The key to living a long, healthy life is prevention. An important way to prevent illnesses, diseases, and injuries is to have an annual physical exam. Your doctor can tell you more. Annual exams can help your doctor identify potential illnesses and diseases you may experience. To do this, your doctor will:
- Perform a comprehensive physical examination to help identify musculoskeletal problems before they happen
- Record your vital signs including blood pressure, pulse, and others to assess whether you have high blood pressure, which can lead to a heart attack
- Order blood tests to check for high cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and other indicators to prevent heart disease and diabetes.
- Prescribe medications to control blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and help maintain your health.
During your annual physical examination, your doctor may also teach you about lifestyle modifications you can make to help you live a long and healthy life. These lifestyle modifications may include:
- Quitting smoking and other harmful habits which can shorten your life
- Eating a heart-healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and low-fat dairy to help prevent heart disease
- Exercising more, to help boost your heart health, your circulation, and keep your bones and muscles strong
- Annual vaccinations can be included in your annual physical examination. Flu, pneumonia, shingles, and covid vaccines may be recommended for you.
If you are a woman, your doctor may check the health of your reproductive system, perform a breast examination, and do a pap smear to check for signs of cervical cancer.
If you are a man, your doctor may check your prostate, your testosterone levels, and other factors
Annual physical exams may also be specialized to monitor acute or chronic diseases including:
- Heart disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Asthma and allergies
- Headaches and migraines
Your doctor can determine if you need to see a specialist for a medical condition, so you receive comprehensive treatment to keep you healthy. To find out more about the importance of annual physical exams and how they can help you stay healthy, call your doctor today.