No matter how old you are or how good you’re feeling, an annual physical is an important part of your overall health care. Many serious medical problems don’t cause noticeable symptoms in their early stages, but your physician can identify any significant changes in your health from your last visit and take prompt action to address them.
Umbrella HealthCare provides comprehensive preventive medical services, including annual physical exams, for patients in and around Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. John Lewis encourages all of his patients to take their annual exam seriously to ensure optimum health.
The annual physical is a time when both you and your doctor get to look at the “big picture” of your health. You review any medical changes since your last physical, reevaluate which medications you’re taking and why, and note any new developments.
It’s also an opportunity for Dr. Lewis to get a “hands-on” view of your health, allowing him to pick up on problems you may not have noticed that need to be addressed.
Generally, you’ll have bloodwork done about a week in advance of the physical appointment so Dr. Lewis can check to see if you’re anemic, have signs of heart disease (high cholesterol or triglycerides), have high blood sugar levels, have problems with your kidneys or liver, or determine if you have any other unaddressed health issues that need to be treated.
When you come in for the main part of your exam, a team member checks your vital signs, then you meet with Dr. Lewis for the physical itself. He starts with a review of your medical history, asking about your current health, lifestyle, medications or supplements you’re taking, and if you’re experiencing any new and troubling symptoms. He also shares the results of your bloodwork.
Next, he performs the physical part of the exam. He listens to your heart and lungs and examines your eyes, nose, ears, throat, abdomen, balance, posture, and reflexes to be sure all are normal. He discusses your risk factors for diseases and provides information about how you can prevent serious illness.
Finally, he customizes a treatment plan based on the examination results. If you’re in great health, you’re done until next year. If he finds a problem, he discusses it with you and recommends possible treatment options.
Even if you’re feeling fine, there are five good reasons not to skip your annual physical.
Because Dr. Lewis updates your medical file at each physical, you have a running baseline of your health and know what’s normal for you. That way, should anything crop up, you and the doctor will be able to trace its development over time.
Some diseases, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, don’t produce symptoms in their early stages, so if you don’t go for a routine health exam, they can remain undetected until they reach a crisis level and are hard to treat. With many diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer, early detection means less damage to your body and more effective treatment.
It can be difficult to remember every vaccination or booster you need to get and when you need to get it. By scheduling an annual physical, Dr. Lewis can let you know if you’re due for any and administer them right in the office.
If you’re trying to lose weight or incorporate more exercise into your daily routine but aren’t sure how to go about it, meeting with Dr. Lewis can provide an opportunity to discuss the issues and develop a plan to implement a regimen. And by coming in year after year for your physical, you can discuss progress made toward your goals and obtain help with obstacles you’ve encountered.
If you’re having digestive issues, chest pain, mental health problems, or need to be screened for sexually transmitted diseases, among many other things, Dr. Lewis can provide you with a referral to the appropriate specialist so your entire health is addressed.
Have you had an annual physical lately? If not, there’s no time like the present to make an appointment and get a once-over for your health. To schedule, give our office a call at 623-242-1389, or book online with us today.