10 reasons for a visit to your primary care physician
Primary care physicians manage a wide range of health conditions – so find the right fit.
Your primary care physician plays an important role in managing a wide range of health conditions that occur at different ages and stages of life, so it’s important to find the right fit for you in terms of clinical interests, practice location, hours and personality.
Here are 10 reasons you should make an appointment with your primary care physician or take the time to find one if you don’t have one already.
1. Annual well check
An annual well check can feel like an imposition, especially when a patient is feeling well. However, these appointments are important and shouldn’t be skipped. Annual visits to your physician establish a relationship between you and your primary care doctor. When your physician is familiar with you and your health when you are well, they can better recognize when you aren’t. Routine check-ups mean illnesses and issues can be caught sooner. Patients can get referrals to specialists, better manage chronic conditions, and save money on healthcare costs. Most importantly, patients can establish a medical home. A medical home is the place to turn for acute illnesses, to renew a prescription, or to get health advice from a friendly face.
Allergies can (and do) happen all year, but for many people, when spring starts and trees and flowers blossom, they start feeling symptoms. Allergy symptoms might present as itchy eyes, stuffy or runny nose, headache, scratchy throat and sneezing. If you are having allergy symptoms that are not improving with over-the-counter medications, it is time to see your primary care doctor to discuss next steps. There may be another reason for your symptoms or other medication or treatments to consider. Allergy testing may also be needed, or you may be experiencing a virus.
3. Back pain
One of the most common reasons people schedule an appointment with their primary care physician is back pain. There are many factors that can bring on an episode of back pain, and often an exam is necessary to determine the best route to relief. Your primary care doctor can coach you on prevention tactics that will help strengthen core muscles and improve spine health.
4. Joint pain
Pain and inflammation in the joints of the knees, hips, shoulders and hands are a common complaint of patients. As a person ages, arthritis can get more painful. High impact movements like running, or repetitive movements like using a mouse five days a week, can also make arthritis worse as a person ages. Joint pain or osteoarthritis left untreated can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life. Your primary care doctor can help you manage joint issues before they become debilitating.
5. Mental health concerns
Mental health concerns like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder are very common. Many have felt the impact that the pandemic has had on their mental health. Treating these concerns isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach — each person requires an individualized approach. Sometimes patients need to have several appointments with their doctor to determine if the approach is working. Your primary care doctor can connect you to the mental health care that will work best for you.
6. High blood pressure
High blood pressure is a chronic condition that can weaken the muscles of the heart and lead to heart attack, stroke, and increased risk of developing blood clots. There are typically no symptoms, yet hypertension will need to be managed throughout a person’s life. Regular visits to your primary care doctor help manage the condition through medication and lifestyle changes.
7. Cholesterol concerns
Primary care doctors monitor unhealthy cholesterol levels in patients of all ages. Early intervention, along with changes in lifestyle and diet, can have a big impact on lowering high cholesterol. Keeping up with well visits to your primary care doctor and bloodwork are the best ways to stay ahead of unhealthy cholesterol levels.
8. Headaches and migraines
“Headache” is a broad term referring to any pain around the region of the head. There are many causes for the occasional headache, but frequent headaches could suggest a migraine condition. Whether chronic or sporadic, headaches impact quality of life in a negative way, even leaving a person incapacitated for a time. Your primary care doctor can help determine common triggers and the kind of intervention you need to manage headaches.
9. Illness or infection
Illness and infections happen to everyone. Colds, pink eye, COVID-19, flu or stomach bugs could all ruin a person’s day, week or longer. Your primary care doctor knows how to treat you quickly and get you feeling better. If you need help after hours, find an urgent care or emergency room that will keep your primary care doctor in the loop, so they can follow-up.
10. Skin issues
While teens typically experience skin issues like acne, adults can experience it too. Frequent breakouts can impact a person’s quality of life. Your primary care doctor can help you with acne treatment and prevention. Many people also experience other skin conditions like rashes or infections, and sometimes more chronic issues like eczema and psoriasis. Your primary care doctor can help you manage and alleviate these conditions, or in more severe cases, refer you to a specialist.
Daniel Meram, MD, is a board-certified family medicine physician. He earned his medical degree from the Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica, and completed his Family Medicine residency at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia. Dr. Meram earned his Master of Science in Biology from New York University and his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. He has clinical interests in acute and chronic medical conditions, cardiac health, sports injuries, preventive medicine and healthy lifestyle changes.
Dr. Meram is welcoming new patients! Call Trinity Health IHA Medical Group, Primary Care - Bloomfield at (248) 836-0040, or schedule online.