Do You Really Need an Annual Physical?
While many people think they can skip out on getting a physical each year if they aren’t feeling under the weather, there are more benefits to maintaining your relationship with your primary doctor than receiving treatment. Annual physicals and routine check ups are necessary to help your primary care physician to keep track of any changes in your overall health and address any risk factors for illnesses and screenings.
Necessary Tests and Screenings
Getting regular blood work during a routine checkup is fairly common. This is because blood tests are essential to help your doctor to check for the presence of specific diseases, health conditions and other abnormalities. Among other things, blood tests can help your doctor to do the following:
- Diagnose health conditions like cancer, diabetes, anemia and coronary heart disease.
- Evaluate your risk factors for heart disease.
- Monitor organ function for your kidneys, liver, thyroid and heart.
- See if your current medications are working.
- Measure cholesterol levels (LDL [bad] and HDL [good]).
Your body mass index (BMI) is used by your doctor to help assess whether you are overweight or obese. This measurement is calculated based on your height and weight as an estimate of how much body fat you have. When you have a high BMI, it can indicate that you are at a higher risk for the following health conditions:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Respiratory issues
- Certain types of cancer
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thousands of adults become seriously ill and are hospitalized—or even die—from vaccine-preventable diseases. It is important to note that even if you have received all your necessary vaccines as a child, some immunizations can wear off later in life. When you have your regular wellness exams, your doctor is able to evaluate what vaccines you may need based on your medical history and your individual risk factors for certain diseases and conditions.
Keeping up with wellness exams and check ups helps your doctor to determine your risk factors when it comes to the development of certain cancers. While risk varies from person to person, the CDC recommends that the following cancer screenings be done regularly:
- Breast cancer (women)
- Cervical cancer (women)
- Colorectal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer (men)
Talk to your doctor about how often you should be screened.
Primary and Specialty Care in Northeast Ohio
The Southwest General Medical Group, Inc.
includes both primary care and specialty care physicians who are committed to providing patients with high-quality medical care. Our team of board-certified specialists and skilled physicians work to raise the bar for excellence in health care service for our community. To learn more about our primary and specialty care services or schedule an appointment, visit our website.