Unfortunately, many of us may fear visiting our doctors, and as a result, we wait for as
long as we can. This means it can be years between doctor visits.
Waiting to visit your doctor until you’re undeniably sick is bad practice, and can lead to serious health issues as you may be missing the warning signs of a chronic health condition.
The best way to improve your health is to have a yearly physical exam conducted by your local family doctor. These examinations don’t have to be scary and can help you to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Read on to learn more about physical exams and what your family doctor will check.
Annual physical exams allow your family doctor to track your health and catch the
warning signs of severe conditions. Regular exams allow your doctor to detect signs of
heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes early on. If these are caught early
enough, you may be able to avoid medications with lifestyle changes that include
healthy eating and getting active.
Annual exams are an important part of a healthy lifestyle and offer the perfect opportunity to ask your family doctor about any changes you are considering.
Your physical will generally start with a weight check and discussion about your family’s
medical history to better understand what conditions to keep an eye out for. Your doctor
will also check the health of your joints and may recommend additional tests, including
pap smears, prostate exams, and urine and blood tests.
The main things your doctor will be checking for include:
● Blood glucose: The blood glucose test is normally done while fasting and
measures the amount of glucose in your blood. Elevated readings can be an early
sign of diabetes.
● Blood pressure: Blood pressure is a measure of the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries. High blood pressure can lead to a range of health problems with readings over 120/80 indicating serious conditions.
● Body Mass Index: The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a common measure used to determine a healthy weight. It is simply your height compared to your weight. 18.6-24.9 is considered a healthy BMI range for most adults.
● Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is very common as people age; depending on your age, your local doctor will check the density of your bones with an imaging test. Women typically start screenings at 65 and men at 70. A family history of osteoporosis may mean screenings will start earlier for you.
● Cholesterol Check: High cholesterol can indicate future heart disease. There are two types of cholesterol: HDL cholesterol is considered good and should be over 60 mg/DL while LDL cholesterol should be under 130 mg/DL. These numbers are for healthy patients. Someone with a family history of heart disease may want to stay lower.
Your annual exam will also include checks on allergies, mental health, and updating your vaccinations. Most vaccines need to be boosted every few years, while the flu vaccine will need to be taken yearly.
Finding a local doctor is essential for physicals. Trust the family doctor in the RGV at
Healthy Lifestyles RGV Medical Clinic.
If you are looking to be proactive about your health, regular physicals are one of the best ways to make sure you stay healthy. Call Healthy Lifestyles RGV Medical Clinic today