Prevention Matters

Along with a balanced diet and regular exercise, annual visits with your family medicine doctor are essential for lifelong good health.

 

Even if you’re not having any suspicious symptoms or problems, you still need to have a yearly well check. Some of the topics you’ll want to discuss with your doctor include weight management, sleep habits, sexual health – and most importantly, screenings and tests. These exams can help you detect illness and other serious medical conditions early, which greatly increases your chances of successful management or recovery from those conditions. In some cases, annual screenings can help you avoid illness altogether.

Know Your History:

Remind your doctor each visit about your family’s health history, especially as it relates to heart disease, cancer, and blood pressure.

Also, tell your doctor about any changes in your own health or on your body, like lumps, pain, dizziness, mood changes or problems with stress management  or changes in eating or bathroom habits.

Be honest with your doctor about your lifestyle, too. If you are a drinker, smoker, or sexually active, your doctor needs to know about it.

Get Recommended Screenings

Throughout your life, some of the tests and screenings your physician may recommend include:

Cholesterol. At age 20, all healthy adults should have their cholesterol checked. Check it again every four to six years. High numbers mean a higher risk for heart disease.
Blood pressure. Have it checked at least once every two years. High blood pressure raises your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
Diabetes. It’s especially important to get screened for this condition if you have a family history of diabetes, are overweight or sedentary, had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, or if you have other risk factors.
Colorectal cancer. Most adults need this screening at age 50. Ask your doctor about the different types of tests.

For Men:
Ask your doctor about the pros and cons of tests for prostate cancer. Also, are you between age 65 and 75, and have you ever been a smoker? If yes, ask about getting screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm.

For Women:
You should have a conversation with your doctor each year about your risks and recommended screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer, osteoporosis.

For Kids:
Besides keeping up with the recommended vaccination schedule, all children need to be evaluated for growth and motor skill milestones, weight gain, vision and hearing problems, participation in sports activities, and issues related to the onset of puberty.

Find a GRMC physician.