3 Reasons to Visit Your Primary Care Provider
Dec. 19, 2016 at midnight
You don't need to be sick to see a doctor. Still, many patients put off seeing their primary provider — 55% of men haven't been to their doctor in the last year — and delay having that much-needed check-up. Even if you think you are in perfect health, visiting your physician provides you with an abundance of benefits. Here are three good reasons why you should call in on your primary provider.
1. Know Your Numbers to Prevent Heart Disease
When was the last time you had your blood pressure tested? Letting your primary provider carry out a quick hypertension check ensures that your blood pressure levels are under control. High blood pressure — when your heart has to pump harder so blood is circulated through your body — multiplies your chances of coronary heart disease.
When you visit your provider, ask for a cholesterol test, too. More than 20 percent of Americans have never had their cholesterol checked — a shocking statistic, especially when cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease.
2. Look After Your Family
Family doctors provide ongoing healthcare for your whole family. As well as carrying out medical screening — regular tests that monitor the health of your family — they treat acute injuries and even perform minor surgical procedures. Medical health conditions span generations, and genetic disorders can affect an entire family. However, many people in the United States are reluctant to see their doctor. In fact, Americans, on average, visit their primary provider just four times a year, while patients in Japan make contact 13 times.
More often than not, a primary care provider provides preventative care and encourages healthy lifestyle choices for every member of your family, identifies common medical conditions, and makes referrals when family members need specialist care.
3. Establish a Relationship With Your Physician
Your primary provider is your first port of call if you need medical care in the future. Establishing a relationship with your doctor is essential: regular contact ensures your physician knows your medical history, thereby minimizing potential health risks.
The doctor-patient relationship is an important one. You can ask your provider questions about your general health or an existing condition. Research shows that the most common reasons for seeing a doctor include skin disorders, joint problems, and back conditions, but you can visit your physician to address any medical concern you might have.
Don't be afraid to see your doctor. Maintaining regular contact with your primary care provider will keep you abreast of both your own and your family's overall health. Peace of mind is also good for your health!