Don’t wait until you feel bad to visit the doctor. Regular check-ups can help you prevent illnesses.
David Aristizábal Colorado
How often should you go to the doctor? This is a question that depends on many different factors. According to Dr. David Aristizábal from Clínica Somer, different prevention and health promotion programs seek early management or detection of the most important conditions affecting different age groups: babies, children, teenagers, adults, and elderly adults.
“Once a year, you should visit your general practitioner to have a check-up and identify possible risk factors, such as obesity, being overweight, having a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, having an unbalanced diet, etc., as these factors could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, for example,” states Aristizábal. Depending on the prognosis, predisposition, or underlying conditions, follow-up may be more frequent.
A general physical examination, including an assessment of your sense organs, lungs, and heart, is usually done during the consultation as well as a neurological assessment of motor skills and sensitivity. The doctor looks for any irregularities in the abdomen, the joints, pulse in the extremities, and characteristics of the skin.
Of course, we must not neglect other check-ups. “We must not forget oral health. Regardless of age, you should visit your dentist to prevent cavities and gum disease ideally every six months,” states the doctor. He also recommends that women visit the gynecologist annually to have tests (such as a pap smear) done as directed by the treating physician.
According to the needs of each individual, “ophthalmology check-ups should be done, especially for those who present visual symptoms or a family history of glaucoma. Check-ups with other specialists are also important, such as gastroenterology or internal medicine, depending on the specific case,” concludes Aristizábal.•
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