An annual physical exam is extremely important, no matter your age. Visiting your primary care doctor once a year for regular preventative care is one of the best ways to stay on top of health conditions. It tends to be easier to treat health conditions when they are found early. Here are 5 reasons why an annual physical exam is important.
Checking Your Overall Health
Depending on your age and risk factors, a variety of tests, including blood tests, may be ordered to check what’s going on inside your body. These tests can screen for underlying conditions. Even if you are not yet experiencing symptoms, these tests can help catch something early.
- A cholesterol screening will measure the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
- A blood pressure screening will measure the force of your blood against your arteries.
- A blood glucose screening will measure the amount of sugar in your blood.
- An osteoporosis screening will check for osteoporosis or osteopenia.
- A body mass index calculation will be completed. This uses your height and weight to determine if you are a healthy weight.
Although you may think that vaccines are just something kids get, it’s important to look at your immunization history each year. Especially as you age, more vaccines are currently available to help prevent disease. Your doctor will discuss your vaccination history and any risk factors to determine which vaccines might be worth considering. Here is a look at a few that may come up:
- Hepatitis B
Detecting cancer in it’s early stages is very important for treatment. Your primary care doctor will consider your risk factors and age during your yearly physical and might recommend routine cancer screenings. A few types of cancer your doctor may recommend screening for include:
- lung cancer
- prostate cancer
- colon cancer
- cervical cancer
- breast cancer
- skin cancer
Building a Relationship With Your Doctor and Maintaining Medical Records
Having a relationship with your doctor and up-to-date medical records will ease your experience if you need to go to your doctor for a health concern in the future. If you aren’t feeling well or have noticed something out of the ordinary, a baseline established at your yearly physical will be very helpful in detecting problems. Having a relationship with your doctor will also help you to feel more comfortable when you need to go in about something potentially serious.
Annual Physicals are covered by Most Insurance Plans
There are many benefits to having an annual physical and, in most cases, this exam is free. Insurance plans generally cover one annual physical per person. This is a great incentive to go in for one. If you are not insured, consider getting in touch with Colorado Health Insurance Brokers to find a plan that works for you.