How Often Should You See a Doctor

When was the last time you saw a doctor? If you are like most people, it’s been too long. Even if you are “healthy” and have “nothing wrong” with you, it is wise even when young to have a yearly checkup.

Bad-nasties have a way of sneaking up on you, and with some of these things a span of two or three years can be the difference between beating cancer, and, well, not.

Proper diet and exercise play a large role in our health, but genetics may “over rule” these efforts. If you have a family history of any of the multitudes of cancers, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, allergies, or any of a whole list of health issues, yearly physicals may detect them early, and early detection is vital for your health and safety.

The national average for visits to doctors is actually around four times per year. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone sees a doctor four times a year though. Babies are seen by doctors an average of 9 times a year, while kids from five to fifteen years of age average only just over 2 times yearly. Uninsured persons visit doctors less often by about half when compared to persons with private insurance.

Some people will only go see a doctor when they have an emergency and go to the emergency room, and studies have shown that the poor or uninsured often go for extended periods without needed care. This is unfortunate as in many cases early detection can save lives.

If someone has a stroke caused by a blockage, that could well have been prevented had they had a check up and were found to have high cholesterol and had been taking the proper medications.

High blood pressure is another killer that can be easily remedied with drugs such as ACE inhibitors that if left untreated can cause heart attack and stroke. Persons that smoke, drink, overeat, or don’t exercise are at higher risk than people that try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and so should visit the doctor more frequently. Of course stopping the bad habits and increasing the good will lessen the risk of health issues.

After infants, persons with health conditions have the greatest need to visit the doctor. Patients with high blood pressure may see a doctor four to six times a year to be checked and have medications refilled or adjusted.

Patients with conditions such as chronic pain from injuries may visit their doctor six to twelve times a year. Pregnant women will need to see a doctor from every four or five weeks to weekly, depending on the term of pregnancy.

Patients with more serious conditions such as cancer patients may need to see a doctor every few weeks during chemotherapy. Patients undergoing dialysis treatments may need to see a doctor, a Nephrologist, several times a week for treatment.

The question of how often one should see a doctor does not have a simple one-size-fits-all answer. The short answer is at least once a year for an annual checkup just to make sure nothing is going on with you that may need attention. Below is also a break down based on Doctor and reason for calling on the Doctor.

Gynecologist:

Most healthy women should still plan to see their OB/GYN every year. “Plan annual well-woman visits with your ob-gyn or health care provider for general physical and mental wellness,” says Dr. Ross. “Women who are sexually active should be screened yearly for sexually transmitted infections including chlamydia and gonorrhea.”

Dr. Ross recommends receiving a pap smear and HPV test every three years as long as the results are normal. These tests screen for cervical cancer, so following your doctor’s recommended schedule will ensure that you can address any abnormal results or precancerous cells early.

To screen for breast cancer, begin mammograms every one to two years beginning at age 40. By the way, here is a find-a-doctor page.

Eye doctor:

Ask your primary doctor if a visit to the eye doctor is necessary for you. “I usually recommend that patients see an eye doctor regularly if they have an underlying condition, like diabetes, that increases their risk of problems,” says Dr. Doggett.

If they are having visual changes, usually the primary care doctor can do some initial testing and refer as appropriate.” If you already use glasses or contacts, plan to see your optometrist every one to two years to keep your prescription current.

Dentist:

According to the American Dental Association, adults should visit their dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups. “This is due to the speed at which dental problems tend to present and how quickly hardened plaque—called calculus or tartar—can begin to cause gum issues,” says Greg Grobmyer, a dentist at Authority Dental.

At your visit, expect to receive x-rays once per year to screen for bone loss and early cavities.

Your dentist will also provide a yearly oral cancer exam by checking your mouth, throat, and under your tongue. Dr. Grobmyer explains that while the twice-yearly schedule is appropriate for most adults, people with periodontal problems or compromised immune systems should be seen more frequently.…

Political Crisis in Bangladesh: Vendetta or Vindication?

