Your weight, height, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and breathing are just a few of the things that your primary care doctor checks during an annual physical. Many of us don’t see a doctor unless we suddenly have something wrong with our health – why would we need to see a physician when we feel fine?
The surprising value of seeing your doctor for your annual physical lies in the fact that the doctor may very well discover something you had no idea you had. Your urinalysis may detect a urinary tract infection (UTI), the physician may feel a lump you hadn’t noticed, or your blood may show prediabetes. All of these things can be addressed right away so they do not turn into a major health problem.
Many health issues have early indicators which only a doctor would be able to detect, because many conditions do not always display signs or symptoms. Without a yearly checkup, these issues would not be discovered.
Why Do I Need a Yearly Checkup?
Let’s talk about some of the main reasons why an annual physical is a key to a lifetime of good health:
Early Detection of Health Conditions
Regular appointments with your doctor allow the physician to establish a baseline of your health, so the doctor will be able to notice any changes that may point to a developing condition or disease. Your doctor knows your medical history, your family medical history (if you provided it), and your risk factors of various health issues.
Get Your Vaccines Up-to-Date
Certain vaccines need to be administered yearly, such as the flu shot, or on a schedule as per your age. The problem with vaccines is that they work, so it’s easy to assume you didn’t need the shot after all! But the fact is that diseases like the flu are easily ignored until you actually have it, and the virus could have life-threatening consequences for people of all ages, even children.
The doctor may also recommend screenings depending on your age, gender, and risk factors as part of preventive medicine. For instance, men and women are recommended to have a colonoscopy at age 50, and those who are at a high risk of colon cancer should be screened even sooner.
Women should have yearly manual breast cancer screenings; if these are already performed by your gynecologist, then your doctor will not have to do this again, so let them know. Men should have an annual digital rectal exam (DRE), which is also a manual check by the doctor. Likewise, the physician will recommend mammograms to women particularly as they get older, and men will have their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels checked along with their annual bloodwork.
Refer You to the Right Specialist
If your doctor discovered an underlying health condition or potential chronic illness during your annual physical, the physician will refer you to a skilled specialist for follow-up analysis and treatment. The earlier you receive treatment, the healthier you are likely to be. This is why patients who go in for their annual checkup tend to live much longer lives than those who do not.
Annual Physicals in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area
Here at Star Medical Associates, we take your health seriously. Dr. Rani Anbarasu is a board-certified physician who truly cares about her patients and their health and longevity, and she provides efficient yet careful annual physicals that will detect any and all health conditions.
To schedule an appointment with us, call our Denton office at (940) 382-6900 or our Frisco office at (469) 301-2300, or you can request an appointment now by filling out our easy-to-use online form. We look forward to being your partner in health!