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The Top 3 Reasons to See a Doctor Annually, If You Don't Already

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Annual visits can keep you healthier

Making that annual doctor’s visit is something we all know we should do, but many of us avoid it. In fact, according to a 2015 survey conducted by Zocdoc of approximately 2,100 Americans aged 18 or older, 80 percent admit to “delaying or forgoing preventive care.”

If you fall into that 80 percent, Dr. Yami Cazorla-Lancaster, DO, board-certified pediatrician and a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, has a few reasons you may want to reconsider.

Reasons to See a Doctor Annually

There’s More Time to Talk Strategies For Overall Wellness

“Wellness checks are important for primary care physicians because they give us an opportunity to discuss ways that our patients can stay healthy and prevent chronic disease,” says Cazorla-Lancaster. “We can discuss diet, physical activity, and review medications [to] make sure they are still needed.”

Big lifestyle changes (a stressful new job, a big move, divorce, etc.), as well as little aches and pains that continually show up, can affect our health, but proactively dealing with them with your doctor instead of pushing them under the rug will help uncover solutions.

Preventive Care Can Fight Back Against Colds and Disease

According to Cazorla-Lancaster, “wellness visits are intended to maintain our health, and when we are healthy, we are less likely to suffer from frequent colds.”

There are many studies linking stress to the development or worsening of disease and one study in particular linking poor sleep quality to a lowered resistance to colds. Depression and anxiety have also been linked to viral diseases. The better your primary care doctor knows you and what you’ve been dealing with, the more tools they can give you to help prevent frequent colds and flu.

Another way to keep colds and flu at bay? Treat symptoms immediately so your body can recover as fast as possible. Theraflu’s hot liquid powder is a soothing, powerful medicine that treats your worst cold and flu symptoms so you can keep powering through your day and bounce back quickly.

You’ll Feel Supported (and Less Fearful)

“Many adults avoid seeing the doctor because they fear being judged,” says Cazorla-Lancaster.“ They might have anxiety about being weighed or worry about discovering abnormal findings in their health markers.” But even if you’re fearful, Cazorla-Lancaster says actually following through on the visit and connecting with your doctor can help alleviate worries. “Most physicians really care, and we truly want you to be healthy and happy. If there is something that you are nervous about or uncomfortable with, the best thing to do is communicate with your doctor so that he or she can understand your worries and address them.”

The more you get to know your physician through annual visits, and the more they get to know you, the more supported and comfortable you’ll feel bringing up health issues. And the more comfortable you are bringing up health issues, the healthier you’ll be! It’s a positive cycle that can only start if you make the first move.