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To visit the doctor or not.

As we age, we tend to get stuck in our ways. One of those things that we tend to live by is our decision to avoid the doctor’s office. This is far more common for men than women, but there are plenty of women I know who fail to keep up a healthy visit schedule with their family physician.

When we were kids, our parents would take us to the doctor’s office for regular check-ups, to get an illness diagnosed, or to treat an injury like a broken arm. All three of these visits would tend to involve some sort of pain - shot for vaccinations, maybe a shot to combat the illness, or moving the broken arm to put the cast on properly. As kids, we would associate the doctor’s office with pain.

As adults, we tend to associate the doctor’s office with instructions to change our lives in ways we don’t want to - begin exercising and eating healthy. In essence we are being told that we have done a poor job of caring for our bodies to this point in life. No one wants to hear that and especially from a place that inflicted pain on us as children. So we decide to live without regular visits to the doctor.

Why is that so bad?

Without a regular visits to a family physician there will be no baseline created for your health. If a chronic disease begins to develop in your body, it likely will not be discovered until it might be too late. Going in for a yearly check-up allows the doctor to see if any trends are starting that need to be addressed. When an indicator to your health such as blood pressure, cholesterol, or sugar levels begin to change the doctor will see it. A decision can be made as to how to address the issue before it becomes a full blown disease.

These annual visits are highly recommended by insurance companies because they tend to keep medical care costs low. When you catch a chronic disease early on it is usually far cheaper to treat. Most insurance companies put such a high value on annual wellness check-ups that they will cover the entire cost for you. No money for you to spend. Another benefit is these visits allow for more time to talk with your doctor than you get with the typical illness visit.

Take the time today to schedule an annual health check-up with your doctor. It’s good for your health.

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