There are a hundred reasons to not schedule a routine exam and a laundry list of excuses for unhealthy behaviors and habits. The biggest reasons for not seeing a physician is that you are feeling well or perhaps you fear diagnosis. However, neglecting our health can be costly or even deadly. Medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer can be silent (without symptoms) until complications arise. Complications typically appear in the later stages when the disease is more difficult to treat.
The good news is – if you and your loved ones are following prescribed screenings, scheduling wellness exams, avoiding tobacco, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, limiting alcohol and paying attention to your mental health – you may be able to prevent or significantly delay certain serious illnesses and conditions.
While we celebrate Mother’s Day this May, it too is a time to focus on women’s health and encourage all the women in our lives – sisters, mothers, aunts, friends, and daughters – to visit with their primary health care provider. National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day each year. It is a reminder to women to take care of themselves, and to make their health a priority.
There are five focus areas for women this year:
1. Annual Exam with screening and immunizations
2. Bone Health
3. Heart Health
4. Breast Cancer screening
5. Colon Cancer screening
When you meet with your primary care physician, be sure to discuss your risk factors and family history. Outline a routine screening plan so you know which tests are right for you, when you should have them and how often. While there are general guidelines, each woman’s health history and risks are unique and timing of screenings are based a number of factors.
Partnering with your primary care physician is one of the best gifts you can give yourself or a loved one this Mother’s Day. Together, you and your doctor can personalize your unique health needs. If you need to schedule a routine exam, have symptoms that are concerning or if you need to talk to a physician, please feel free to call my office at 208-234-4700.