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 eight 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. Are the medications I’m taking still relevant?
Our bodies change over time, which means we may require little tweaks as far as what’s good for our health at the time. No one wants to waste money on medications that aren’t doing us any good. So be sure to have an ongoing discussion with your doctor about all of your prescribed medications and dosages, as well as any over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements to ensure you are still on the right track.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Ask about those embarrassing issues you’d rather not…
Everyone has a healthy problem that they’d rather not talk about. It could be incontinence, erectile issues, vaginal lubrication issues, libido, menopause, or bowel movements. Whatever the issue; trust me; it’s nothing your doctor hasn’t already heard a hundred times. So put these issues on the table right away. You’ll be relieved you did and you’ll feel much more in control of your health for doing so!
6. Does my lifestyle put me at risk for sexually transmitted infections, should I be tested?
It’s unfortunate that many people carrying an STI have no symptoms and spread the disease without knowing. If you think you might have been exposed to herpes, genital warts, syphilis, HIV, HPV, or others, ask to be screened during your annual exam so you can start treatment early and prevent further deteriorating health due to an undiagnosed STI.
7. 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.
8. 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.