You may think that blowing off a doctor’s appointment or two is no big deal, but think again. Along with aging comes a variety of health concerns that you may be trying to avoid; however, avoiding your doctor can lead to serious problems that could land you in the emergency room. Below are three reasons that you shouldn’t skip the next doctor’s appointment that you’re dreading. Going just might save your life.
Reason #1 to Visit Your Doctor: Heart Disease is Often Silent (to You!)
While you may not see the signs of a looming heart attack until you’re receiving treatment in the emergency room, your doctor may see one coming from a mile away. Many doctors will ask about your activity level, and about possible discomfort that you may be feeling. They’re not trying to make you feel bad about your lack of exercise; rather, they’re actually looking for early warning signs of a heart attack. For instance, shortness of breath after light activity and slight chest pain with light exercise can often be first signs of an upcoming heart attack. You may just blow these symptoms off, thinking you’re out of shape, but your doctor will take them more seriously. Recognizing signs and symptoms of heart disease early will help you to prevent emergency situations that can often be fatal. If your doctor thinks that you’re at risk for heart disease they may send you for testing such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), chest x-rays, and/or a stress test among others. However, while all of the testing may seem scary, often it’s little changes such as diet and exercise modification and possibly the addition of medication that will help to drastically reduce your risk of suffering heart disease, including heart attack.
Reason #2 to Visit Your Doctor: Colon Cancer is Almost Always Curable (if it’s caught early)
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, however, with early detection and treatment most cases are curable. Aging increases your risk of colon cancer and this is why it is so important to keep your doctor’s appointments for regular colon cancer screening. Waiting for symptoms of colon cancer to appear before you actually have a visit with your doctor hinders your chance of a full recovery.
Reason #3 to Visit Your Doctor: A Simple Pap Test Can Save Your Life
A Pap test may be a little embarrassing for some but it is a simple test that checks for abnormal cells in the cells of the cervix and can detect infection, unhealthy cervical cells and cervical cancer. Often times, women have infections and abnormal cells with no other symptoms and a Pap test is the only way to determine that something is abnormal. The good news is, just like colon cancer if cervical cancer is caught early it is often curable.
Blowing off your appointments will do nothing but harm your health and possibly lead to an emergency in the long run. If the reason that you’re avoiding your doctor is because they make you uncomfortable, perhaps it’s time to find a new one. Talk to your family and friends and see if any of their doctors are accepting new patients. Once you find a doctor that you trust, keeping your appointments and discussing your health concerns will help to keep you healthy and out of the emergency room.