One of the problems of health care delivery is access to a health care facility. Many factors are responsible for how easy it is for patients to visit the health care facility and receive medical or surgical attention to their problems. These may include the following:
- Physical location and availability of health care facility
- Financial factors
- Patients willingness to use the hospital
Why People Don't Visit The Doctor Early
In areas such as sub-Saharan Africa, natural medicine is still being practised. Such that there are countless alternatives to orthodox medicine before a patient finally shows up at the hospital. In these areas, the different alternatives include the following:
- Herbal/natural medicine
- Spiritual healing, quite hilarious, right?
- Over-the-counter prescription
- Then finally, the hospital
Disadvantages of Presenting Late to The Hospital
- Worsening of symptoms
- Preventable illness becomes problematic
- Unwarranted death or loss of body part
- Progressing to advanced stages of a disease
- Treatment failure can occur when the disease has been more established
- Organs invasion and destruction
- The cost of treatment may increase proportionately
- The unwarranted burden on health facility
- Need for hospitalization
- Impact of work and business, etc.
Yes, it is not yet time for your annual exam or routine screening, but don't you think you need to see a doctor for that symptom you are currently experiencing? Here are some telltale signs that you should see a doctor without delay
When Should You See A Doctor?
We will see these situations under the following common symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Tight chest or Irregular Heartbeat
- High Fever
- Back pain
- Frequent Digestive Issues
You Are Experiencing Shortness of Breath
Your Chest Is Tight, or Your Heartbeat Is Irregular
In any case, if you are experiencing severe symptoms, do not sit your 'lazy fat ass' down thinking if you should see a doctor or not. Just go to the hospital. Chest tightness accompanied by squeezing, weakness, nausea, fainting, progressively worsening pain, and/or pain that radiates outward to your jaw, arm, or shoulder could signal a more serious condition. Call emergency services if available, call your health care provider or see the doctor immediately.
You Have A High Fever
- Delay may be dangerous, especially for severe symptoms
- Persistent high-grade fever not resolved by self-medication warrants that you see the doctor
Fever with associative symptoms like rapidly spreading rash, pain on leaning forward, vomiting, difficulty breathing, or chest pain, that relates to other major organs of the body (lungs, heart, liver, etc) may signify a need for emergency medical care.
You Have Back Pain
Back pain is an extraordinarily common complaint. As many as 16 million U.S. adults regularly experience back pain, and often without treatment or any significant relief. Just because something is common does not necessarily mean that it is normal. When do you need to see a doctor for back pain?
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends seeing a doctor about your back pain if the pain lasts more than a few weeks at a time, the pain is constant, the pain is accompanied by muscle weakness or numbness, the pain presents with fever, the pain radiates down into your legs, or the pain comes with sudden weight loss. See your doctor if you have a fever or if you have swelling alongside your pain.
Back pain may be related to a number of different causes. Your back pain may be related to osteoporosis, muscle strain, arthritis, or a ruptured disk.
Doctors may prescribe medications, refer you to a physical therapist or to chiropractic treatment, or ask you to lose weight and make lifestyle changes to help mitigate your back pain.
You Suffer From Frequent Digestive Issues
It may be tempting to put off doctor's appointments until they are truly necessary. That raises the question, "When are they truly necessary?" or "When do you need to see a doctor?"
Some of the answers might surprise you. For example, it is unwise to ignore lasting digestive issues.
GERD, gas, stomach ulcers, gluten sensitivity, food allergies, the flu, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), and gallstones may cause a persistently upset stomach or constant stomach pain.
To reach a diagnosis, your doctor may order diagnostic testing, like allergy testing, advise you to make dietary and lifestyle changes, ask you to avoid alcohol or specific medications or take steps to reduce stressors in your life.
If your doctor asks you to change your diet owing to digestive issues, they may ask you to avoid coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, fried foods, fatty foods, acidic foods, and carbonated drinks. Instead, choose mild foods, high-fibre foods, and low-fat foods. Purchase bulk superfoods or frequent farmer's markets to keep your grocery bill low.
The answers to the question, "When do you need to see a doctor?" aren't always straightforward. If your symptoms persist after prolonged lifestyle or dietary changes, schedule a follow-up with your doctor.
You Are Struggling With An Addiction
Again, the answer to "When do you need to see a doctor?" is not always obvious. Relatively few patients know that those who are struggling with addiction can turn to their primary care doctors for help.
According to the American Addiction Centers (AAC), "A general physician can be the ideal partner in fighting substance abuse and staying on the recovery path." That holds true for several different reasons. Here are the surprising ways doctors can help, even if you are fighting severe addictive symptoms:
Work closely with your doctor and kickstart your recovery with medication. Getting clean is hard work. Do not go it alone. Talk to your doctor about medications that can help. If your doctor agrees that medication is the right path for you, medication may help reduce withdrawal symptoms, balance your brain chemistry, and even deter you from giving into cravings and/or significantly decrease them.
Receive compassionate monitoring. Drugs and alcohol "poison your liver, damage your heart, and affect your entire system," the AAC continues. As such, stopping cold turkey can be dangerous. Your doctor will work with you to help treat current damages and mitigate any further damage that may be caused during the withdrawal process.
Armed with your full medical history, a doctor can help you make the best possible decisions for your recovery. Your full medical history may include your current medications, surgeries, illnesses, allergies, and mental health background. A doctor can use this history to help you make informed decisions about your recovery.
A doctor can refer you to a high-quality rehab facility. Those who are recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction achieve greater success when they have support. Ask your doctor to refer you to outpatient treatment, a support group, or, for severe cases, a quality, inpatient rehab facility.
When You Are In Pain
"Pain is your body’s warning sign that something is not right and it isn’t something you should 'tough out,'" MSN warns. When do you need to see a doctor for pain?
See a doctor if your pain persists for more than a few weeks at a time, if you experience numbness or loss of sensation, if your pain is increasing in severity, you lose muscle control, or you sweat while in pain. In fact, if you feel that your pain is in any way abnormal, it is best to visit your doctor for a formal diagnosis.
The doctor may recommend anything from medications, cold or hot compresses, elevation, rest, clinical massage, or physical therapy. Depending on the root cause of your pain, they may refer you to a specific professional, like a joint preservation specialist. A joint preservation specialist will work with you to help heal and preserve your natural joints and tissue rather than artificially replacing them down the line.
You Are Pregnant and Expecting
If you get a positive pregnancy test, one of the first questions you should ask is, "When do you need to see a doctor?" Call your provider. They will let you know when they want you to come in. For an expectant mother without a history of early pregnancy loss or other complications, providers will generally schedule their first antenatal appointments between seven and 12 weeks. If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, they may ask you to come in sooner to confirm all is well.
During your first trimester visits, your doctor will advise you about any food and lifestyle restrictions, perform a viability or dating scan, conduct lab tests, and tests for fetal abnormalities, like Down Syndrome and spina bifida.
If you are 35 years or older, the course of your treatment may be somewhat different. This is considered advanced maternal age in the medical community. Your doctor may perform extra screenings or ultrasounds and perform additional genetic testing.
When do you need to see a doctor? First and foremost, doctors across the country urge patients not to ignore symptoms and delay necessary appointments owing to their fears of COVID. Doctors' offices, walk-in clinics, and hospitals are taking extra precautions. If you still feel uncomfortable, you may be able to schedule a virtual appointment or talk to your doctor about their safety measures at length.