For many people–especially individuals aged 30 or younger–it seems like no big deal to skip an annual check up. This is especially true when there are no physical symptoms present to indicate there is an issue in the body. The problem with this is that many chronic conditions develop slowly and can go undetected in the body for many years. To do your part in monitoring your overall health, make annual trips to the physician a top priority.
Browse through the top 5 reasons to never skip an annual wellness check up.
1. Diagnosis of an Existing Chronic Condition
Are you one of the 133 million Americans presently living with an undiagnosed chronic condition or disease? According to the CDC, you could be. If you notice any unusual symptoms–even those seemingly minor–that do not improve or disappear with healthy eating habits, exercise, and sufficient sleep, it would be wise to schedule an appointment with your doctor to rule out more serious complications.
2. Numbers Matter
Surprisingly, about one-fifth of all Americans have never had their cholesterol tested. Considering approximately 33.5 million of American adults suffer from elevated or “bad” cholesterol, and these high numbers nearly double an individual’s chance of developing heart disease, it is beneficial to know your numbers early on.
Similarly, about 31 percent of the American adult population currently has high blood pressure, a serious health condition known for increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease. Even if your numbers are not exceedingly high, having your cholesterol and blood pressure checked while you’re young provides you with a set of numbers that can be compared with future results in the years to come.
3. Create Detailed Medical Records
Each visit to the doctor provides you with a chance to update the details of your personal health information. This information can be used later to determine your risk for developing certain conditions, minimize the need for unnecessary testing, and to prevent allergic reactions. Basically, thorough medical records help guarantee you will receive the best and most appropriate medical care available.
4. Detection of Cervical Cancer
All women–regardless of race or family history–should receive a yearly pap exam as a means of preventing or detecting cervical cancer in its early stages. In fact, the yearly (and painless) test can lower your risk of dying from cervical cancer by as much as 70 percent! Likewise, mammograms should be performed annually to rule out the development of breast cancer. Early detection is key, and it is the single most important step you can take to protect yourself and reduce your risk of dying from one of these types (or any other type) of cancer. For men, checking PSA yearly is recommended.
5. Prevention for Pennies
Considering the fact that even the most simple insurance plans typically cover the expense of a yearly wellness check up, including any necessary lab work, there is no excuse to skip this chance to speak with your physician in regards to your individual health needs and/or any concerns you may have. This one-on-one consultation is well worth the smll co-pay you may be required to pay at the time of your appointment (usually $25 or less).
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