For many people, annual checkups don’t get a lot of attention. They’re not on the top of the to-do list, and sometimes it’s easier to put them off than deal with what doctors have to say. But by having a good doctor, you’ll benefit from this practice. You may even find yourself healthier if you don’t wait until the last minute and regularly schedule those necessary checkups with your doctor.
What Is an Annual Physical Exam?
An annual physical exam is a set of tests your doctor will perform to check for signs of disease, injuries, and other health problems. These tests may include blood work and sometimes X-rays.
The results of your annual physical will help your doctor determine if you need additional testing or treatment for any medical issues you may have.
What Does an Annual Physical Include?
An annual physical is an essential part of your health. It typically includes a complete checkup, including your vital signs, blood pressure, an electrocardiogram (EKG), body mass index (BMI), height and weight measurements, and more. You may also have blood tests with urinalysis to look for signs of infection.
Your doctor will check your ears, nose, throat (ENT), heart, lungs, abdomen (stomach and intestinal tract), kidneys, liver, and gallbladder.
Main Reasons to Get Annual Checkups with Your Doctor
1. They Help Catch Any Problems Early On
Annual checkups help catch any problems early on. If you’ve been feeling tired or having trouble sleeping, it’s good to know what’s going on and how to fix it before it gets worse.
It can also help prevent diseases like cancer. A lot of cancer-related deaths could be prevented by early detection and treatment.
In addition, annual checkups can help manage chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Getting regular physical exams can help your doctor manage these conditions, so they don’t become serious problems in the future.
2. You Can Update Your Vaccinations
It’s essential to update your vaccinations annually, especially if you haven’t done so in the past year. Your doctor will see if you need any new ones and, if so, what they are. When your body is exposed to new viruses and bacteria, it can build up immunity against them over time. That’s why keeping up with these annual shots is so important.
3. You Can Save Money on Long-Term Costs
You may not think about it until it’s too late. But if you get regular checkups with your doctor, you can save money down the line by catching problems early and preventing them from becoming severe.
For starters, if something is wrong with your body, it’s best to catch it as soon as possible. That way, you can fix the problem without paying for any follow-up procedures or medications.
4. They Boost Doctor-Patient Relationships
Getting annual checkups with your doctor is like renewing a relationship. Sure, the initial meeting can be awkward, as you’re both new to each other and haven’t seen each other in a while, so anxiety is normal.
But once you get through that awkwardness, it’s incredible how much better the relationship gets. You start to feel like you know each other better and like they understand you more. You find yourself opening up more and maybe even having fun at your appointments. And as time goes on, you feel like it’s normal for them to see you yearly.
However, if you don’t currently have a primary care doctor or a general practitioner to see for an annual checkup, you may consider private gp services.
5. You Can Review Your Prescriptions and Medications
It’s easy to forget that you’re living a life of constant change. Everyone’s always moving forward, and bodies are no different. That’s why it’s essential to take the time to review your prescriptions and medications each year with your doctor.
A checkup can be a great way to ensure you’re getting the proper medication at the correct dose and in the suitable form. If you’re unsure what kind of checkup is right for you, or if your doctor has recommended any changes in your care, ask.
Your doctor will also want to know if there have been any changes in your lifestyle, diet, or exercise routine. Your doctor can also perform basic tests like blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which may help them determine which tests are needed and when they should be performed.
There’s nothing better than knowing that you are as healthy as possible, especially if it means catching a disease or condition early. Annual checkups can give you a baseline for overall health and prevent major medical setbacks.
Whether you’re a young adult just starting your life in the real world or an older individual in retirement, annual checkups are something everyone should all be doing more of. Being proactive in your health now will greatly benefit you in the future.