The last few years, the roller coaster of COVID-19's spikes and dips has many of us putting the breaks on our routine healthcare checks. This can be dangerous in the long run and put us at a greater risk for complications and deathly diseases in our futures. You can prevent sharp turns and inversions in your care with routine check-ups and screenings.
Wellness Checks & Physicals
An age specific wellness exam, annual physical, or well woman exam with your primary care provider can supply you with general vital sign checks, tests, and age appropriate examinations and vaccinations that ensure you are in good health. These check-ups can also bring to light any issues that may be starting to arise.
What you may feel is a minor dip in your health can lead to climbing complications in the long run. High blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or stroke, heart failure, kidney problems, eye problems and more. Elevated glucose, or blood sugar, can indicate pre-diabetes which, can lead to heart disease, stroke, eye damage, limb amputation, and kidney failure as well. One abnormal result could start a whole cascade of problems. So catching these things early helps decrease your risks of obstacles down the track.
Some health problems can be easily corrected with small lifestyle changes or maintenance medications. Additional testing, screening, or imaging may be ordered to help determine the severity of any signs and symptoms, to help better your diagnosis. The key is to catch issues early so they can be better managed, and you aren't thrown for a loop.
Once you have scheduled your regular health check-up it is important to be prepared for the encounter with your provider. Here are some thing you can do before your appointment to be prepared.
Review your family health history.
Are there any new conditions or diseases that have occurred in your close relatives since your last visit?
Find out if you are due for any general screenings or vaccinations.
Have you had the recommended screening tests based on your age, general health, family history, and lifestyle? Check with your health care provider to see if its time for any vaccinations, follow-up exams, or tests.
Write down a list of issues and questions to take with you.
Have you noticed any body changes, including lumps or skin changes? Are you having pain, dizziness, fatigue, problems with urine or stool, or menstrual cycle changes? Have your eating habits changed? Are you experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, distress, or sleeping problems?
Consider your future.
Are there specific health issues that need addressing concerning your future? Are you thinking about having infertility treatment, losing weight, taking a hazardous job, or quitting smoking?
Through regular check-ups and screenings you can take charge of your health. Talk to your provider about your health risks and whether or not you should be screened.
Stop putting your general care in the side-car, it's time to put it front and center. Annual check-ups and screenings don't have to be scary. Find comfort in knowing.