Scheduling Your Doctor’s Appointment
Prevention is important to maintaining good health, so it is important to know what you need each year at your doctor’s appointment.
This should happen at every doctor’s appointment, even if you don’t currently have high blood pressure, to track your levels over time.
This yearly shot protects you and those you care about from the flu.
Yearly Blood Tests
You should get these blood tests at your yearly physical doctor’s appointment:
- Bad or HDL Cholesterol Test
- Good or LDL Cholesterol Test
- Total Cholesterol Test
- Triglycerides Test – This measures the amount of triglycerides, a type of fat your body makes and stores from food, in your blood.
This yearly test can detect early signs of kidney damage.
You should set up this kind of doctor’s appointment with your dentist every 6 months for a regular cleaning.
Dilated Eye Exam
This yearly doctor’s appointment is when your eye doctor puts eye drops into your pupil so they can get a better view of the back of your eye.
This one-time shot prevents blood, brain, and lung infections, like pneumonia, caused by a certain bacteria.
Those with diabetes should have this test at doctor’s appointments 2 to 4 times a year to help track their blood sugar levels long-term.
This should happen at every doctor’s appointment for those with diabetes.
At Your Doctor’s Appointment
Ask for help.
Never be afraid to ask your doctor for advice. They want to help you be your best!
- Prepare – Organize your questions ahead of time, and feel free to write them down if you’re afraid of forgetting anything.
- Be Specific – Detailed information can help your doctor make your treatment plan and make sure it is working for you.
- Tell the Truth – Be honest and direct with your doctor. Sharing information about how you feel will help you stay healthy.
Not sure what to ask at your doctor’s appointment? Here are some questions to get you started:
- What’s my blood pressure, cholesterol, and health goals?
- How frequently should I check my blood pressure?
- What lifestyle changes can I make to lower my blood pressure and cholesterol? Should I start a healthy diet or exercise plan?
- What are the common side effects of my meds? Will any of my other meds, supplements, or foods interact with any of my meds?
Do you get nervous or anxious when you go to doctor’s appointments? You’re not alone, and it can actually cause your blood pressure to rise while you’re there. Research shows that about 20% of patients with mild cases of high blood pressure see their blood pressure rise at doctor’s appointments. This is sometimes called white-coat syndrome.
Track your blood pressure at home and compare readings with those taken in the office to see if this is happening to you. Take these readings with you to your next doctor’s appointment and talk to them about it to make sure they get an accurate account of your blood pressure.
And once they know, your doctor can also help calm your fears, like by explaining exactly what they’re doing as they go.