Physicians urge patients to get preemptive health screenings

Physicians urge patients to take proactive steps with their health care.
Physicians urge patients to take proactive steps with their health care.(Cleveland Clinic)
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 1:37 PM AKST
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With 2023 officially here, many people are kicking off their New Year’s resolutions. It’s the perfect time to make sure you’re prioritizing your health with preemptive screenings, regardless of how close you are to achieving your goals.

“As a primary care physician, I would encourage everyone to put their health first as a New Year’s resolution. The good news is that it’s one resolution we can keep simply by making a doctor’s visit, and so many resolutions can be based from that, losing weight, eating better, but at least we’ll know where we’re at,” said Dr. Marianne Sumego with Cleveland Clinic.

Sumego notes there are several routine medical screenings adults should be keeping up with in the new year.

A lot of people don’t know they have high cholesterol and can find out through a simple blood test. Getting your cholesterol checked will let you know if you need to make any changes to avoid serious health issues like a heart attack or stroke.

When it comes to diabetes, keeping tabs on your blood glucose levels is important to show if you have any risk of developing the disease. Knowing if you have prediabetes is crucial so you can make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

A visit to your doctor can also help you stay on top of cancer screenings. For example, people with an average risk of colorectal cancer should start getting colonoscopies at 45 years old.

Above all, people shouldn’t put off going to the doctor, even if they haven’t reached specific health goals yet.

“Patients often wait because they want to quit smoking, or they want to lose weight before they see me, or they’re not ready,” said Sumego. “Those are long-standing goals, and so waiting until you’re at the perfect weight or you’ve stopped smoking isn’t a good reason to delay care.”

Knowing where your cholesterol levels are, if your blood pressure is high, and your current weight trends, are things that are going to drive you to make those changes.

Your healthcare provider can help you set different health goals and work with you to reach them.