It is always important to have regular checkups at the general practitioner. We are told to visit the dentist every 6 months. We have our spectacles renewed every two years and an eye test every year. We are told to visit the general practitioner annually. But why is this so? Our bodies are always changing. External factors also affect our bodies. Stress, addiction and the environment all affect our bodies. Having regular tests and screenings help to be aware of the effects. Here are the top five reasons to visit the doctor and have screenings done regularly.
Health History and your Practitioner
Do you remember how our parents always referred to the doctor as “Our Family Practitioner”? It is great to have one practitioner who treats the whole family. This way he is aware of the family’s health history. Yes, I know that this is not always possible but it is important to a see a practitioner regularly, so that you may build a relationship with him.
This will enable your practitioner to give you the best advice and course of action for you. Do you have a family history of cancer, diabetes, heart problems and Lupus? If you do, your Practitioner will be able to detect whether you are showing early warning signs and give you a way to prevent or manage the condition.
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Follow up on recovery
Whether you have been for an operation, coming out of an illness or rehab, it is also important to do a follow-up visit. Let us look at addiction. Addiction wreaks havoc to our system, whether the addiction is to coffee, your pain meds, cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.
A detox would have added additional strain to your system. Regular checkups and having regular screening is of the utmost importance. Your Practitioner will be able to access if your organs improving or deteriorating and adjusting to your new lifestyle.
If you have some pain, a cold or are battling to sleep your first thought would be to go to the pharmacy. Recovering addicts should always consult with a practitioner before self-medicating. Taking over the counter medication could threaten your recovery.
Most over the counter medications contain elements that are addictive. Your practitioner should know your history and be able to prescribe medications that will avoid complications.
Your practitioner is the best person to speak to about your diet, your lifestyle, habits and your exercise routine. If you have a history of heart attacks in your family and you want to take preventative measures he would be able to advise you on exercises that will not put too much strain on your heart. He will show you which foods to avoid and what to eat more of?
He may also offer advice on which parts of your lifestyle to change and which to start adding to your routine. If you are in a work situation where you are always on the road, for example, he will advise you to rather pack healthy snacks and lunch instead of stopping to buy junk foods all the time.
How to limit your caffeine intake and alternatives that are the healthier option like green teas, or rooibos. He may even offer advice on ways to reduce stress. Very often we are all caught up in the everyday rat race that we do not notice the areas where we are doing our selves harm. A few simple changes can make the biggest difference. You can check over here, the best dentist and cosmetic dentist and book an appointment for a dental checkup.
Aging, Tests and screening.
As we age, we become more at risk for certain diseases and ailments. Having regular screening will help us to prevent or manage our ailments better. What are the routine tests, you may ask?
- Blood tests
Blood tests are quite simple. The Practitioner will draw a vile of your blood and send it to a lab for screening. You can check for various diseases and deficiencies this way. Pregnancy is confirmed with a blood test. Thyroid function, HBV count (anaemia) and hormones, liver and kidney function, can be checked with a blood test.
- Urine tests
If a practitioner suspects that you are on drugs, he may request a urine test. He will ask you to urinate in a drug test cup. With is then sealed and sent to the lab for testing. Urine tests are also used for testing for other diseases.
- Pap smears, mammograms for women and prostate checks for men
Women know these tests very well. Those with a family history of cancer MUST go for these screenings regularly and every woman should go for a pap smear at least once in every three years at the least and a mammogram every two years if not yearly. Prostate-specific antigen tests are run to check these levels in the blood. These levels are elevated in the case of cancer.
We hope we have managed to convince you to make that call and book that next visit to the practitioner. And keep the visits regular.