Visiting your general practitioner periodically for well-checks is a great way to promote optimal health. Your family doctor may provide you with helpful health tips that are related to your stage in life and ongoing medical conditions that you are living with. The doctor may also help you to identify developing issues earlier so that treatment can begin.

While your general practitioner can assist you with well-checks as well as standard sick visits, such as for a cold or the flu, there are times when you need to see a specialist. These are some of the conditions that may indicate the need to see a medical specialist rather than a general practitioner.

Foot Pain

A podiatrist is a medical specialist who focuses on the feet and ankles. The specialty can address conditions as common as ingrown toenails and bunions. It also focuses on more significant issues like plantar fasciitis, ankle injuries, and many other issues. Specialists may also perform foot or ankle surgery. If you have regular foot problems, you may qualify to participate in a clinical research. Through your participation, you may help the medical community to find effective treatments that could be used to help others with conditions like yours in the future.

Sleep Disturbances

Sleep apnea, frequent waking, and narcolepsy are only a few of the many sleep disturbances that you may be dealing with. Your quality of sleep can impact all aspects of your life and may lead to serious health conditions. Sleep specialists can complete studies and provide you with effective treatments plans based on the results of the studies.

Mental Health

If you struggle with mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder or other conditions, a mental health professional may provide you with effective treatment. These professionals may include therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. In some cases, you may need to set up a comprehensive treatment plan through assistance from several different mental health professionals.

Digestive Conditions

Some digestive issues are minor and may be treated with over-the-counter medications. Others are more serious and require specialized treatment. A gastrointestinal professional is a typical specialist that you may need to see for issues related to severe acid reflux, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome and more.

In many cases, you should begin seeking treatment for bothersome symptoms by visiting your regular family doctor. He or she may review your symptoms and run a few preliminary tests before referring you to a reputable specialist in a specific field.

Author's Bio: 

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.