Even the best doctor can’t give you the right answers to your health queries if you’re not asking the right questions. So if you keep up with your annual checkups, make the most of your limited time in the doctor’s office with the following questions. They will not only help you truly understand your health; they’ll ensure you take control of your own wellness as well.
Here are the 5 questions to ask your physician at your next annual checkup:
1. Is my weight within the healthy range?
Are you super model skinny or vastly obese? You, like most people, probably fall in somewhere in between, but you might not have the medical knowledge to determine if your weight is actually healthy. That’s why it’s wise to put weight on the table with your physician. Ask what an ideal weight for your particular body type is and help lower your risk of conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
2. Considering my age and gender, do you recommend any annual screenings?
Many annual screening screenings for both men and women start when you reach a certain age, and can commence sooner due to health history for things like breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, etc. So ask your doctor if an annual pap smear, mammogram, or colonoscopy should start.
3. Considering my family history, am I at risk for certain diseases?
I know your doctor did a family history when you began as a patient, but family members have certainly been diagnosed with other illness since. It’s wise to update this list with any new conditions each year and seek the proper information about early warning signs.
4. Is sleep loss hurting my health?
Lack of sleep can exacerbate existing health problems. For instance, it contributes to diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. If you’re not getting 7 to 8-hours of sleep per night, you’re putting yourself at risk for stress-induced illness, depression, and more. So keep a sleep log if you’re having trouble sleeping and bring it with you to your appointment.
5. Is my blood pressure in the healthy range?
Cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and stroke, particularly for women, typically start with elevated blood pressure. That’s why a yearly check in with your doctor (and self-monitoring throughout the rest of the year), will determine if you require lifestyle or medication changes to promote healthy circulation.