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It’s impossible to know for certain when you’re going to get sick or injured, no matter how cautious you are.
However, there are plenty of health problems you can prevent or detect by visiting your doctor on a regular basis.
Regular doctor visits can help you identify if the development of a more serious health condition is right around the corner.
There are many reasons why visiting your doctor is so important. Here are 30 of them.
How Often People Visit Doctors
You should visit your doctor as often as possible throughout the year.
While this is true for everyone, most people don’t visit the doctor nearly as often as they should.
According to a Household Economic Studies report put out in 2013, the average number of doctor visits annually by a working-age adult in 2010 was 3.9.
This is down from the average of 4.8 visits in 2001.
Among some of the larger countries in the world, the U.S. is actually among the lowest when it comes to annual doctor visits per person.
While Americans tend to visit the doctor an average of four times each year, France sits at 6.8 and Japan at 13 per person.
Though it’s not necessary for you to visit the doctor 13 times each year, you should do so on a regular basis.
While four visits is the average for American citizens, an average is composed of a wide range of numbers.
Many people only visit the doctor once or twice every year, if that.
Anyone with high blood pressure should try and visit a doctor around 4-6 times each year.
Infants should be visiting around 6-10 times annually.
If you’re currently suffering from chronic pain or a severe injury, you may want to consider visiting your doctor upwards of a dozen times every year.
General Reasons for Visiting Your Doctor
Check for High Blood Pressure and Increased Cholesterol Levels
Two of the most important numbers you can know with respect to your health are your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
For you to be at your healthiest, both of these numbers should be under a certain limit, which varies depending on your age.
However, this can cause you to miss the development of very serious conditions.
For instance, cholesterol levels that are too high will more than double the possibility of heart disease.
High blood pressure is a particular risk factor in everything from kidney disease to heart attacks.
As with high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure greatly increases the risk of heart disease.
Having these numbers checked on a semi-regular basis allows you to develop exercise routines to help achieve the numbers you wish to attain.
Doctor visits don’t have to be limited to your primary care physician.
For example, one of your annual doctor visits can be made to your eye doctor.
While it’s important to visit your eye doctor to determine if your eyesight is getting worse, the health of your eyes can also tell the doctor a lot about the health of the rest of your body.
An eye exam can determine whether or not a melanoma is present, an eye cancer that should be treated immediately upon identification.
These exams can also show if you’re suffering from high blood pressure, a brain tumor, or macular degeneration.
While most of these conditions are rare, having them identified early will increase your chances of reducing the symptoms or eliminating the condition altogether.
To Manage Better a Chronic Disease
A chronic disease is a type of condition that lasts for a long period of time, sometimes forever.
Once you develop a chronic disease, you’ll experience the symptoms associated with this disease on a continual basis.
However, that doesn’t mean that you need to be in pain.
By visiting the doctor on a regular basis, you can better manage your chronic disease and give yourself a chance to live a healthy life.
For instance, untreated diabetes can lead to a wide range of severe side effects such as heart disease, vision problems, kidney disease, and infections.
These symptoms can be largely avoided by seeking regular checkups with your doctor.
You’ll be able to keep the more severe ones at bay and extend your life dramatically.
Identify and Prevent Problems Early
One of the top reasons why visiting your doctor often is so important is because doing so allows you to identify and prevent a wide range of issues early on.
As is the case with any type of health issue, detecting the problem before it worsens or develops into a more serious condition can keep you healthy longer.
From standard blood tests to mammograms, these simple procedures support a long and healthy life.
Additional preventative screenings will allow your doctor to highlight your current health risks and make any necessary treatments far more effective.
A quick visit to the doctor provides you with the means of fully understanding your health and what you will need to do to keep your body fit and healthy.
Check Heart Health
The most important aspect of your health is how strong your heart is.
An unhealthy heart can manifest itself in a wide array of conditions, from general heart disease to a heart attack.
When your heart is healthy, the rest of your body shows this, allowing you to have more energy during the day.
There are a range of issues that can cause your heart to become adversely affected, the most potent of which is stress.
Issues with your heart don’t typically generate a lot of symptoms, which is why it’s nearly impossible to ascertain how healthy your heart is without visiting a doctor.
Decrease the Amount of Healthcare Costs You Pay
Visiting the doctor more often will also allow you to decrease the amount of healthcare costs you pay.
