When most of us visit our local physician, we most likely take advantage of the most common physician services: check-ups, heart and breathing checks, etc. But more often than not, our physicians offer additional services that we're likely not taking advantage of.  Below is a just a short sample of services offered by many physicians for you to think about during your next office visit.

1. Allergy Testing

Over 50 million people in the United States have allergies. Allergy testing identifies the specific substances that trigger allergic reactions. These tests are performed under the guidance of a specialist trained in the proper testing methods and in treating the allergies that are discovered.

For what symptoms is the testing desired?

Skin rashes when coming into contact with substances, hives, asthma and hay fever that are not controlled with medicine, food allergies, molds, pollen, dust mites, insect stings, animal dander, foods and some medicines.

Skin prick test

Small amounts of substances that may be the allergy cause are placed on the skin of the back, upper arm or forearm. The skin is pricked or scratched to make the allergen go under the skin's surface.

Patch testing

Possible allergens are taped to the skin for 48 hours in an attempt to diagnose the cause of skin reactions.

Allergy testing through blood tests

This method is used for babies and young children when a single needle stick is preferred, when a patient cannot stop taking a medicine that could interfere with skin testing, the patient suffers from a severe skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema, or when testing with a strong allergen might cause a large positive reaction. Blood testing costs more than skin tests, but a "plus" is that only a single needle prick is needed.

How long to get results?

Results of the skin prick test are usually seen within 15 to 20 minutes. The specialist closely watches the skin for redness or swelling or other signs of a reaction.

The patch test takes 72 to 96 hours.

Because a blood sample must be sent to a lab for testing, that takes a number of days.

Negative allergy tests results means there were no skin changes and most often means that a person is not allergic to the substances.

A positive result with a red and raised area means there was a reaction to one or more substances.

All test results must be interpreted along with the patient's medical history, and the tester will discuss ways to avoid those items that cause the symptoms.

2. Obesity And Metabolic Syndrome Treatment

Metabolic syndrome is a condition where a person has several conditions that increases his or her risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, such as high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and high cholesterol. There are many factors that put a person at risk for developing this condition. Age is one of those factors. It is estimated that 40 percent of people who have this condition are over the age of 60.

People who have other conditions, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, are also at a greater risk for developing this condition. This is a very serious condition. Fortunately, there are many obesity treatment options.

People who have this condition are strongly encouraged to visit a weight loss clinic. A weight loss doctor can develop an individualized program that is right for the individual. Exercise is one of the metabolic syndrome treatment options doctors often recommend. There are many benefits that can be reaped from exercise. It not only helps promote weight loss, but it also helps lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.

Dietary changes are often recommended by a weight loss doctor. A doctor can develop a customized diet program that is right for the individual. Doctors typically recommend eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Furthermore, people smoke will be advised to quit. Smoking can worsen the effects of metabolic syndrome. A physician can help one quit smoking. Keep in mind that lifestyle changes are not only effective for treating obesity, but they can also help people stay healthy for life.

Many people are able to get their health back on track by making lifestyle changes. However, some patients do require medication. The type of medication that a physician recommends is dependent on the conditions that one has. There are many medications that can be used to treat high blood pressure, cholesterol and high blood sugar.

3. Sleep Apnea Testing

Millions of people in the United States struggle with insomnia, the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Occasional bouts of insomnia during times of stress or illness are normal. However, what happens when you are struggling with chronic insomnia that persists for weeks or months?

Lots of conditions can cause insomnia, but one of the most prevalent ones is also the sneakiest. Sleep apnea is a condition where normal breathing is disrupted while you sleep. It can be caused by a natural obstruction in the airway or by several other factors.

If you have a breathing issue in the middle of the night, the body’s natural reaction is to quickly shift to a position where normal breathing can resume. This often leads to a brief period of alertness, a few seconds in length, that you might not even be aware of.

Sleep apnea means these alert periods can happen dozens of times over the course of a night.

That means sleep apnea sufferers often feel tired and lethargic throughout the whole day!

A Sleep Apnea Test Can Help You Get Rest Again

Sleep apnea can persist for years without the sufferer ever knowing about it. In many cases, the signs of a problem are discovered only when a sleeping partner points out the sufferer’s disturbed sleep, which usually includes snoring and lots of movement.

In many cases, sleep apnea treatment is non-invasive and can completely eliminate the symptoms of the disorder, although the underlying cause might or might not persist. Taking a sleep apnea test at home is the first step toward discovering and solving the problem.

Did you know that it's possible your dentist can assist with sleep apnea diagnosis? On your next dental visit, ask your dentist if this is a service they provide. You may be surprised that they do!

Author's Bio: 

Improving my life through fitness and wellness is of upmost importance to me. Love to write, travel, and improve my mind and body one day at a time.