If you're like most Americans, regular health check-ups were a common occurrence during childhood. However, during adulthood, they're less common. As adult responsibilities get in the way and bodies stop making drastic changes each year, several adults push check-ups to the back burner, getting them once every couple of years or even less often.
That's not a great idea, for several reasons. Check-ups should hold the same importance for adults for a similar reason: it's always better to be proactive than reactive with your health. Here are a few reasons that you should make these a priority for yourself!
Screening For Potential Major Diseases
As we age, we become more vulnerable to certain diseases, such as breast cancer, diabetes, and prostate issues. Regular health check-ups are your best defense against these kinds of diseases because your doctor can determine when you fall into the highest risk. For example, if you have a family history of getting diabetes in your mid-30s and your doctor knows it, they can look for certain risk factors as you reach that age.
It's always easier to try to prevent a disorder or disease than to try to cure it. Some conditions simply can't be avoided, but others can. When you're faced with a preventable disease, your doctor can let you know what you can do to minimize your risk. Sometimes, a simple lifestyle change is enough to make a real difference — if you spot it early enough.
Preventative services may help prevent illnesses, disease, and other health problems, or detect illnesses at an early stage when treatment is likely to work best. Simple, routine screenings and tests such as blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, and cancer screenings can detect certain serious illnesses before you even have any symptoms making it easier to treat and cure.
For women and pregnant people, preventative care may include pap tests, well visits, and breast cancer mammography screenings. Benefits of preventative care for children include well-baby and well-child visits, developmental screenings, and vision screenings.
The best part of preventative care is that it won’t cost you a penny. Lots of preventative services are included in your health insurance plan because most health plans are required, by law, to cover eligible preventative services at 100%.
A yearly visit with your doctor is important for your overall health and well-being and can keep you healthier by identifying any potential problems early.
Limit Your Risk of Common Diseases
Everyone is going to get sick from time to time. But that doesn't mean we must catch every disease out there. Your doctor will be well-tuned to the illnesses of the community because of how many patients they see regularly. They can pass on information to you about things you need to protect yourself against. If there's been a high occurrence of a certain kind of virus, for example, your doctor can recommend prevention strategies based on your individual needs.
As with anything, knowledge is a powerful thing, and when it comes from a medical expert who knows your body well, it makes a big difference.
Lower Your Overall Health Costs
Even if you have good health insurance, certain diseases are difficult and costly to treat. That's why insurance companies mostly cover the cost of regular health check-ups; they know prevention helps you and them in the long run. If you're regularly going to the doctor and getting helpful advice to take care of yourself, it's going to cost you far less to stay healthy in both the short and long term.
That's because you'll be less likely to need over-the-counter medicines, specialist treatments, and other costly things that add up over time. Making sure to get regular check-ups is an investment in both your health and your future.
If you haven't been to the doctor in a while, it's a good idea to make regular health check-ups an annual occurrence. Finding a doctor you trust and using their knowledge can help you live a longer, healthier life!