FeaturedFriday Health Corner

Importance of an Annual Physical Checkup

 

 

Regardless of age, it is recommended that everyone have a physical examination done every year. For individuals who have specific health issues or at risk for certain conditions, this exam is advised to be more frequent. The annual physical examination is a preventive care strategy that provides one with the first line of defense against any unforeseen medical issues. A typical physical check-up would include reviewing health history, performing physical examinations, and conductance of specific tests.

These tests may include:

● Blood pressure – measures how high or how low the force of blood against your arteries is.

● Cholesterol – measures the amount of cholesterol (good and bad) present in your blood.

● Blood glucose level – measures the amount of glucose present in the blood. A blood glucose test is typically performed during fasting to get an accurate reading.

● Body mass index – Measures weight compared to your height.

A physical examination is helpful as it can help determine the status of your health, hence staying on top of your (wellness) gap.

The benefits of an annual physical checkup are highlighted thus:

1. Prevention of future health complications
Having an appointment for an annual check would ensure any possible ailment is diagnosed and treated before symptoms even appear. Thereby, giving way to early intervention and prevention of any health issues that you are currently at risk for. There could be a great problem in the future, even if there are no symptoms today. Detecting potentially life-threatening health conditions would increase the chances for treatment and cure.

2. Economic benefits
Health is expensive, some people say. It is even better to spend little to prevent than spend much to treat. That’s a cliché. Detecting a disease or the risk of disease early at an appointment would allow for immediate treatment and/or preventive mechanisms in no time. Thus, expenses as a result of some costly medical services are avoided. You get to use your money for other productive ventures.

3. Update vaccinations.
At annual checkups, your immunization history is reviewed. You must indeed have taken specific vaccination years before. But do you know that the shielding effects of some vaccines wear out after a certain period, while some vaccines that require multiple doses to ensure full protection? In an annual checkup, you update such immunizations and introduce new ones as necessary.

4. Platform to receive professional opinion
Annual physical checkup can create a platform for open communication with your doctor to share information about your symptoms and overall health. It is also an opportunity to get updated on new medical information or technologies relevant to your health situations or any related matter.

5. Review medications
This appointment is also an opportunity to get your medical history such as medications previously used, allergies, unpleasant signs all reviewed by a trained professional. It is a good time to see the drugs you take, mostly over-the-counter, are not posing risks.

Preventive health screening checklist for adults
● Annual well-visit (annually)
○ Family history
○ Blood pressure
○ Body mass index (BMI)
○ Physical exam
○ Preventive screening
○ Counseling

● Cancer screenings (as recommended)
○ Colorectal
○ Skin
○ Breast (women)
○ Cervical (women)
○ Testicular and Prostate (men)

● Sensory screenings
○ Eyesight
○ Hearing (only if symptoms arise)

● Immunizations
○ Tetanus, Diptheria (Tdap)
○ Influenza
○ Pneumococcal
○ MMR
○ Meningococcal
○ Varicella
○ Shingles
○ Human papillomavirus (HPV)
○ Hepatitis A
○ Hepatitis B
○ Haemophilus Influenza Type B

If you have not had health care in a long time, this is a good time to consider a physical checkup and make it an in-thing. Take charge of your health and include an annual physical checkup in your yearly calendar. It is best to have a trusted doctor for this purpose, before unforeseen ailments take one up.

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