Whether you have health insurance or don’t currently have a plan, the costs of a doctor’s visit are mere pennies compared to what you could pay for a condition that you didn’t detect on time.
Early diagnosis of a condition could prevent you from needing surgery to treat the issue, allowing you to bypass the costs of this surgery altogether.
While the amount you pay for a doctor’s visit and a couple of screenings might seem like a hefty amount at the moment, you’ll be saving a lot of money down the road.
Lowers the Number of Visits You Need to Make to ER and Hospital
Visiting the doctor on a regular basis allows you to lower the number of visits you will need to make to the ER or hospital.
It’s important to understand that underlying conditions may cause no symptoms that are readily noticeable by you, which means that the condition will likely continue to worsen until you will need to visit the ER or hospital in order to be treated.
By visiting the doctor early, you’re able to get these conditions diagnosed and have them treated before they become severe enough to warrant a visit to the hospital or ER.
Though you might deem a visit to the doctor to be a frustrating use of your time, making a trip to the hospital invariably takes up much more of your time and money than a checkup with your doctor.
Helps to Identify Current Health Risks
There are many illnesses that you could be at risk for without even knowing it.
Your family could have a history of the disease or your physiology could simply create such a condition.
By visiting your doctor, you’ll be able to identify which health risks affect you, allowing you to get an early start on preventive treatment.
For most of the diseases you could be at risk of, such as heart disease or diabetes, there are likely measures that you could take to directly lower these risks if only you know what these risks are.
Helps to Establish a Good Relationship and Medical History with Physician
Your primary care physician will be the gateway to any treatments you require.
Establishing a good relationship with your doctor can be more beneficial than you might imagine.
For one, you’ll trust them more after visiting them several times, which will put you at ease during future visits.
The doctor will be able to tailor a treatment program to your exact needs, allowing a swift recovery from whatever ails you.
Your main physician will also be able to obtain your medical history and provide the right treatments in accordance with this history.
Allows You to Sleep Better
Visiting your doctor regularly can help you sleep better in the event that you suffer from insomnia or poor sleeping patterns.
Most people believe that a poor night’s sleep merely requires a cup or two of coffee in the morning to recover from.
However, you should know that irregular sleeping patterns can actually increase your risk of suffering from such issues as depression and diabetes.
Your doctor will be able to highlight why you’re having issues sleeping and help you correct these problems.
You’ll be well rested and will be able to get through the rest of your day without needing coffee or caffeine just to stay awake.
Keeps Your Body in Check
Visiting your doctor more often will allow you to keep your body in check.
Most people don’t gain a lot of weight overnight.
It’s a gradual process that’s very easy to overlook if you’re not paying close attention to your weight.
Your doctor will have your previous weight on file, allowing them to tell you how much you’ve lost or gained since your last visit.
Even if you’ve gained just 20 or 30 pounds since your previous visit, your blood pressure and heart could be suffering from these changes.
By visiting your doctor, you’ll get a better idea of what you need to do to keep your body in check.
Keeps Your Mind in Check
Along with your body, visiting a doctor more often will assist you in keeping your mind in check.
Depression is a very real condition that can affect anyone for any number of reasons.
In fact, women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men.
Most people don’t really know how to identify whether or not they are suffering from depression.
However, your doctor will be able to.
Once you’ve identified that you’re going through depression, you can start to take the necessary steps to recover.
Depression and other mental health issues can be identified through a mental health screening.
Helps to Establish a Medical Record
One of the most important reasons that you should be visiting your doctor more often is that doing so will allow you to establish a detailed medical record.
Not only will these records allow your doctor to note any changes since your last visit that may be a cause for concern, such records will also be of use if ever you’re in a car accident or suffer from a serious injury that requires surgery.
These medical records can be sent directly from your doctor to the hospital or ER where you are taken, allowing them to have a better idea of any pre-existing conditions that they should be aware of when treating you.
Can Have Discussion about Both Diet and General Lifestyle Choices
One of the more beneficial aspects of visiting your doctor is that you will be able to have an honest discussion about any diet or lifestyle choices you’ve made recently.
Your doctor understands your medical history, which provides them with the knowledge necessary to help you know whether or not these choices are the right ones.
Inform your doctor about any recent alcohol, drug, or tobacco use.
Your physician, in turn, will show you what your recent diet and lifestyle choices have already done and what they will do in the future.
