Preventive health care

Information

All adults should visit their health care provider from time to time, even when they are healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:

WHY PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE IS IMPORTANT

Even if you feel fine, you should still see your provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future. For example, the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels also may not have any symptoms in the early stages. A simple blood test can check for these conditions.

Below are some of the tests that may be done or scheduled:

Your provider can recommend how often you might want to schedule a visit.

Another part of preventive health is learning to recognize changes in your body that may not be normal. This is so you can see your provider right away. Changes may include:

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STAY HEALTHY

In addition to seeing your provider for regular checkups, there are things you can do to stay healthy and help lower your risk for diseases. If you already have a health condition, taking these steps can help you manage it.

References

Atkins D, Barton M. The periodic health examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 15.

American Academy of Physicians. What you can do to maintain your health. Familydoctor.org Web site. www.familydoctor.org/what-you-can-do-to-maintain-your-health. Accessed January 26, 2017.

US Preventive Services Task Force. Recommendations for primary care practice. Uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org Web site. Updated September 2016. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Name/recommendations. Accessed January 26, 2017.



Review Date: 1/26/2017
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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