Things To Bring Up If It Has Been A While Since Your Last Doctor’s Visit

You know you should see the doctor annually for a checkup, but if you sometimes skip a few years because life gets busy, you're not alone. The most important thing is that you do get back on track and return to your physician's office for these regular physicals. When you do, there are a few things you will want to bring up to your doctor.

Any changes in family health history

Have any of your family members been diagnosed with a chronic disease or ailment since the last time you saw the doctor? Maybe your mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, or perhaps a brother was diagnosed with heart disease. Your doctor needs to know about these changes in your family health history because they change the overall picture of your own health. For example, your age alone may not suggest your doctor should be concerned with testing you for breast cancer, but knowing that you have a mother with breast cancer may prompt them to send you for testing. 

Any care you received from an eye doctor, dentist, or other practitioner

If you have seen an eye doctor, dentist, chiropractor, or any other healthcare practitioner since your last visit with your primary care doctor, give your doctor a quick run-down of the care you received. While these details may not seem important, the procedures you needed and had performed may have an impact on the picture your doctor gets of your overall health. They may also tell your doctor a little more about conditions they should be watching out for in your future. For example, if you have had to have your glasses prescription changed three times in the past year, your doctor may feel this, in combination with other symptoms or signs, is a reason to monitor you for diabetes.

Any symptoms that appeared and have since disappeared

If it's not currently bothering you, then you may not think about bringing it up to the doctor. However, it is a good idea to mention any fleeting symptoms you dealt with during your absence from the doctor. Did you have joint pain that bothered you for a few weeks, but has since gone away? Maybe you were exhausted for a couple of weeks, but that has faded. Whatever caused these symptoms may be well and gone now, or it might not be. Sometimes symptoms come and go, but their cause does not — so your doctor may want to look into why you were suffering from those problems.

Sometimes people fall off the bandwagon and let too much time pass between doctor's visits. If you've done this, don't be embarrassed. Just head back to the doctor and share the information above.

Reach out to a local doctor's office for more information.