More Than Just An Annual Check Up

Dec 5, 2022


If you’re overdue for an annual checkup, you’re missing out on care that can help you identify disease risks and prevent illness. Consider your provider as a central point of contact for everything related to your health. From routine screenings to talking about healthy choices, here’s how your primary care provider can help. 

Further Reading: Preparing For Your Health Check-Up 

Staying ahead of disease 

Screenings that assess your body and mind enable your doctor to check you for diseases and conditions even before you have symptoms. Here’s what your provider might screen for:  

  • High blood pressure and cholesterol, which could indicate heart disease risks 
  • High blood sugar, a sign of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes 
  • Indicators of cancers, including breast, cervical, colorectal, prostate and lung 
  • Osteoporosis or other bone density concerns 
  • Depression and other mental health conditions 

Managing risk factors 

Your primary care provider can help assess factors that can put you at risk for conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, and work with you to lower your risk of developing them. Common risk factors include:  

  • Poor nutrition and eating habits  
  • Physical inactivity 
  • Obesity 
  • Smoking 
  • Alcohol intake 
  • Family health history 

Getting a shot of prevention 

The bad news? Flu season is here. The good news? You can get your flu shot at your annual wellness visit — no extra trip required. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all people ages 6 months and older get a flu shot each year. Your provider can also ensure that you are up to date on other immunizations, including the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Remember: It will take about two weeks for your body to develop a defense after your flu shot, so don’t wait to get yours — or to schedule your doctor visit.  

Further Reading: Why Do I Need A Flu Shot?