for your health from now on.
Even If You Are Healthy, You Want to Stay Healthy
One of the many reasons that you should never skip your annual exam with your doctor is that even if you are in perfect health, you want to stay that way. When you visit your doctor for an annual exam, it is a chance to evaluate your health habits and determine what you are doing right and what areas may be in need of improvement.
Your doctor will ask you several questions about your health habits including alcohol consumption, tobacco use, eating habits, exercise habits, and the like over the course of your physical exam. If you answer honestly, you have the opportunity to look at those habits with your doctor and see what might be a little off. Maybe you are exercising more than is recommended and need to adjust either your workout habits or your diet to accommodate those habits.
Or maybe your caffeine consumption is still higher than is considered safe and healthy. Whatever the case may be, going over your habits once a year is a great way to assess yourself and to help you stay as healthy as possible going into the next year.
Screenings Can Detect Health Problems Early
The health screenings you get at an annual physical exam including cardiovascular tests, cholesterol and blood pressure checks, prostate exams or PAP smears and the like can all help to detect any underlying health issues when they are still minor in nature. If you have slightly high blood pressure or your blood pressure seems to be increasing with each annual exam you have, it may be time to make some lifestyle changes or start taking a low-dose medication to help control the issue.
Prostate exams and PAP smears are cancer screenings designed to detect reproductive system cancers in men and women. And all of the other tests and examinations in your physical are meant to ensure that you are healthy and to catch problems before they spiral out of control. It is better, for example, to find out you have high cholesterol and treat it early than find out you have the condition after suffering a heart attack.
Now that you know two of the many reasons you should never skip your physical, you can be sure that you schedule your appointment with your primary care provider as soon as possible.
When I recently noticed that I began having minor chest pain, I suspected it was simple indigestion. I began taking an antacid to see if it would help control my problem, but it didn't work. I had a regularly scheduled visit with my physician and she suggested that I have some tests performed on my heart. I soon learned that I had a small problem that could have led to a heart attack if I had left it untreated. I am very grateful that I visited my doctor, even though I wish I had gone sooner. I am now eager to spread the word about my experience to remind others to always report any new physical symptoms to their doctors immediately. I also have a passion for healthcare in general, so I plan to share many health tips on my new blog!