Lifestyle diseases stem from daily lifehabits. It benefits both patients and their healthcare providers to screen for these diseases, catch them early, and plan care to develop better habits.
Here’s how your primary care physician can work with you using the information revealed in your annual wellness check-up and special screening tests.
Your PCP Offers Several Health Screenings
At your annual check-up, your primary care physician will discuss your risk factors for chronic disease–problems such as diabetes, heart disease, sexually transmitted infections, cancer, mental health problems, and more. While genetics–the factors passed through your family to you–play an important role in disease risk, heredity is not everything. How you eat, move, and engage in healthy or unsafe behaviors impact your chances of getting a serious chronic disease.
So, how does your PCP determine which health screenings you need and which you do not? Frankly, some are standard as you reach adulthood. Your annual exam includes a check of vital signs, height, and weight (body mass index calculates your ratio of these two numbers), a skin, ear/nose/throat, and neurological assessment, and a basic screening for eyesight and hearing. All adults need these assessments.
Additionally, your doctor will order a urinalysis and blood work to include a complete blood count and metabolic checks for thyroid disease, diabetes, and more. These easy screenings yield a wealth of data on how your body is operating and what aspect of it has the potential of breakdown now or in the future.
Your PCP Evaluates Your Lifestyle Habits
Honesty is a big part of a successful wellness check-up. So, your PCP will want you to truthfully answer questions about:
- Exercise habits
- Sexual behaviors, such as multiple partners
- Illegal drug usage
- Alcohol consumption
Together, you and your provider can look at ways to mitigate or completely avoid the risks associated with your lifestyle habits.
For example, if you smoke cigarettes and wish to quit the habit, your doctor will work with you to devise a treatment plan. This plan can include helpful medications to reduce nicotine cravings, support groups, or telephone quitlines to counsel you on your tobacco-free journey. Some providers also like to screen current and former smokers with a low-dose CAT scan annually to catch developing cancer early when it is more successfully treated.
Your PCP Offers Vaccinations
You can protect yourself from communicable diseases with the vaccines your primary care physician provides. While many people of all ages and walks of life get certain vaccines–the influenza shot, for instance–other shots are particular to their way of life and the risks posed therein.
For instance, perhaps you travel internationally for work, or you are a staff member at a healthcare facility such as a nursing home or acute care hospital. Other lifestyle considerations include men having sex with other men, sharing needles for drug use, and others. Your doctor will recommend certain vaccinations depending on your answers to lifestyle questions.
Getting the Treatment, You Need through Primary Care
Preventive care and health screenings help patients keep ahead of what their heredity and age deal with them and what lifestyle habits may contribute to chronic health conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, and others. If your PCP uncovers a problem that needs specialty care, he or she can refer you to a medical specialist, such as an oncologist, who can help.
Best Primary Care Doctors in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, FL
To access the widest range of health care services in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in the state of Florida, contact Intercoastal Medical Group. As a multispecialty medical group, we have cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, gastroenterologists, and more on staff throughout our 10 locations, providing coordinated, comprehensive care.