You need to be aware of which choices benefit your health and which only worsen it.
Can Learn About Any Allergies You Might Have
Allergies can be dangerous, especially for people who are unaware of which ones they might have.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, the symptoms are almost immediately noticeable and are relatively mild.
However, allergies to food and medicine are much more complicated.
The first time you eat a food that you’re allergic to or consume a medication that you shouldn’t, the effects can be severe depending on how bad your allergy to the substance is.
Your doctor can help you pinpoint what you’re allergic to, allowing you to avoid these things in the future.
Allows You to Obtain Booster Shots and Immunizations
In today’s world, most children are given immunizations and vaccines early on so as to protect against outbreaks of measles, chicken pox, influenza, and a wide range of other illnesses.
Furthermore, adolescents and adults are occasionally given booster shots to ensure that they don’t become affected by certain diseases.
These shots are additional shots of an earlier vaccine that you’ve been administered.
By visiting your doctor more often, you’ll be able to stay up-to-date with any vaccinations or immunizations that you might require, allowing you and the people around you to avoid infection from a serious disease.
Can Identify if Something has Changed in Family’s Medical History
A visit to the doctor can identify your family’s medical history, which will allow the doctor to have a better understanding of which illnesses and diseases you might be more at risk for.
Changes in your family’s medical history are just as important.
For instance, if this year a family member was diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor can determine whether or not the presence of this condition in one of your family members points toward your having an increased risk of developing this condition.
If you want to be at your healthiest, your doctor needs to know of any changes in your family’s medical history.
Identify Presence of STD
An STD, or sexually transmitted disease, can range from mild to severe in nature.
People who have been sexually active must report this to their doctor.
Your doctor will be able to administer tests to determine whether or not you’re suffering from an STD, which is important information for both you and your partner.
Depending on the STD, early identification and treatment will allow you to stop the disease in its tracks or slow it down before it progresses to an even worse disease.
For instance, HIV is a virus that can cause AIDS and usually does so.
However, certain treatments are available that can slow the progress of the disease for quite some time if these treatments are administered early.
Keeps Your Family from Worrying About You
While visiting the doctor will invariably provide you with the peace of mind that you’re healthy and well taken care of, doing so regularly can also keep your family from worrying about you.
Being able to tell your family that you’re fit and healthy or that a disease has been caught early enough to be effectively treated can do wonders for their overall happiness and well-being.
It’s also the best way to keep their worries from being warranted.
If you don’t get a regular checkup at the doctor, you might not detect a condition or disease early enough for it to be treated properly.
Allows You to Differentiate Chronic Migraines from Mere Headaches
Everyone will experience headaches at some point in their lives.
Headaches can be caused by issues like abundant stress or too much exercise.
While headaches are relatively harmless, they have a very similar relative in chronic migraines, which are a much more severe form of headache that can cause many of the same symptoms.
When you suffer from a migraine, you’ll likely experience a substantial amount of pain followed by vomiting and a feeling of nausea.
If you’ve felt pain like this, a doctor will be able to identify if you just had a severe headache or if you’re actually suffering from chronic migraines, which require treatment in order to alleviate the symptoms.
Can Determine Current Body Mass Index
A simple visit to the doctor will also help you determine your current body mass index, or BMI.
This number helps to highlight the percentage of body fat you have, which is determined based on your weight and height.
Once your BMI has been calculated, you can ascertain how healthy you are and whether or not you need to lose some body fat to be at your healthiest.
Knowing this number can help dramatically with your exercise goals, as you’ll have a concrete goal to strive toward.
It’s generally considered that a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25.0.
Regular visits to the doctor allow you to ascertain if your BMI has changed as of late.
Why Women Should Visit Their Doctor More Often
Identify Cervix Problems
Along with their primary care physician, women should visit their gynecologist on a regular basis.
Pelvic exams need to be done annually so as to identify any cervical problems, such as vaginal infections or an STD.
You should also consider getting a PAP smear done for many of the same reasons.
A visit to the gynecologist for a pelvic exam is essential to the health of any woman.
It allows you to prevent small issues from turning into larger problems.
In addition, a PAP smear is typically used as a screening for cancer in the cervix.
These tests are especially important for women between the ages of 21 and 65.
Highlights Reproductive Health issues
Whether or not you’re trying to get pregnant, regular visits to the doctor can highlight any reproductive health issues you might be having.
