Everyone knows that their doctor is important. Yet a 2019 survey revealed that only 85.9% of Americans visited a health care professional in the last year. Around 51% of those visits were to primary care physicians.
This means that many Americans do not get an annual physical. It is essential that they do.
What are the health problems that plague millions of Americans? What can a doctor do to improve cognitive health? Why is it so important for older Americans to visit a doctor?
Answer these questions and you can avoid extensive health problems with one health check every year. Here is your quick guide.
Hidden Health Problems
Many health problems do not have apparent symptoms. High blood pressure can lead to a number of complications, including heart attacks.
Yet a person may have it without any signs of a problem. If they have signs, they are generic ones like a headache.
Cancer can present inside the body without symptoms, especially in its early stages. By the time that symptoms do appear, the tumors have spread to different organs.
The best way to stop these hidden problems is to visit a doctor. They can check your blood pressure and monitor your body for signs of cancer. They can inspect your lymph nodes to see if they have swollen, which indicates that you have an infection.
Even if you have no health problems, a yearly checkup will give you peace of mind. You won’t worry if you suddenly have an infection or a headache. Your doctor has given you the all-clear, and you can move on with your life.
Many Americans struggle with acute or chronic pain. They may have a stiff lower back, or they may have stomach cramps.
You can take some pain-killing medication and rest. But these solutions won’t solve the problem.
Getting a physical examination will let you know what the underlying causes of your pain are. You may have a musculoskeletal issue, or your immune system may be attacking your soft tissue. Once you get a diagnosis, you can get a solution.
There may not be a permanent solution to your pain. Yet a routine checkup will let your doctor track your progress.
If you have an accident or need surgery, your doctor can let others know about your pain. This will help you avoid complications from the medical treatments you receive.
Americans also struggle with getting enough sleep. Sleepiness can cause workplace accidents and cognitive difficulties. Sleep deprivation may lead to diabetes, heart disease, and the suppression of the immune system.
There may be several reasons why you cannot sleep. The use of electronics and the consumption of caffeine are two prominent ones. But you may have a medical condition that inhibits you from sleeping.
At a minimum, attending a health check will help you get strategies on how to sleep. Your doctor can give you suggestions for tools like white noise so you can go to sleep easier.
Your doctor can also examine you for health problems that could be causing your insomnia. They may refer you to a sleep specialist who can make a diagnosis and give you more advanced strategies to go to sleep.
The Aging Process
As a person gets older, they encounter more health problems. Age-related diseases include diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. These diseases have a profound impact on an individual’s quality of life.
It is okay to skip a checkup when you are in your 20s. But as you get older, you need to visit your doctor at least once a year.
Some age-related diseases can get reversed, including diabetes. Others have no cure, but you can avoid suffering extensive complications. The only way to avoid those effects is to get an early diagnosis.
You must have several vaccines in order to remain healthy. The flu changes every year, meaning you need a flu vaccine. The Tdap vaccine prevents several diseases and helps with reproductive health.
Many vaccines require boosters in order to work. You may need a booster for your COVID-19 vaccine, especially if you took Pfizer. Visit a doctor and you can get the latest vaccinations for yourself.
You can also get information about the potency of your vaccines. Your doctor is far more reliable than websites or YouTube videos.
Even if you get your vaccinations somewhere else, you should update your doctor on your vaccinations. This makes it easier to track how your immune system is functioning.
Your organs all interact with each other. Your heart is reliant on your nervous system, and your nerves are reliant on your bones and muscles.
If one organ is having a problem, your entire body may have a problem. Yet it can be hard to tell what exactly is going wrong by yourself.
Your doctor will find out more about your health and determine what organ is not doing its job. They can then tailor a treatment plan to mitigate the problems with your organ. They can expedite the donation process if you need a new kidney or liver.
Why You Should Get an Annual Physical
An annual physical can save your life. You may have serious health problems without any symptoms. One physical examination will let your doctor make a diagnosis.
A doctor can give you advice on how to reduce your pain and go to sleep. They can catch an age-related disease before it gets severe.
They can give you the latest vaccinations so you avoid getting sick. They can also break down your body into organ systems and pinpoint particular problems.
Don’t hesitate to find a good doctor. You can determine who the best doctor is by reading our medical guides.