As you begin growing older, your fear of going to the doctor for a routine health checkup may increase. A lot of people do not want to hear what the doctor has to say, and they would rather live life not facing reality. While this is a common way of thinking, it is not the best way to view this. Annual health checkups are important, and they could actually save your life. Here are a couple important reasons you should consider getting a checkup, especially if you have not had one completed in a long time.
You'll Find Out What Health Risks You Have
The theory of avoiding the doctor because you don't want to know could be putting your life at risk. Wouldn't it be better to find out what health risks you have so you could make the necessary changes to reduce these risks? If you have any types of health risks, finding them out now would offer a better chance to avoid a major health problem in the future. Even if you feel fine, you might have the following health risks without even realizing it:
- High blood pressure – High blood pressure is not something most people ever know they have until they go to the doctor. Unfortunately, high blood pressure can put a lot of extra strain on your heart, and this can lead to heart disease and a risk of heart attack.
- High cholesterol – Having high cholesterol is another condition you may have without knowing that you have it. When your cholesterol is high, it leads to hardening of the arteries, and this can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Diabetes – It is also possible that you may have diabetes without even knowing that you have it. Diabetes is more likely to occur if you are overweight. If you have diabetes and do not treat it properly, you could be at risk for developing neuropathy, kidney problems, and heart disease.
All three of these health problems are common yet treatable; however, they can also pose huge risks if they are left undiagnosed and untreated. Your doctor may diagnose your health conditions and risks by checking your vitals, asking you questions, and completing blood tests.
You'll Have The Ability To Make Changes In Your Life Before It's Too Late
The goals of annual checkups are to locate potential risks and problems and to determine ways to reduce these risks or treat the problems the doctor discovers. There are several common ways doctors will treat the three common health risks listed here, and many of the treatment options involve lifestyle changes. Here are the changes you may need to make to improve your health and reduce the health risks you currently have:
- Lose weight – A recent study concluded that obesity leads to more doctor visits than smoking. In other words, obesity is a serious problem. It can lead to the issues listed above, which is why your doctor may recommend losing weight if you are overweight.
- Exercise – Most people realize that exercising is a good habit to have, yet many people fail to do this regularly. Exercising can not only help you lose weight, but it can also help improve the health of your heart. Exercising just 30 minutes a day five days a week can reduce high blood pressure naturally.
- Take vitamins – Your doctor might also recommend taking vitamins. These could help you feel more energetic so you have more motivation to exercise, and they will give your body the essential vitamins and minerals it needs for optimal health.
In addition, your doctor may give you medication to treat any health problems you currently have. If you take your medication and make the necessary lifestyle changes, you may notice a huge difference in the way you feel, and you might also be able to live a healthier life.
If you have not been to the doctor in a while, now is a good time to schedule an annual checkup at a local medical clinic, such as Rural Health Services Consortium Inc.