The War Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh has sentenced the head of the Islamic Party (Jamaat Islami), Delwar Hossain, to death. Groups have thronged the streets of Dhaka in support and also in condemnation of the decision. One might be forgiven to think that this is a national issue bringing vindication to a nation that experienced a bloodbath during the 1971 war. However, there is more to it than meets the eye.

Sheikh Hasina, the leader of the ruling Awami League, is the daughter of the Founding Father of Bangladesh, Mujibur Rahman who declared a general amnesty to war criminals after independence. Why then is the War Crimes Tribunal trying to prosecute the leaders of the Islamic Party?

It is to be appreciated that the Islamic Parties have, time and again, switched allegiance since the 1990s. They have been in coalition with the ruling party before and are now in coalition with Hasina’s arch rival, Khaleda Zia’s BNP Party. Both these parties have been in a game of “musical chairs” ruling one after another. A seemingly popular political conspiracy that abounds in Bangladesh is that these parties take turns to rule and loot as much as they can while in power and then pass on power to the other party to take its “fair share”.

By the time the other party is nearing the end of its rule, people would have forgotten the “abuses” suffered under the previous government, and would vote them back into power due to anger with the current party and the game of musical chairs continues.

While there is lack of evidence to prove this conspiracy, it is nevertheless an incontrovertible fact that Bangladesh suffers from a corruption endemic. This can clearly be highlighted by the recent debacle surrounding the Padma Bridge project. The IMF imposed tough conditions on the loan to prevent the money from ending up in ministers pockets. As a result, Hasina bullishly rejected the IMF assistance and said that Bangladesh has enough resources to push through the billion dollar project. Nevertheless this is not the main issue which I would like to discuss.

We must note that elections are around the corner. It seems the Awami League wants to humiliate their political opponents for siding with war criminals as the Jamaat Islami is in a coalition with the BNP. Recent days have seen Bangladesh paralyzed by strikes organized by the BNP and groups of Islamic Parties like Hafazat ul Islami. This, notwithstanding the building collapses and fires that have plagued the textile industry, has given rise to considerable public anger.

Will the Awami League be punished? It is hard to postulate anything. Rule of law is only seen on paper and this is compounded by the illiteracy and poverty that plagues the country. One may be living out of Bangladesh but his vote may have been ‘cast’ in favour of a particular party. Similarly, a small handout days before the election may ‘compel’ the poor and vulnerable to cast their vote in favour of a particular party.

Now how do we decide if this is political vendetta or national vindication for the Bangladeshi people? Mujibur Rahman did declare a general amnesty. His successor, Zia Rehman, also invited many Jamaat Islami leaders back especially from Pakistan and the Middle East and other areas for supposedly economic reasons as these parties are rich with Islamic dollars. The Jerusalem Post also reported that the Islamic parties “command significant material and human resources.” General Ershad, Zia’s successor, has continued this trend. Islam was used to legitimize his military dictatorship. It was during Ershad’s rule that Islam was declared as the state religion. However, the government asserts that the amnesty was for soldiers and not collaborators and traitors like the Jamaat Islami and its allies.

The idea of political vendetta and this tribunal being used as a mechanism to garner popular votes for the Awami League was lent credence by the resignation of the then presiding judge, Muhammad Nizamul Haq, after an interview with The Economist cast doubt on his role in the Tribunal. It is also to be appreciated that The International Commission of Jurists also said those accused “should be brought to justice, not subjected to vengeance”

Rule of law is critical for any country and no one should be above the law. If the war criminals are indeed guilty they should be sentenced but justice must not only be done, it must be manifestly seen to be done. Unfortunately, the tribunals are not being seen as independent at least from an external point of view. This is a dangerous precedent. Looking at the issue from a bird’s eye point of view, if political parties are allowed to ”toy” with the law for political purposes, there is no way Bangladesh can move forward in the 21st century.

As such we can see a nation divided. Bangladesh should focus on the dispensation of the nation’s wealth to its people and develop the infrastructure of the nation to support the rising economy. Political infighting and toying with the rule of law will result only in a victory for the politicians, and losses for the masses – especially the poor.…