An annual physical exam is a yearly visit to your primary care physician to ensure you are in good health and have no medical problems that you are unaware of. Although an annual physical is not necessary for most healthy adults, it is essential for individuals with a complex medical history or those who want to feel assured of their health. Keeping up with Fresno annual physicals serves as a wellness check for connecting with your doctor, addressing any health issues, and discussing preventive measures for your future. Below are other reasons why annual physicals are important.
Overall health assessment
Your primary care provider may order several blood tests and other screenings during your annual physical exam. Tests vary from person to person depending on lifestyle, age, and family history. Below are examples of tests and screenings your physician may recommend.
- Cholesterol screening. This measures the amount of cholesterol in your blood. A total cholesterol reading lower than 200mg/dL is considered normal for healthy patients with no risk factors.
- Blood glucose reading. Your doctor may recommend this test if you are at risk of diabetes to measure the amount of sugar or glucose in your blood.
- Blood pressure screening. Healthcare providers use this to measure the force of blood against your arteries.
- Osteoporosis screening. Women over 65 years and men over 70 require this test which checks for osteoporosis or osteopenia. Your doctor may recommend osteoporosis screening earlier if you are at risk of the condition.
- Body mass index (BMI) calculation. It involves using your height and weight to determine if you are at a healthy weight.
These tests are essential since they can identify conditions like heart disease and diabetes even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. The results allow your physician to recommend follow-up testing, exercise, lifestyle, or diet changes to improve and maintain your health.
Routine cancer screenings increase the chances of detecting cancer in the earliest stages when treatment is more likely to be successful. Your healthcare provider may recommend cancer screening during your annual physical exam based on your age and risk factors. Cancer screenings may include those for breast cancer, skin cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer.
Cancer screening evaluations are continually being evaluated and updated; therefore, it is best to consult your primary care provider about what’s best for you.
Medical record update
Various changes can occur in a year, so keeping your medical records updated is vital. Your annual physical exam provides a perfect chance to inform your doctor about any changes that could affect your health. These include:
- Allergies. Inform your doctor if you think you have developed a new allergy because medication, food, and environmental allergies can cause dangerous reactions.
- Medication changes. Provide medications and supplements you are currently taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
An annual physical exam is also great for building a relationship with your primary care provider. It makes it easier to seek help whenever you have a medical problem.
Are you long overdue for your physical exam? Book an appointment with your doctor at JAM Wellness Clinics for an annual physical to improve your overall health.