In our crazy world today, taking care of ourselves is not always the seemingly most important thing on our minds. But especially in today’s world, regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. These screenings can help find problems early when chances for treatment and cure are better. Getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, are steps that help the chances for living a longer, healthier life. A person’s age, health and family history, lifestyle choices (i.e. what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), impact what and how often you need healthcare. If a certain disease or condition existed in our parents or grandparents, some issues are very likely to occur in your experience. One place to start is to talk with your regular health care provider or Primary Care Physician (PCP).
Health is more than the absence of disease. The AAFP says, “Health is a state of physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Health is the key to living a productive and satisfying life. Developing healthy habits when you are an adolescent or young adult may decrease your chance of getting sick or hurt. Once we get to adulthood, many of us are stuck in our unhealthy ways of bad habits and addictions to things like sugar. It’s much harder to make any changes at this point. Starting younger is the perfect chance to show yourself what makes your body happy and able to thrive.
When you are talking to your family doctor, you should discuss how you can stay healthy. Ask questions. Ask for advice. Tell him or her what your concerns are. Talk to your doctor about:
The habits you have now really do make a difference when you’re older. Reproductive and sexual health is one of the biggest parts of our lives. Becoming sexually active is a big decision. Contact your doctor if you are or are thinking of becoming sexually active. They can talk through your options to prevent pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Seeing your doctor at this time in adolescence can determine how you are going to live the rest of your life. Think about it. An ingrown hair? It probably won’t sidetrack your life plans. But a pregnancy or even an STI while in high school or your first year of college could send your life on a totally different course.
It is important that patients and parents have access to information that will guide adolescents and young adults toward healthy decisions. The AAFP encourages parents and patients to talk with their family doctor about the potential risks to adolescent health and how to avoid them. You may think that because you are young and healthy, you don’t need to see your doctor. But it is important to see your doctor and receive preventive services. Unhealthy decisions when you’re young can lead to consequences later on. Preventive services now will protect you and help you make healthy decisions throughout your life.
Sharing your experience with others, and encouraging others, is always important when it comes to your healthcare, especially before there are any major problems or concerns. You may want to start a campaign in your community, like your school or church, to encourage others to make an appointment for a check-up or health screening on their birthday or any day of the year!
If you have questions, please give us a call at 817-551-5400 or schedule your appointment using our online scheduler.