Why You Should Never Skip Your Annual Physical

It’s easy to delay or even skip your annual physical, especially if you feel healthy. But your annual physical could be the strongest weapon in your arsenal against disease, as many conditions don’t have obvious symptoms.

As advocates of disease prevention, we at Hampstead Family Medicine & Burgaw Medical Center put together this short guide on the benefits of getting an annual physical.

Discuss symptoms that you would otherwise ignore

Most people don’t see a medical professional until their symptoms worsen and their quality of life suffers. 

An annual physical allows you to inform a medical professional about any changes you’ve noticed lately and find out if those changes may be an indication of disease. 

Keep tabs on your bodily functions 

Regular testing can help prevent chronic disease. Checking markers such as cholesterol and blood sugar levels enable you to take action before debilitating symptoms appear. 

Lab tests are also helpful for patients who are medicated, as all drugs come with risks and side effects, some of which may develop over long periods. If you’re currently on medication, lab tests can reveal abnormalities. 

Receive lifestyle advice 

Lifestyle is often an overlooked factor in both the prevention and treatment of disease. After all, medications alone can’t fix the damage caused by an unhealthy lifestyle.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that over half of the deaths caused by strokes and heart attacks could’ve been prevented through simple changes such as quitting smoking, adopting a healthier diet, and getting more exercise. 

Obesity is also a risk factor for many conditions, including type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. 

During your annual physical, you receive personalized advice on what you can do lifestyle-wise to prevent disease, feel better, and live longer. 

Upgrade your medications 

Progressive diseases often require increased dosages. An annual physical is the perfect time to speak to your doctor about how your body is responding to your current medications and inform them if you’re experiencing any side effects.

Learn more about what happens during an annual physical 

During your annual physical, our specialists look at your vital signs and listen to your heart and lungs. They may also look inside your throat, ears, and nose. Next, they may feel your glands and abdomen for swelling. 

If any abnormalities are found during the physical exam or on your lab tests, our specialists may order more in-depth tests or refer you to a specialist. 

Want to prevent disease and get peace of mind regarding your health status? Contact us to schedule your annual physical. 

Author
Burgaw Medical Center, PC

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