The arrival of a new year often sparks inspiration for setting new intentions. As many of us consider making New Year health resolutions, a good starting point may be getting to know more about your health and wellness through an annual visit to your healthcare provider. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this approach could be especially important as we enter 2022.
Kick-Start Your New Year’s Resolution – Know More about Your Health
According to data from the American Medical Association (AMA), more than 40% of people surveyed said they skipped medical care in the early months of the pandemic1, a trend that is continuing according to reports from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).2 If you’re one of the many people who have had to delay routine care due to the COVID-19 pandemic, read on to learn about the importance of checking in on your general health as you make your healthcare goals for the new year.
Learn More about Your Health with an Annual Wellness Visit
Scheduling a wellness visit with your healthcare provider is a great way to get a baseline of your health when considering New Year resolution ideas. A wellness visit may look different to each individual due to gender, age, and family history. However, the visit will provide you with a chance to touch base with your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have so you can set some clear New Year resolution health goals. Wellness visits also give your healthcare provider the opportunity to assess your health through a physical exam and any routine tests they might find medically necessary.
Clinical Wellness Testing
Depending on your needs, your healthcare provider may order laboratory testing to get a better picture of your overall health. Some areas that may require such screening testing include:
- Cholesterol Levels: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the only way to know whether you have high cholesterol is to get it checked. To do this, your healthcare provider may order a lipid profile, a simple blood test, which can measure your cholesterol levels.3 High cholesterol contributes to the risk of heart disease, which is why it’s important to know your risk.4
- Blood Sugar (Glucose) Levels: Measuring your glucose levels through blood testing will allow your healthcare provider to gauge your risk of diabetes.5 Smoking, physical inactivity, and high cholesterol are among the risk factors that may contribute to a diabetes diagnosis, according to the CDC6, and may give you inspiration for lifestyle changes going into the New Year.
- Thyroid Function: Your thyroid is a hormone-producing gland that regulates your body’s metabolism and affects critical body functions like energy levels and heart rate. A Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) blood test is often used to determine whether your TSH levels are normal.7
- Prostate Health: According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.8 A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is often used as a screening tool, though a biopsy is required to definitively diagnose the presence of cancer.9 The ACS suggests that discussing the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening with your healthcare provider is a crucial step to deciding if and when it’s right for you.8
Have a Healthy New Year
Checking in with your healthcare provider though an annual visit is a great place to start on your goals for 2022 by understanding your health status and potential challenges. Whatever your New Year health resolutions become, clinical wellness testing through BioReference Laboratories can help you and your healthcare provider get a better overall picture of your health. Take charge of your health, and have a happy and healthy New Year.