You have probably been told before that you should aim to see your GP at least once a year for a regular check up. But you may not know why you need to. Normally you come out completely fine. You haven’t been feeling sick, and it can be annoying needing to remember to see your GP. However, there are reasons for this, many reasons.
Everyone who has done the research and works in the field, from Better Health Victoria to Central Health Clinic believes these checkups are essential to maintaining overall health. Here are the reasons why
Check for Emerging Problems
For almost every health problem, from cancer to the cold, the earlier it is detected the better. Most illnesses can have less invasive and more successful treatments if picked up on at an earlier stage. Unfortunately, the early warning signs for these things are not always obvious. It might be small changes on your skin, to your weight, or how you’re sleeping that can be the signs of a health problem
Your GP is able to compare these things to previous check ups you have had to notice any changes. They are also able to group symptoms in ways that the untrained eye might not see. You might think your breathing is just due to the change in seasons, but having your doctor look at it, as well as other aspects, will ensure your health.
Assess Risk For Future Issues
When having a general check up with your GP, they will ask about factors such as your lifestyle and family history. These factors can help determine issues you may need to be aware of in the future. Once they have done the work to think about what you may be more concerned about, they can help give you some education on the early warning signs for these issues, so you can come in and see them when you notice them.
This is not a process that happens just once. As you grow older your lifestyle will change, and you may have different illnesses occur in your family. Having a regular check up and discussion on these issues will ensure that both you and your doctor are up-to-date on any and all concerns you may have for your future health.
Revisit Medication Use
It is pretty common to take a variety of prescription and nonprescription medication throughout your life. Whilst one step of this is the initial doctor’s visit to get on the medication, it is important to revisit the doctor to ensure the medication is working, without harsh side effects. Sometimes you may not recognise symptoms has being from the medication, or may not be able to tell what effect they are having. For example, one issue some women have when using a birth control pill is issues with blood pressure. This can not be checked up on unless you are visiting your doctor frequently enough.
Even non-prescription medication should be discussed. If you find yourself frequently taking certain medication for headaches or other symptoms, your GP may have other solutions, or ways to address the cause of the problem. No medication should be taken for too long without consulting a doctor, even ones that are easily available.
Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle
In a similar line to this, doctors can not only look out for issues that may occur because of your lifestyle, but they can also help you shift to a healthier lifestyle. What is considered healthy depends on all sorts of factors in your life. Your age, your diet, your family, your job, where you live. All of these things will affect what sort of changes you can make to better your life and your future health. During your check ups your doctor can ask about any changes you have made, or are planning on making in your future. They can work with you to assess these changes, and offer advice that will assist in your health for years to come.
Small changes can even include things such as upcoming travels away. Many countries require different vaccinations to Australia. The best way to be careful before travelling, is discussing your plans with your GP during your regular check up.
Vaccinations are incredibly important. They do not just protect you and your family, but also everyone around you. With the success of vaccinations in Australia, there is actually quite a few that we get to ensure everyone’s health. In school, vaccinations are often given to the whole year level at once, making it easy to stay up-to-date. However, once you’re an adult it becomes your responsibility to ensure you are up to date, and taking the vaccinations needed.
This may seem overwhelming, particularly with everything else going on in everyday life. However, a regular check up can solve this issue. Your GP has health records of all your vaccinations, and by seeing them at least once yearly, they can check up on what vaccinations are needed. They also are able to organise for you to be vaccinated, often immediately after your appointment, meaning you do not have to waste time with another doctor’s visit.
A Few Things To Remember
When getting your regular check up, it is important to remember that your doctor just cares about your health. They are not there to judge you for certain lifestyle habits you choose to do. Instead they will offer advice on what is best for you, and how best you can stay healthy. For them to be able to do this to the best of their ability, you need to tell them the truth about your health. They are unable to accurately treat with inaccurate information. This also means coming prepared with your family history. Being able to tell your doctor exactly what illnesses your direct family has had, and relevant information surrounding that will help them assess your risk levels.
Another important thing to remember, is to get the right doctor for you. If you are uncomfortable with your doctor, then you should consider seeing a different one. We at Central Health have a range of doctors, specialising in different areas. This means that you can find the right doctor to meet your specific needs.