When Should I See a Doctor?

When we first brought baby Redding home, I found myself running to the phone and speed dialing my doctor’s office if he made the slightest peep, random gesture or a weird face.  I came to find out that those things were not out of the ordinary but a way for him to show he was content or that he was pooping….which eventually lead to contentment!  Oh, the things we quickly learn during motherhood.

Redd is now four months old and part of the “newness” of being a mom has faded and I’m starting to get used to the bi-monthly visits to our doctor’s office.  In fact, they are something that I look forward to.  It’s always fun to see how my baby has grown and to see all his milestones.

It was all these visits to the doctor that made me think to myself, when should I see my own the doctor?   Are there “milestones” that I might be missing?

Below is a quick guide for adult milestones and suggestions on when to see a physician provided by Dr. Nichole DeLaPlante at Lone Peak Primary Care.  Keep in mind these are general guidelines.  Depending on your family history and risk factors, some of these tests may need to be performed earlier or more frequently.

If you’re in your 20’s:

–          Annual physicals are the key to early detection.  Under the new healthcare act, if you are insured, you should be able to have a physical free of charge.

–          Have your cholesterol tested.  Continue to do every five years if you have normal levels.

–          If you are having unprotected sex, get tested for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV

–          Men should begin (if you haven’t already) screening for testicular cancer, including performing self-exams monthly.

–          Women should have an annual pap smear to test for cervical cancer and other diseases including HPV. If you’ve had four normal screenings, talk to your doctor about the possibility of spacing your pap smears out based on risk.

In your 30’s:

–          Continue with annual physicals

–          If you have a family history of heart disease or have risk factors that contribute to coronary heart disease, make sure to get screened.

In your 40’s:

–          Annual physicals

–          Cholesterol checks

–          For men, get your prostate checked

–          For women, begin yearly mammogram

In your 50’s:

–          Annual physical

–          Cholesterol check

–          Both men and women should have a colonoscopy.  If results are normal, continue screenings every five years.

In your 60’s:

–          Annual physical

–          Cholesterol check

–          Vision and hearing screens

–          Women should have bone density scans at age 65 to detect the onset of Osteoporosis

In your 70’s and up:

–          Annual physical

–          Annual electrocardiogram

–          For men, screening for testicular and prostate cancer and lipid disorders

If you or someone you know is need of any of the above screenings or exams, MountainStar Medical Group has a team of primary and specialty care physicians who can help.  To schedule an appointment near you, please call an appointment specialist at 877.870.3745.

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