Yearly checkups are essential for your health, especially as you get on up in years. Being proactive about your healthcare can save your life. There is no single reason not to go in for your yearly checkup! Getting your vitals taken, like blood pressure, and possibly some blood work can support identify early warning signs for potentially severe issues like cancer, diabetes, and kidney disease. Holding these indicators early and starting preventive treatment can save you a lot of heartaches and worry later on.
But what should you be questioning your doctor when you go in for this ever-so-important yearly appointment? Contrary to most popular belief, there are the things you need to do to prepare for your doctor’s appointment. You should not just walk in willy-nilly without any previous thought. These are the following questions to ask your doctor are ever-important questions that you should be bringing up when you go into your yearly physical.
Do I Still Need All My Medication?
Sometimes, the medication that you are taking might no longer be needed. Several medications treat symptoms only, and over the time those symptoms can leave or alter on their own, independent of the medicine itself.
Your doctor should be evaluating your medications at all times, but it never hurts to double check and ask if you still need to be taking all of your medication.
Does My Family's Health Put Me At Risk?
Specialists know to ask about your family’s past illnesses during in a first examination, but it is likely that your family history has altered slightly in the year since you have last seen your doctor.
Keep update your doctor on recent health events concerning relatives, and ask if you are at risk for anything based on the new information.
Are My Bowel Movements Normal?
This can be an uncomfortable question, but if you are having what you think are strange or irregular bowel movements, especially if they are painful or contain blood, you should most certainly ask if they are normal.
Am I Getting Enough Sleep?
The amount of sleep each individual needs will differ a bit, but the consensus is that it should be about 6 to 9 hours per night. If you have been feeling like you might not be getting enough sleep, ask your doctor how that might be affecting you and if they need to do any extra tests on you regarding your sleeping patterns or the effects of your lack of sleep.
How Is My Blood Pressure?
Occasionally, if your blood pressure is not alarmingly low or high, the doctor will not tell you the actual number unless you ask. But, it can never hurt to get the correct number if you are worried about tracking it due to your family history or your medical history.
Kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke all start with elevated blood pressure.
Is This Normal?
Bring up anything that you might be worried about. Some concerns can be sensitive, such as talking about your libido, amount of discharge, or menopausal problems, but your doctor is the person who will be capable to help you address them appropriately.
Your yearly exam is an excellent opportunity to bring these issues up if you are hesitant to make an appointment for them individually.
Would You Recommend Any Additional Annual Screenings?
As we all get older, it is essential to be proactive about our health. You might want to ask your doctor if he/she thinks that you, in particular, should start any yearly screenings, like a mammogram, pap smear, and a colonoscopy, a bit earlier based on your family and medical history.
Of course, your doctor has looked over your charts, but if you are nervous about anything, in particular, it never hurts to ask with your doctor. Hope this helps you with at least a starting point as to what you should ask my doctor during a checkup.