The average American goes for a doctor checkup four times a year, a stark contrast from other countries in the world. For example, in Japan residents visit their doctor up to 12 times a year.
Which begs the question, how often are we actually supposed to be going for a doctor checkup? The answer may surprise you, read on for more information on revising your checkup calendar.
How often should I go for doctor checkup? There are a number of factors that play into how often you should be getting a checkup.
The frequency of your visits will depend on factors such as your age, weight, and other factors such as stress.
Read on to learn more about the important factors that will determine how often you should be seeing your doctor.
Assuming, you live a healthy lifestyle you can use your age or the age of your family members as a guidance point on how often checkups should occur.
For example, those age 30 years or younger will only need to visit the doctor every 2 to 3 years. During these visits, the patient and doctor should discuss factors such as disease prevention and any vaccines the patient may need.
Those in the age bracket between 30 and 40 should be going in for an annual physical. During this physical, it’s important that your doctor looks into common conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
Once the patient hits the age of 40, additional screenings should be looked into such as breast cancer screenings for women.
Those age 50 and older should also go in for annual checkups. However, women 50 or older should also be scheduling regular mammograms.
When patients age 50 or older visit the doctor it’s important to discuss immunization options for conditions such as the flu or pneumonia.
Patients that are 65 years old and older are at a much higher risk of developing these conditions which can result in a trip to the hospital.
Coming in Early
When it comes to regular medical checkups the earlier you can get in to check on symptoms the better.
This means that if you’re noticing any newly developed symptoms such as pain in a specific region of the chest, sudden dramatic fatigue, or an unexplained increase or decrease in weight, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.
These can be signs of potential health problems that have a higher likelihood of being solved with early treatment.
What to Know Before Your Annual Visit
If you’re only going in to see your doctor once a year or less, it’s important to make the most out of that visit.
For example, it’s important to arrive on time to avoid having to cut your appointment short due to another patient’s appointment.
You should be able to tell your doctor any medications that you’re currently taking as well as the names of those medications and how long you’ve been on them.
Be sure to bring your vaccine record or your family’s vaccine record which should include your last flu shot, pertussis shot, and a tetanus shot.
If you have already completed a cancer screening, be sure to bring the dates of your last screening appointment with you.
Be prepared, to be honest. If you have yet to quit smoking or have a habit of drinking on a nightly basis, this is all important information that your doctor needs to know.
This also means you should be honest about your current diet and how often you’re making it to your workout.
What Should Occur During Your Doctor Checkup
During your checkup, there are some basic tests that should be completed.
For example, your weight, height, and temperature should always be among the first things checked during your checkup.
Your doctor may also want to look into your blood pressure and your heart rate in order to compare them to your last physical.
Your doctor may also want to listen to your heart and lungs to make sure that everything is functioning properly.
Depending on your last screening, your doctor may request that you schedule a follow-up appointment to run any tests on conditions that you may be at risk for. If your doctor does not request these screenings, you are responsible for requesting them yourself as a form of prevention.
In some cases, you’ll find that your doctor will recommend a blood test in order to check if you’re suffering from additional conditions such as high cholesterol or diabetes. These tests tend to be short and relatively painless.
However, you can always request a temporary numbing agent if you get squeamish around shots.
The Care You Need When You Need It
Coming in for your annual doctor checkup is just one of the actions you can take to stay on top of your health. To truly experience your physical health the way it’s intended to be, it is suggested that you maintain a healthy balanced diet, as well as a regular exercise program that you can easily adhere to.
In addition to taking these steps, by staying on top of developing health news and research, you can find the information you need to address various conditions and symptoms. The more you know about incorporating healthy actions throughout your lifestyle, the easier it will be to manage your overall health.
If you’re looking for more information on how to live an energetic, vibrant, and happy life check out our blog today.
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