Not visiting your GP regularly, even when you feel in peak condition, is taking your life into your own hands.

You wouldn’t go more than a year without having the prized car you love serviced.

So unless you cherish your car more than your own health, why would you go that long without a basic check-up from a GP?

Here is what you risk by putting off or cancelling that regular trip to your doctor.

Early detection of diseases

By not visiting your GP, you risk missing the early detection of diseases, some which may quickly escalate with serious consequences.

Many of these diseases have no obvious symptoms in their early stages, are easy to miss and can fool you into thinking you are in great shape.

These diseases include:

  • Many cancers
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Gonorrhoea

Regular check-ups allow your GP to catch these diseases when they are easily treatable.

Not visiting your GP means that by the time symptoms show, they may be much harder to treat.

Chronic conditions going unmanaged

Around 47 per cent of Australians or 11 million people suffer from at least one type of chronic illness.

These conditions require ongoing management to prevent complications.

But they can’t be managed until they are detected.

The most common chronic conditions in Australia are:

  • Mental and behavioural conditions
  • Back problems
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Vascular disease and high cholesterol
  • Osteoporosis
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Chronic kidney disease

Mental and behavioural issues and back problems may telegraph their symptoms.

But some people have asthma or early signs of osteoporosis without knowing it.

Diabetes, high cholesterol, COPD and kidney disease can all fly under the radar leaving the health of sufferers to deteriorate in complete ignorance of their condition.

This can result in sometimes fatal outcomes including heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

Lapsing of preventative care

Preventative care is one of the most important aspects to health management.

The old adage that prevention is better than cure, credited to Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus, is a fundamental principle of modern medicine.

Preventative care includes vaccinations against preventable diseases and depending on your age and risk factor, regular screenings.

These procedures may include simple blood, urine or stool tests, mammograms or colonoscopies that can identify or rule out disease or warrant further investigation.

Mental health

Mental health related issues are now one of the primary reasons Australians visit their GP.

The stresses of modern life, intertwined with economic and social factors such as the rising cost of living and social media, have put more pressure on many people than ever before.

Depression and anxiety can have deadly consequences.

By not visiting your GP, you risk missing out on important interventions that can prevent your mindset from spiralling.

GPs can provide excellent advice as well as recommend therapy, refer you to other health professionals and prescribe medication if necessary.

Development of unhealthy habits

GPs can monitor your overall health and observe how your daily habits may be affecting it with a view to improving them.

This could include changes to diet, exercise, drinking and smoking.

Regular visits to your GP keep you accountable for your life choices.

Gaps in your medical history

By not visiting your GP, you risk creating significant gaps in your medical history.

This can prove an issue if and when you do contract a serious illness, making it more challenging to both diagnose and treat.

Regular visits allow your GP to better track your health.

They also give them a much more rounded perspective of your history as well as being able to identify potential causes or triggers of any conditions.

Rising cost of healthcare

It is no secret that cost of living pressures are hitting everyone hard.

We are all trying to find ways to pinch pennies and save money.

But cutting corners with your most precious asset, your health, is not the answer.

While the cost of healthcare has been rising, an annual check-up is a lot less expensive than the medical bills and potential hospitalisation you risk if you contract a serious or chronic illness.

The point is, so many of these diseases can be nipped in the bud when detected early.

Others can be managed and controlled before they become a major issue.

That’s why a simple, painless check up with your GP makes great sense for your long term health as well as your finances.

Book an appointment

Even if you are young and fit, it is advisable to visit your GP annually.

Once you reach the age of 45, talk to your GP about how regularly you should check in.

They may be comfortable continuing yearly visits.

Or if you are dealing with one or more health issues, they may suggest more regular appointments are a good idea.

A basic annual check-up usually comprises a chat with your GP about your general health and any concerns you may have, a blood pressure and heart check and a blood test.

Depending on your health profile, other routine tests may be warranted.

At AHA Clinics, professional and friendly GPs are great listeners and will make you feel extremely comfortable during your check-up.

Book an appointment here today at either our Seaford Road Day and Night Clinic or our Seaford Meadows Day and Night Clinic.