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Whether you’re anxious, busy, or just plain obstinate, following the recommended routine of going to the doctor every year for an annual physical exam is harder than it sounds. Despite the myriad of excuses we’re all guilty of making, the fact remains that yearly physical exams are exceptionally important.

How necessary can they possibly be, you ask? The truth is, even individuals in great health should make an annual doctor’s visit to get a more comprehensive view of their personal health, catch minor issues before they become major problems, and create an open line of communication with their doctor to share information and discuss concerns.

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Yearly Checkup

Aside from the obvious aspects of annual exams that make them vital—updating your immunizations, for example—there are numerous compelling reasons to adhere to a yearly schedule. Many of these motivating factors boil down to one simple fact—preventative care is better than emergency treatment.

Most people go to the doctor for one reason—because they’re sick. The frequency with which this occurs varies from person to person, but it leads to a single result. Doctors end up fighting fires rather than preventing them from starting in the first place.

Annual exams give your doctor an opportunity to assess your health on a regular basis and identify problems before they manifest themselves via symptoms. This effectively nips issues in the bud and prevents them from developing into more serious illnesses.

While there are nearly limitless examples that could be employed here, the most common and obvious include issues related to blood glucose levels, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and cholesterol. Evaluating these aspects of your wellbeing can help your doctor ascertain your overall health, specific areas of concern, and what changes should be implemented if necessary.

Identifying current and future issues early is one of the most important benefits of annual physical exams, but the advantages do not stop there. By maintaining a yearly schedule, you give your doctors—and yourself—the ability to observe your health in the context of several years. In other words, you can see how your body and wellbeing change over the years.

From vaccine records to shifts in your BMI, observing the long-term story of your health can establish context and alert your doctor to any concerning changes that may occur. A single exam is helpful and can be insightful, but the accumulation of years of annual exams provides a much deeper understanding of you and your health.

Without consistent physical exams, minor concerns can develop and turn into significant health problems. By visiting your doctor on an annual basis, you give them the chance to catch issues early, address them, and stop them from taking a turn for the worse.

Hyperlipidemia Or High Cholesterol: Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

Hyperlipidemia is more commonly referred to as high cholesterol. It often affects people who are overweight or elderly, but it can affect people of all ages. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that the body uses to build new cells. Some cholesterol is necessary for optimum health, but too much can cause heart problems and other health conditions. The cholesterol can build up in and cause fatty deposits in the blood system, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke. It can be inherited but is often the result of unhealthy choices. It is both preventable and treatable.

Hyperlipidemia Causes

The causes of hyperlipidemia can vary from person to person. In some cases, it is inherited and out of the patient’s control. In most cases, it is caused by things that the patient can control and can, therefore, be prevented. Once the patient decides to stop making bad choices, their cholesterol usually returns to safe levels. Some of the most common causes of hyperlipidemia include:This Independent Family Ranch Knows that Better Food Starts on the FarmBetter food isn’t rocket science, it’s farming science—and this family ranch has gotten really good at it over the past 70+ years.

  • Poor diet
  • Obesity
  • Large waist circumference
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Hereditary

Hyperlipidemia Symptoms

There are no symptoms that can point out if a person has high cholesterol. The only thing that can determine it is a blood test. Many patients don’t know they have high cholesterol until a doctor suggests that they be tested. Obesity and diabetes are often linked with hyperlipidemia. When doctors discover that a patient has one or more of these illnesses, they may suggest a high cholesterol test.

Hyperlipidemia can lead to the development of heart attack, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and carotid artery disease.

Hyperlipidemia Diagnosis

Hyperlipidemia can be diagnosed with a blood test. Doctors will ask patients not to eat or drink anything before this test to improve the accuracy. Once the blood is taken, it will be measured. Cholesterol is measured in milliliters per deciliter. The higher the score, the higher the cholesterol. A score of 200 or below is best, a score of 200-239 is borderline high, and anything 240 and higher is considered high cholesterol.

Hyperlipidemia Treatment

Treatment for hyperlipidemia often depends on the cause and the patient’s lifestyle. In some cases, medications are needed, and in others, a lifestyle change will work just fine. If caught early enough, most patients do not experience complications from high cholesterol and do not require medication. Some of the most common treatments for hyperlipidemia include:

  • Statins
  • Bile-acid-binding resins
  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitors
  • Injectable medications
  • Fibrates
  • Niacin
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplements
  • Limiting dietary cholesterol
  • Eating more whole grains
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Eating heart-healthy fish
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Reducing smoking
  • Exercising regularly
  • Losing weight

Hyperlipidemia Prognosis

The prognosis for hyperlipidemia is often based on the patient’s willingness to cooperate with the doctor’s order. If the high cholesterol is caught and treated before a heart attack or stroke occurs, the prognosis is much better. People who have borderline high cholesterol may be able to make lifestyle changes that prevent it from getting worse and allow them to avoid medication. In most cases, dietary changes are almost always necessary. Hyperlipidemia can also be prevented with healthy lifestyle habits.

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