Primary Care Physician
Dr. Orrange received her BA in Biology at the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters Degree in Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. She received her MD from the USC Keck School of…
Why People REALLY go to the Doctor
Posted in Back Pain by Dr. Sharon Orrange on Feb 07, 2013
Turns out, it’s not what you think. Chronic medical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease do bring men and women to the doctor but not as often as other things. The most common reasons folks in the U.S. go to the doctor may surprise you, and skin is a huge player.
1. Skin disorders. Actinic keratosis, acne, and sebaceous cysts topped the list and brought the most men and women to their doc. Actinic keratosis is a skin condition caused by sun damage that causes scaly, rough, or bumpy spots on the skin. Sebaceous cysts are lumps beneath the skin filled with a cheese-like or oily material. They are usually found on the face, neck, and trunk. Acne you already know.

2. Osteoarthritis and joint disorders, aka “joint pain” comes in right behind skin for bringing the most people to the doctor. This group feels overuse and activity injuries to the hips, knees, and shoulders and long-term pain in those joints requiring their doctors help.

3. Back problems. Back pain is not only incredibly common but the eighth most costly chronic condition in patients aged 18 to 40. Lumbar strain or sprain causing low back pain can be further divided into 3 problem areas: degenerative disease (arthritis,) discs, or facet joints.

4. Lipid/Cholesterol problems come in fourth place. People taking “statin” drugs to lower their cholesterol will come to their doctor for routine monitoring of liver function which helps bring them in to the office.

5. Cough, runny nose and sore throat are common and affect all age groups which brings it to a fifth place finish. Runny nose from allergies (allergic rhinitis) accounted for over half of the people in this category. Turns out 40 million Americans have allergic rhinitis and seek treatment for it.

6. Anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorders. Mood disorders are a common cause of disability in young people and are the sixth most common reason people visit their doctor.

7. Chronic neurologic disorders. Dementia and Parkinson’s have become more common with our aging population and bring many people to the doc.

8. High blood pressure comes in eighth place which is reassuring because many folks with high blood pressure are not adequately treated and never reach their goal blood pressure.

9. Headaches, including migraines come in ninth. This common, chronic and disabling problem requires tight management and frequent visits to the doctor.

10. Adult onset diabetes is so much more common with our obesity epidemic yet comes in far behind skin and joint pain for bringing people to the doctor.
Bring it on skin and joints!

- Dr. O


       Send to a Friend     Share This

TOTAL COMMENTS: 2 - View All Comments »

Add a Comment
Displaying comments 2-1 of 2
Vacuum Cleaners
By brabow4  Sep 08, 2013
It's interesting to know this, but I personally don't spend time thinking about why other people go to the doctor. I don't see the point of this article from a patient point of view.
By chris1976  Feb 10, 2013
Got a Question?
My Fans
(776 Discussion Topics)
(29,252 Discussion Topics)
Anxiety Disorders in Children
(282 Discussion Topics)
(1,514 Discussion Topics)
Back Pain
(3,029 Discussion Topics)
Bipolar Disorder
(102,135 Discussion Topics)
Bipolar Disorder - Teen
(904 Discussion Topics)
Colds & Flu
(63 Discussion Topics)
(932 Discussion Topics)
(126,674 Discussion Topics)
Depression - Teen
(6,418 Discussion Topics)
Depression in Children
(77 Discussion Topics)
Depression Supporters
(1,318 Discussion Topics)
Diabetes Type 2
(4,537 Discussion Topics)
Family & Friends of Bipolar
(2,202 Discussion Topics)
High Blood Pressure
(1,034 Discussion Topics)
High Cholesterol
(385 Discussion Topics)
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
(569 Discussion Topics)
Lipid storage disorders
(5 Discussion Topics)
Osteogenesis Imperfecta
(28 Discussion Topics)
(381 Discussion Topics)
Parkinson's Disease
(2,751 Discussion Topics)
Post Partum Depression
(415 Discussion Topics)
Separation Anxiety
(185 Discussion Topics)
Skin Cancer
(577 Discussion Topics)
Teen Anxiety
(528 Discussion Topics)
Diabetes Type 1
(833 Discussion Topics)
Diets & Weight Maintenance
(9,142 Discussion Topics)