Why are physical exams important?
A regular physical helps you avoid many common health problems. Oftentimes, serious conditions – including high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes – have no outward symptoms. You only know you have them by coming in for a regular check-up and screening tests.
Regular physicals also help the team get to know you so they understand your health patterns and can spot changes in your physical and mental wellness. They’ll help you stay on top of important screenings, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, as well as routine blood work. These screenings ensure that what you’re feeling on the outside is reflected by your bodily systems, and that if you have an underlying health problem, it gets treated right away.
The team offers recommendations about diet and exercise as well as other lifestyle factors with the intention of keeping you as healthy as possible.
What should I expect during a physical?
The team thoroughly reviews your medical history. They’ll defer to you and ask if you have any questions or want to mention any concerns you may have about your health.
You’ll answer questions about lifestyle choices, such as alcohol consumption, exercise habits, and smoking. They’ll also obtain important vital signs, including:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Respiration rate
The team examines all of your major systems. They look at your ears, nose, and throat, and checks your heart, lungs, thyroid, muscle tone, and reflexes. They review your immunizations and brings you up to date to prevent unnecessary illness.
Depending on your health status, symptoms, existing conditions, and personal concerns, they may recommend additional tests, such as ultrasound screenings, blood tests, or X-rays.
What screening tests are part of a physical exam?
The team usually orders standard blood work, cholesterol tests, and blood sugar (glucose) evaluations to get an understanding of your internal health. After age 40, mammograms are recommended for women, and after age 50, colonoscopies are a valuable way to evaluate colon health for both sexes. If you have a personal or family history of colon or breast cancer, your provider may recommend you have these screenings.
If you’re ready to schedule your essential physical exam, call one of the Essential Medical Clinic offices or schedule an appointment online.