With 2023 officially here, many people are prioritizing their health, and that includes routine screenings and check-ups.
“As a primary care physician, I would encourage everyone to put their health first as a New Year’s resolution. And 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.
She says a lot of people don’t know they have high cholesterol, but they 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. Sumego says knowing if you have pre-diabetes is crucial so you can make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay the onset.
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, Sumego says people shouldn’t put off going to the doctor even if they haven’t reached specific health goals yet.
“My 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.
“What I often encourage them is to say, look, 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 because sometimes that knowledge of where you’re at — Where is your cholesterol? Is your blood pressure high? Has your weight gone up? — those are things that are going to drive you to make those changes and maybe motivate you more,” Sumego continued.
Sumego adds that your health care provider can help you set different health goals and work with you to reach them.