Many of us make an appointment with the doctor only when something is wrong; for example, you feel feverish, have a rash or perhaps are nauseous. However, it is important to remember that those regularly scheduled annual physicals may be able to prevent some illnesses or identify potential problems in their early stages. Let’s take a closer look.
Just as you regularly check and change the oil in your car to keep it properly maintained, your body needs regular checkups as well. With an annual physical exam, your doctor can order lab work, a urine test as well as blood glucose checks to make sure that everything is at optimum levels. If lab levels are not quite right, your doctor will have a history of lab work to review to compare changes. This history may also be of assistance should you need to see a specialist later.
Gender & Age Specific Testing
As we age, it is important to track certain health issues that are common in older adults. Examples are cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and diabetes. There may be specific conditions your doctor will need to check as you age, based on your family history.
Sexually active women are encouraged to follow their doctor’s recommendations for regular PAP screenings and breast exams. Older women will need mammograms to check for breast anomalies that could be anything from fatty tissue to cancer. All these tests are done to identify potential problems as early as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment of a problem increases the likelihood of a good outcome.
It is recommended for older men to undergo a prostate exam regularly to check for an enlarged prostate. If any other signs appear, additional testing should be performed.
Preparing for Your Annual Physical
When you schedule your annual physical with Dr. Brent Michael, be sure to have a list of any current conditions you may have, your family medical history, medications you currently take and a list of medication allergies. Your initial annual physical may take a little bit longer.
Going forward, your annual exams may include preventive flu shots, lifestyle education such as smoking cessation resources or family planning advice and more. You will come to look forward to your annual physical as a time to reconnect with your physician and receive a health update in return.