Dr. Bailey posted on November 16th, 2016
Ever question why your doctor needs to see you once a year? If you’re feeling great and not having problems then why bother? Right? In actuality, these appointments, often called “Annuals”, “Physicals”, or “Checkups” could be a great way to preserve your quality of life.
The routine physical is a time to check on current medical problems and to make sure that no other issues are brewing. For example, one element of the physical is to check your fasting blood glucose. This is important to gauge how your body breaks down sugar. Issues with sugar processing can cause diabetes, a common condition which develops over time and is associated with heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, severe infections, decreased sexual performance, blindness, and many other problems. Since conditions like diabetes are so common, it is important to regularly check for them, even if you live a healthy lifestyle. This is similar to taking your car for a periodic maintenance check. The maintenance check is a simple way to catch developing issues with your break system or engine before they become full blown problems that could leave you stranded on the side of the road.
Some recommend physicals annually whereas others might recommend them every few years. You can determine a reasonable schedule with your doctor. Delaying checkups could limit your chances to prevent chronic medical problems that involve costly medications, clinic visits every few months, and may have potential to decrease one’s ability to enjoy certain activities such as playing with grandchildren, thus decreasing one’s overall happiness and comfort.
Typically items such as blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, basic kidney function, vaccination needs, mental health issues, and usage of tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs are assessed. If desired, your doctor can also check for sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Patients can ask general questions as well. A common one involves weight loss and weight control. The routine physical can be of high value, so you should contact your doctor soon if you have not had a recent physical exam.
-- Dr. Westly Bailey