If you aren’t sick, you don’t need to go to the doctor — right? Actually, that’s not true. A healthy person should still see a doctor once a year. Here are five reasons it’s important to have an annual wellness exam, even if you feel fine.
Make sure you’re as healthy as you think
There are quite a few conditions that you can have without having any symptoms. You may have high blood pressure, prediabetes, chlamydia, and even some cancers without realizing it.
That doesn’t mean you’re fine. Catching diseases early means you can treat them more effectively and perhaps avoid more serious illness later. Your annual wellness exam is an opportunity to meet with your doctor and stay on top of your wellness.
Check your health metrics
Even if you aren’t suffering from any diseases, there are signs that can alert you to possible health issues — if not now, then for the future. Your annual wellness exam can include checks of your blood pressure, your weight, cholesterol, and mental and physical functioning.
These metrics can help your doctor know if there are any concerns you should follow up on.
Have tests and vaccinations
You may not know the answers to these questions off the top of your head. Your physician will let you know the health tests and vaccines that you need at your current stage of life.
Get the newest information
Researchers make new discoveries about health and wellness every day. You probably don’t keep up with them all. An annual wellness exam can be a chance to learn the most current information that affects your health. With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions about your lifestyle and healthcare.
At the same time, health misinformation is widespread. Your annual checkup is a good time to check on things you saw at TikTok or found on Google. They may not be true.
Make lifestyle changes
We may all want to lead a healthy life, but a busy life and even a lack of information can keep us from taking those actions we want and need to take.
Things can sneak up on us, too. Habits that were fine for us at a younger age may no longer be the best thing for our bodies…and we may not recognize the physical changes that call for lifestyle changes as we get older.
Your primary care physician can help you identify changes you want to make and give you the tools you need to follow through.
Choose a doctor and go ahead and make an appointment for your annual wellness visit. Wellness visits are covered 100% by most insurance plans; however, some plans only cover wellness visits every few years for adults. Check with your plan for more information. MANA has several options – family medicine, pediatricians, and internal medicine – for you to choose as your primary doctor.