There are many factors that determine your fertility, from your current age to how much alcohol you consume.
Your BMI also increases your risk of infertility.
This risk is present with both too low and too high BMI numbers.
Since it takes time to change your BMI to your ideal number, it’s important to know about any reproductive health issues you’re currently suffering from, even if you aren’t looking to get pregnant in the near or immediate future.
Can Obtain Screening for Osteoporosis if Age 65 or Older
Osteoporosis is a very serious condition that generally affects older women, usually those over the age of 65.
This disease leads to brittle and fragile bones that can break or become sprained much easier than bones that aren’t affected by this condition.
A simple fall in the shower could break several bones in the body.
Once you reach the age of 65, it’s important that you obtain regular bone density tests, which act like screenings for osteoporosis.
These tests will allow you to properly prepare for this condition.
If you’re affected by more than one risk factor for the disease, consider obtaining testing earlier.
Screening for Breast Cancer
Another screening that all women should obtain starting around age 40 is that of screening for breast cancer.
Consider having a mammogram done on an annual basis.
Doing so will allow you to identify the presence of cancer early and seek treatment before the cancer spreads to other areas of your body.
If you have a lengthy family history of breast cancer, consider obtaining mammograms before the age of 30.
There are four stages of breast cancer.
If your cancer is caught at an early stage, complete eradication of the cancer is possible.
At the very least, remission is much more likely.
Can Obtain Birth Control
If you’re sexually active and aren’t looking to get pregnant, birth control is essential to keeping pregnancy at bay.
With a quick visit to your OB/GYN, you can obtain the birth control you need and can also seek advice on family planning if you ever wish to conceive in the future.
You don’t want to be in a situation where you don’t have any form of birth control at a time when you aren’t looking to conceive.
While you’re at the OB/GYN, you can get a standard checkup that allows you to be confident that your body is in good health.
Can Identify Changes in Vaginal Discharge
There are times when your vaginal discharge might change from how it typically looks and smells.
If the discharge is accompanied by a bad odor or appears differently than it normally does, this could be a sign that you’re suffering from an infection.
Visiting your doctor more often will allow them to identify whether or not a change has occurred and what is causing this change so that an appropriate treatment can be provided to you.
If an infection is left untreated, it will worsen and can cause severe symptoms that may cause your health to deteriorate.
Why Men Should Visit Their Doctor More Often
Can Obtain Screening Test for Colorectal Cancer
One of the primary types of cancers that affects men is colorectal cancer.
When this cancer develops, it starts within either the colon or rectum, both of which are situated at the lower portion of the digestive tract.
Unfortunately, this cancer isn’t usually accompanied by symptoms, which is why a screening is necessary if you wish to identify it and get it treated as early as possible.
If you do notice symptoms associated with this cancer, it’s likely that the cancer has spread to other areas of your body, making it much more difficult to recover from.
It’s recommended that you start regular screenings once you reach age 50.
Obtain Screening for Prostate Cancer
You’re also going to want to start having screenings done for prostate cancer once you turn 50, or in the event that you have a higher risk than most of developing prostate cancer.
There are two separate tests that can be administered to check for the presence of this cancer, including a rectal exam and a prostate specific antigen blood test.
The first of these checks for any odd bumps within the prostate, while the latter helps to screen for prostate cancer.
Both of these tests are quick and effective, allowing you to return home knowing that you’re unaffected, or to receive treatment quickly before the cancer spreads.
Available Screening of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm if You’ve Smoked
Anyone who has smoked and is between the ages of 65-75 will be able to obtain an abdominal scan when visiting their doctor.
Smoking is an unhealthy habit, but many of the worst long-term effects won’t appear until you’re in your 60s or 70s.
This screening is designed to search for the presence of one of several life-threatening issues.
Potential issues that could be detected include an enlarged aorta, lining problems within the aorta, and an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Receive this screening on a regular basis, as any of these problems are very dangerous to your ongoing health.
No matter your age or how healthy you believe you are, it’s essential that you visit your doctor at least once every six months, more frequently if possible.
If you believe that you suffer from any of the above-mentioned issues or are at risk of developing an illness in the future, there’s no better time than now to get yourself checked out.
A simple doctor’s visit will provide you with the peace of mind that you’re healthy and on track to staying that way.
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