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Monday, September 26, 2022

9 Reasons To See A Doctor Every Year

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“Should I visit a doctor?” This is probably one of the most common questions many people ask themselves. So let’s try to answer this for you.

As an adult, you might feel healthy and think you do not need to see your primary care provider annually, but this is not true. Sometimes major signs and symptoms are not only the reasons to visit a doctor and get yourself a complete checkup. 

It can be hard to recognize when a lump, bump, or ache requires an examination. These signs are often easily treatable and have simple explanations only if you consult a doctor regularly. No matter the condition, remember that early disease detection can improve health outcomes, increase longevity, and reduce your healthcare expenses.

Taking some time off work to see a doctor every year is vital to maintaining your family’s and your well-being. It will help you minimize your total number of hospital visits each year. We have listed some common reasons you might need to visit a doctor. 

  1. Respiratory problems

Respiratory diseases affect organs and systems that have something to do with breathing, such as the nasal cavities, throat, trachea, larynx, bronchi and bronchioles, and lungs. They affect millions of people around the world. Common respiratory problems include emphysema, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, and tuberculosis. 

But some aggressive diseases are time-sensitive and require immediate attention, such as mesothelioma. This disease takes time to manifest itself and is difficult to diagnose without regular checkups. People living in old homes, military veterans, and construction workers are at risk. Visiting your doctor and getting screened can help prevent a mesothelioma misdiagnosis since early symptoms may be synonymous with less harmful lung diseases. 

  • Skin ailments

Skin problems include acne, rosacea, cysts, dermatitis, vitiligo, and skin cancer. Some skin-related problems can be minor, causing rashes, itchiness, or inflammation, while others may lead to severe symptoms like new growth on or under the skin. They may be due to genetics, overexposure to sun rays, or exposure to harmful chemicals.

Often, through a visual exam, a doctor can diagnose a skin problem. However, sometimes it doesn’t provide an accurate diagnosis, and the healthcare provider may use tests like biopsy, skin patch test, dermoscopy, or diascopy to identify the problem. You can keep skin problems at bay by visiting your doctor regularly.

  • Back pain

Back pain is one of the common reasons people visit a doctor frequently. It can result from an activity, injury, or some health condition. As you age, the chance of developing back problems increases because of degenerative disk disease, poor posture, or strain. 

Back pain may be associated with the vertebral disc, bony lumbar spine, lower back muscles, ligaments around the discs and spine, pelvic and abdominal internal organs, spinal cord and nerves, and the skin surrounding the lumbar region. 

  • Hypertension

Hypertension (commonly known as high blood pressure) is when the force (pressure) of your blood flowing through vessels is too high. It is a chronic health condition that leads to the weakening of heart muscles. High blood pressure is a potential risk factor for many diseases, such as stroke and heart attack. 

Hypertension can be easily diagnosed. Once your doctor diagnoses the problem, you can work with them to maintain your blood pressure. Usually, medication and healthy lifestyle habits like reducing sodium in foods, exercise, and balanced diet help control the problem. 

Even if you are between your 20s and 30s and feel healthy, visiting a doctor at least once a year can help reduce the risk of hypertension. 

  • Diabetes

Around 1.4 million people in the US have diabetes, and the numbers continue to rise because of bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder linked to increased blood sugar in the body. With this chronic disease, your body either cannot efficiently use the insulin it produces or doesn’t make adequate insulin. 

Untreated diabetes is harmful as it can damage your eyes, nerves, kidneys, and other body organs. The higher the blood sugar levels, the greater your chance for complications such as going into a coma, skin infections, amputations, retinopathy, and neuropathy. 

Educating yourself about the condition and taking steps towards managing the disease can help protect your well-being. Your doctor can also help you devise a plan to manage your blood sugar levels.

  • Abnormal cholesterol levels

Increased cholesterol levels in the blood block the arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow. Therefore, it doubles your risk of developing life-threatening conditions like heart disease. The causes of high cholesterol include lack of physical activity, obesity, consuming fatty food, drinking alcohol, and smoking. Your doctor can test your cholesterol levels and prevent any complications from occurring.

  • Chronic headache/migraine

Headaches can be constant, throbbing, dull, or sharp. One of the common types of headache – migraine is a moderate to severe periodic, throbbing pain on one side of the head.

Although people suffer from headaches occasionally, having a headache continuously for days can be a symptom of major health complications such as a tumor. Ensure seeing a doctor to identify potential risks instead of taking a headache too lightly. 

  • Joint point

Approximately fifteen million people in the US report severe joint pain every year. Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of joint pain. It is a condition when the cartilage in between the bones degenerates and often worsens as you grow older. Consequently, the joints become stiff and painful. Although osteoarthritis can impact any body joint, it usually affects the knees, hands, hips, and spine.   

  • Digestive problems 

Digestive problems can include issues in the upper digestive tract, including the esophagus and stomach, and lower digestive tract, including the small intestine, colon and rectum, and anus. People often resort to self-medication and home remedies to treat digestive problems, which may not always be the right thing to do. Following are some conditions that require a doctor’s advice.

  • Persistent heartburn 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Constant nausea
  • Vomiting blood or greenish substance (bile)
  • Constipation that won’t go away
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Blood in stool/black stool
  • Severe abdominal pain

Conclusion 

A yearly visit to your healthcare provider is crucial for managing and maintaining your health for the long term. While most diseases show symptoms that may compel you to see a doctor, some are rather difficult to detect without professional help. So instead of relying on a self-diagnosis from the internet, consider visiting your doctor at least twice every year.

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