Should you have an annual check-up?

What Are the Risks and Benefits of Having an Annual Examination by Your Doctor?

Doctors and patients have come expect the annual check-up as a routine part of care. “However, extensive research has shown no significant benefit,” according to one “revolt” brew against the tradition of regular check-ups. “Even the Society for General Internal Medicine has advised general practitioners to avoid ‘routine general health checks in asymptomatic adults’.”

As I discuss in my video Is it worth having annual health checkups?Routine exams seem to make sense. But historically, medical practice has included All kinds of interventions that made sense, such as hormone replacement therapy for menopause – that is, until it has been scrutinized and increases the risk of breast cancer, blood clots, heart disease, and stroke. “History over and over again shows that good intentions and “common sense” kill in the name of prevention (for example, recommending insomnia in infants). In fact, doctors have killed babies by making what is known as the common sense recommendation that babies sleep on their bellies while we now know ‘Face Up to Wake Up’. “We should always ask for evidence, rather than that To succumb to deception. “

“We check our cars regularly, why shouldn’t we also check our bodies …? “Well, unlike cars, our bodies have self-healing properties. To see if the benefits outweigh the harm, the researchers decided to put it to the test.

“What are the pros and cons of general health checks for adult populations?” The bottom line is that check-ups were “not” associated with lower rates of all-cause mortality, mortality from cardiovascular disease or mortality from cancer, “which means they are not associated with longer life or a lower risk of dying from heart disease, stroke or cancer were. So general examinations cannot to reduce Disease rates or death rates, but they increase the number of new diagnoses. And the “[h]The effects of some tests and subsequent treatment could be harmful balanced possible positive effects of others. “

Possible damage from check-ups lock in “Overdiagnosis, overtreatment, stress or injury due to invasive follow-up tests, stress due to false positive test results, false confirmation due to false negative test results, possible continuation of adverse health behavior due to negative test results, adverse psychosocial effects due to labeling and difficulties in taking out insurance” since you have a pre-existing condition), not to mention the cost of it.

To take For example diabetes. Wouldn’t it be great if we could spot cases of diabetes sooner? Maybe not if you were one of the people given Avandia, the number one diabetes drug that was taken off the market because it seemed to help them instead of helping people. Adverse drug effects are now one of our leading causes of death. When it comes to lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes, perhaps we should focus on creating a healthier food environment instead. This is what one of my favorite organizations is Balanced, primarily helps prevent the diabetes epidemic.

How many times have you tried to teach someone about healthy eating and evidence-based nutrition only to have them say, “No, I don’t have to worry. My doctor calmed down I am fine. I just had an exam and everything is normal. “As if normal cholesterol was okay in a society where it is normal to die from a heart attack, the number one killer of both men and women. It would be one thing if you went to a lifestyle doctor who did the exam to give you the tools to help prevent 80 percent chronic disease. With the way medicine is currently practiced, it’s no wonder why routine checkups have been done in the past -ups “was a glorious failure, but generations of well-meaning clinicians and public health doctors have struggled to allow themselves to believe.” But “politics should be based on evidence …”

Poor diet can “Be equated with tobacco smoking as the leading cause of death”, but the medical profession is insufficiently trained on nutrition. Worse, nutrition education in medical school seems to be on the decline. If you can believe it, there is In fact, it is a matter of “shrinking formalized nutritional education” among health professionals. The advice you get during your annual checkup may only have come from the last tabloid your doctor scanned at the supermarket checkout.

“And screening appointments shouldn’t be viewed as a form of ‘health education’.” read an editorial in the medical journal. “People who are obese know very well that they are, and if we have no way of helping them … then we should shut up.” If you really don’t have anything to say to help you, maybe you should shut up, especially the doctors who say they “have no idea what makes a” healthy “diet” – even though we know vegetables and Nuts are good start.

Does an exam not allow your doctor to do a full physical exam and routine blood test? I discuss that as well as the pros and cons in my video Is it worth doing an annual physical exam?.

Did I say lifestyle medicine? Yes! Find out more about this exciting growth area in Lifestyle medicine: treating the causes of disease and Convince doctors to embrace lifestyle medicine. Make sure your doctor is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (and even better certified by the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine).

Still don’t understand how there can be risks? See Why prevention is worth a ton of cure. Unfortunately, doctors and patients totally overestimate the benefits of pills and procedures. See for example The real benefits of diet vs. drugs.

The fact is Doctors may miss their most important tool.

And what about mammograms? See my video series:

In health,

Michael Greger, MD

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