If you’re blessed with good health you want to do everything in your power to keep it that way. It’s often underestimated how important primary care visits are. For women, a visit to their primary-care provider and ob-gyn should be done annually or more often if there are conditions to be monitored or addressed. Many lifelong conditions, like high blood pressure or diabetes, don’t crop up overnight.
Seeing your primary care providers regularly will help you and your doctor catch dangerous or even life-threatening conditions before they start, or before they’re able to wreak havoc on your body. If you feel well, it’s easy to forget to go to the doctor, so set up annual reminders on your computer, smart phone or calendar. Ask the doctor’s office to phone in or mail you a reminder for your next well visit.
Some of the most common (and dangerous) health conditions actually have little or no symptoms at all- hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes (all of which increase your risk or stroke/heart disease) or HPV (which raises your risk of cervical cancer) can be present without symptoms, and without treatment all can be damaging your body from the inside out, setting you up for poor health. Your best bet? See your doctor, and empower yourself by knowing your basic numbers:
- Blood pressure: should be 120/80 or less
- Total cholesterol should be <200 mg/dL
- BMI should be between 19-25 (women)
- Fasting blood glucose 70-99 mg/dLIf you see your numbers shifting or if they’re already abnormal, medication and lifestyle changes can help. Together with your doctor take charge of your health today, so you can enjoy good health tomorrow. If you are concerned about fertility being an issue consult your primary doctor on when to see an infertility specialist.