When you’re feeling well, visiting your doctor might not be the first thing on your to-do list, but it’s important to see your doctor for routine physical exams even when you’re in excellent health.
In fact, seeing a doctor when you aren’t having symptoms is the best way to stay healthy. It gives your doctor a chance to detect potential problems before they start or at their earliest stages if they’re already present.
Keeping the entire family well is the top priority of the providers at Monarque Health and Wellness Center. Along with promoting a healthy lifestyle, annual wellness exams play a key role in disease prevention.
Take a few moments as we explore what physical exams are, why they’re important, and what to expect.
An annual physical exam is a visit with your health care provider to check general aspects of your health. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and update your provider on any changes since your last exam, such as losing weight, changes in sleep, or any new stress.
During an annual physical, you can expect to undergo various tests to check your health.
Seeing your doctor annually helps them develop an individualized wellness plan. Your provider understands your baseline health and is trained to recognize patterns that you might not notice otherwise.
In recognizing health patterns, your provider can detect and diagnose potential problems early when it’s easier to implement an intervention. Skipping your annual physical exam may mean missing signs of illness and the opportunity to catch health issues early.
Each physical exam is customized to the individual, but there are some general things you can expect. An adult physical involves checking for signs of common chronic diseases. You can expect the following health checks.
Hypertension is a silent disease that causes damage for years before problems become apparent. Your provider takes your vital signs to check your heart rate and blood pressure.
Vitamin D and iron deficiencies are common in adults and can have a major impact on your health. Your provider may check your levels to ensure that you aren’t lacking.
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It’s important to know your numbers and take action if your levels are elevated. That’s why a cholesterol check is a common part of an annual physical.
Checking your average blood sugar with an A1C test can detect prediabetes and diabetes. Your provider helps you address any abnormal elevations.
Depending on your health status and lifestyle, your provider may check your liver enzymes to evaluate the health of your liver.
Depending on your age and risk factors, your doctor may perform a bone density test to detect bone loss.
A physical check of your heart, lungs, eyes, ears, nose, throat, and abdomen are part of an annual physical. Your provider may also check your balance and reflexes and refer you to specialists if needed.
If you have risk factors for chronic diseases, your provider discusses some changes you can make to reduce your risk.
You can expect to discuss and coordinate any timely or overdue screenings, such as a Pap smear, colonoscopy, or mammogram.
Your provider discusses your current medical prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, makes any necessary tweaks to your regimen, and ensures that your medications don’t interact with each other.
If the results of your annual physical detect any health conditions, your provider discusses and creates the most appropriate treatment plan.
When it comes to staying well, we’ve got you covered. To schedule your annual physical, and for all of your wellness needs, contact our Ashland, Oregon, office by calling 541-326-4777 to schedule an appointment with one of our providers. It’s never too late to prioritize your health!