Importance of Annual Check-ups
Saturday, October 5th, 2019
Annual check-ups are more like preventative care for your body, just like routine maintenance on your car to keep it out of the shop. An annual exam is important whether you are sick or not, and it can help prevent future issues by getting the screening every year.
The benefits of early detection and prevention is to save lives and reduce the impacts of disease. Have a list of questions ready to go over with your doctor – everything from A to Z, no question is unimportant when it comes to your body and health. Be open and honest with your doctor about how you feel and if you are using drugs and/or alcohol can make the difference in the future longevity.
What should you expect during an annual exam? The doctor will review your family history with you and ask if you have any complaints or concerns about your health. Be sure to let the doctor know if any new health issues have developed in your family. You may get asked about lifestyle behaviors like smoking, exercise, alcohol usage, sexual habits, and diet. Your vaccination status will also be addressed to make sure you are updated on these. Vital signs will be checked by your doctor, such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature.
- Male Physical Exams may include testicular exams, hernia exams and prostate exams. Don’t be afraid to let the doctor know if something is bothering you. Speak up it could save your life.
- Female Physical Exams may include breast exams and pelvic exams. If a lump is felt or something bothers you, follow your doctor’s direction and get other testing completed.
Laboratory testing is also a part of an annual exam. Routine blood tests can pinpoint issues that the doctor is unable to see. The most common ordered blood tests are: complete blood count, chemistry panel and urinalysis.
At certain ages, other preventative tests are suggested to have, about the age of 40 a woman should get a mammogram. Around the age of 50 both men and women should be screened for colorectal cancer. If you have a family history of either of these, you may want to be screened sooner.
Above all exercising, keeping a healthy weight, and not smoking are enough to keep most of us in good health, with or without an annual exam. Still it is best to maintain a healthy relationship with your doctor with regular visits.