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Topics to Bring Up During Your Annual Exam
Has it been more than a year since you saw a primary care physician? If so, it is time to schedule that appointment.
Annual exams with a primary care physician are key to maintaining your good health from year to year. Your physician can discuss a wide variety of topics with you, however here are the Top 8 topics your physician wants you to think about before visiting the office.
1 – Heart care. How is your heart health? Do you eat a lot of red meat? Do you notice that your heart feels uncomfortable at times? Do you have a family history of heart disease? Heart disease is the number one cause of death among men and women. If you have concerns about your heart, you need to bring them up to your physician so that the doctor can help monitor your cholesterol and blood pressure.
2 – Cancer. Early detection is the number one way to survive cancer. If you are experiencing pain that is more than usual, talk to your doctor. It could be an early sign of cancer. Do you have a history of smoking? Or did you work in a career that exposed you to environmental risks? By disclosing this information, your doctor can help monitor symptoms and order tests that could find cancer early and help you live longer. It may also be time for a routine cancer screening such as a mammogram or prostate screening. Your doctor can help you arrange these appointments and keep track of them.
3 – Chronic conditions. If you have ongoing conditions, such as autoimmune disorders, heart conditions, diabetes, or others, talk to your doctor about the latest research to make sure your treatments are working as well as they could. Research is constantly discovering new treatments and medical procedures. Make sure you are doing what is best for your condition and for your lifestyle.
4 – Are you over-treating? Advertisements for the latest ‘natural’ cure-all continue to proliferate both social media and television. Talk to your doctor about any supplements you are taking, even if they aren’t prescribed to make sure they won’t react with new prescriptions. Your doctor can also suggest supplements if necessary or even take you over medications that you no longer need.
5 – Mental health concerns. Do you find you have anxiety or ongoing stress? Do you have trouble recalling things regularly? Are you worried about your mental clarity? All of these items should be discussed with your physician regularly so that the doctor can help determine if this is normal from age or if it is something to look into more deeply.
John Hale, MD, is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician and Medical Director of Primary Care for Beebe Healthcare. He sees patients at Beebe Family Practice – Lewes. For more information, call (302) 645-2281. For more information on Beebe Healthcare, go to www.beebehealthcare.org.