During 2016, the top five medical diagnoses given at urgent care centers across America were acute upper respiratory infections, acute sinusitis, acute pharyngitis, cough, and fever. Most people know to visit their local urgent care center when they’re experiencing severe symptoms like these. But as we’ve all known since we were children, we should be visiting primary care doctors even when we aren’t experiencing any illness if we want to stay healthy.
The following are some top reasons why you should visit a doctor at least once a year.
Develop a good relationship with your doctor
It’s important for people to have regular doctors they routinely visit. That way you always have a trained professional nearby who is familiar with your health conditions and lifestyle. Many people who go through a negative experience with doctors or hospitals vow to never go back, even for the sake of their own health. While not every doctor will be right for you, you owe it to yourself to look around until you find one with whom you can develop a relationship.
Determine your health risks
Is there a history of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, or cancer in your family? If so, there’s a good chance that you’re at risk for developing these conditions as well. Fortunately, there are often things you could be doing to minimize these risks. Less fortunately, you almost definitely need to see a doctor to learn what those are. By going over your personal needs, lifestyle, and family background, good doctors can figure out what screening tests you need and show you how to diminish your risks for chronic illness.
Keep your body in check
Many patients seeing a doctor for the first time in years step on the scale only to be shocked at the amount of weight they have gained. For most people, the only time they track important health metrics, like their weight, is when they visit the doctor’s office. There are other metrics that are harder to track without a doctor’s help, such as your heart rate and blood pressure. These vital signs need to be monitored routinely over the course of your life to catch problems at their earliest stages.
Keep your mental health in check
Did you know that simply being a female is a risk factor for depression? In fact, women are twice as likely to deal with depression than men are. But contrary to what many men believe about themselves, males aren’t exempt from experiencing depression and anxiety, either. However, the tricky thing about mental illness is that it’s practically impossible to self-diagnose oneself as having one. This is just one more reason why routine doctor visits are imperative in maintaining — and improving — your health.
Many Americans struggle with poor sleep, including occasional symptoms of insomnia. A cup of coffee in the morning isn’t a cure for sleep disorders, either. If sleeping issues go unchecked, even mild sleep disorders can increase your long-term risk of conditions like depression, hypertension, and diabetes. Your doctor can help you identify possible causes for your restless nights, which can keep you healthier and dramatically improve your quality of life.
Enjoy peace of mind
When we have questions about our health, it’s easy to look up what we think we’re experiencing online. While it’s true that the internet is a wonderful resource for information, reading about health conditions online often leads to worry and fear over things that aren’t actually relevant to you. It’s surprisingly easy to miscategorize and misdiagnose your own health symptoms without medical assistance. Instead of surfing the web for generic (or incorrect) answers to your questions, visit your primary care doctor in person to get the full picture.
Stay healthy for the long haul
Remember that your doctor is there to help you be the healthiest version of you. When you’re ready to improve your health, make plans to see the doctors at Care Station Medical Group today.