Do you have a primary care doctor? That is a doctor that knows your own medical history, your family’s medical history, who you live with, what work you do, if you smoke, if you exercise, and all sorts of things. That is a doctor that helps you get better if you’re sick but also helps you STAY HEALTHY when you are well! And grown ups need immunizations (shots, vaccines) too, not just kids. This is why you need to see your doctor every year.
Your doctor should ask you about your lifestyle, discuss with you what you are eating, if you are exercising, how you relax, what you do for fun, and most important – how you are feeling! Your doctor will make sure you have good blood pressure, a healthy weight, that your cholesterol and sugar are normal, that your weight is healthy, that you know the dangers of smoking, drinking too much, using drugs. Your doctor will make sure that no one is hurting you.
Even if you “feel just fine” there are still diseases that can be hurting your body without you knowing it! There are important tests to make sure that you don’t have any illnesses that you can’t feel! Go see your doctor and find out if you should have a urine or blood test, a pap and pelvic exam, a mammogram, a colonoscopy. And everyone needs a check up once a year!
Do you have a car? If you do, you probably get it checked at least once a year! If it breaks down, you could save the money to get a new car. If your body breaks down you are STUCK WITH IT!
So go see your doctor. If you don’t see your doctor because of poor communication or frustration, ask your friends until you find someone with a doctor they really like and go see that doctor instead. If you don’t have a doctor, find one! People who have a primary care doctor have been proven to live longer, happier lives than people who don’t.
Take care of you!
Article written by Dr. Deborah Gilboa
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