As a new year begins, it’s important to make taking care of your health a top priority. That means scheduling your yearly check-up with your doctor. But, what makes going to the doctor every year so important? Why should you go get a physical exam if you’re not feeling sick? In this article, we will discuss why your annual health check up is important and examine what exactly is being checked out in the doctor’s office.
Why You Should Get an Annual Check Up
Healthy people don’t normally feel the need to schedule an annual medical check up, but doing so is a great idea. Here are a few reasons why.
Establishing a Baseline
Annual check ups with your doctor, especially if you’re feeling healthy, can help you establish a medical baseline! This means that your physician will know what your health looks like when everything is acting normally, making it easier to detect medical abnormalities when they occur. Discussing your family health history, taking a few basic screening tests, and reviewing your current health with your doctor will help you understand your risk factors and go a long way in terms of preventative care.
Reviewing Your Medications
Periodic health exams give you and your doctor a chance to chat about your current medications. This is your chance to change up your medications if you’re tired of dealing with an unpleasant side effect. Plus, your doctor will have an opportunity to determine whether or not your medications are still needed for regulating or improving your health, or if they are interacting negatively with other prescriptions you might be on.
Updating Your Vaccinations
Your annual visit with your doctor is a chance to update your yearly vaccinations. Making sure your flu shots and other recommended vaccines are up to date can go a long way in keeping you healthy during the coming year.
Catching Illnesses Early
A huge reason to set up a yearly exam with your doctor is because it raises your chance of detecting an illness in its early stages. Whether this means cancer, heart disease, diabetes or some other health issue, catching an illness at its beginning is essential to effective medical care and treatment, as it raises the odds of successfully addressing the issue. Because your doctor is aware of your family history and has already established a baseline for your health, your health care provider knows what to look for and has a higher chance of detecting irregularities before things get out of hand.
What Does an Annual Health Check Up Include?
Going into your annual health exam, it’s good to know what kind of exams and tests you should expect your doctor to perform. Each of these tests are standard procedure, and will help your doctor assess your overall health!
Everyone going into the doctor’s office for an annual physical should expect:
- To have their BMI (Height and Weight) recorded.
- To have their temperature taken.
- To have their blood pressure taken.
- To have their heart and lungs listened to.
- To have their skin examined for abnormalities.
In some cases, where risk of heart disease, heart attack or other hereditary illness is present, your doctor may also perform or suggest the following:
- A Diabetes Screening
- A Blood Test
- A Vision or Hearing Screening
- A Colonoscopy
Men (at or above the age of 45) undergoing a physical health examination should also expect to have their prostate examined or for a prostate exam to be scheduled. Similarly, women (over the age of 21) should expect to receive a Pap Smear and Mammogram, or to have these tests scheduled as a part of their female wellness. These tests can help detect early signs of cancer and other illnesses.
Schedule Your Annual Check Up Today!
After reading this article, we hope you’ve learned why your annual health check up is important. Contact your preferred physician’s office today to schedule an appointment and start the new year off with your health and wellness as a priority. You’ll be glad you did!