Getting a check-up is one of many things you can do to help stay healthy and prevent disease and a variety of illnesses and disabilities.
You’ve made the appointment to see your doctor. You’ve followed the instructions on how to prepare for specific tests. But before your next checkup, make sure you do these five things.
REVIEW YOUR FAMILY HEALTH HISTORY
Are there any new conditions or diseases that have occurred with close relatives since your last doctor’s visit? If so, let your doctor know. Family history might influence your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer. Your physician may also recommend things you can do to help prevent disease, such as exercising more, improving your diet, or screenings to help detect any abnormalities.
FIND OUT IF YOU ARE DUE FOR ANY GENERAL SCREENINGS OR VACCINATIONS
Check with your doctor to see if it’s time for any vaccinations, follow-up exams, or tests. For example, is it time for your mammogram, prostate cancer screening, colon cancer screening, blood pressure check, tetanus shot, eye exam or other tests?
WRITE DOWN A LIST OF ISSUES AND QUESTIONS TO TAKE WITH YOU
Review any existing health problems
and note any changes like:
- Have you noticed any body changes, including lumps or skin changes?
- Are you having pain, dizziness, fatigue, problems with urine or stool, or menstrual cycle changes?
- Are you experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, distress, or sleeping problems? If so, note when the change began, how it’s different from before, and any other observation that you think might be helpful.
THINK ABOUT ISSUES THAT MIGHT IMPACT YOUR FUTURE
Are there specific health concerns you need to address that will impact your future? Are you thinking about having infertility treatment, losing weight, taking a hazardous job, or quitting smoking? Discuss these types of issues with your provider so that you can make better decisions.
UNDERSTAND YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE
Before your next appointment take time to check what tests your healthcare plan covers. This will help you understand what portions of the bill you have to pay, to avoid surprises later.
Most of all be honest with your doctor. If you haven’t been taking your medication as directed, exercising as much, say so. You may be at risk for certain diseases and conditions because of how you live, work, and play. Remember, your doctor develops a plan based partly on what you say you do. Help ensure that you get the best guidance by providing the most up-to-date and accurate information about yourself