How to get the most out of your Annual Physical Exam
When was the last time you visited your doctor? If you can’t remember, then it might be time to pay him/her another visit. Taking the time off to regularly check on your health pays off - even if you feel great and are free of aches and pains at present.
The importance of a yearly physical
An APE is as an opportunity to catch health problems before they become serious. It’s also the perfect time for your routine preventive care. Getting the right screenings, exams, and vaccinations will go a long way into upping your chances for a longer, happier, and healthier life.
How to get the most of it
According to the CDC, there are several things you need to do to get the most of your annual checkup:
Review your family health history
Does anyone in your family have heart disease, diabetes, or cancer? It’s best to take this up with your healthcare provider so your risk of getting such diseases can be assessed. Mentioning your family health history also makes it easier for your doctor to make recommendations to help prevent such diseases.
Find out if you’re due for any tests or vaccinations
There are recommended screening tests based on a person’s age, gender, lifestyle, and family history. Ask your physician if you’re due for a mammogram, a blood pressure check, or if it might be time for you to get colon cancer screening or a tetanus shot.
Jot down any questions you might have
Bring up any health concerns you might have. Jot them down so you won’t forget. Some of the things you might want to take up include:
Body changes like unusual lumps,
Difficulty in body functions like urination, and
Problems like insomnia or anxiety.
You may also want to ask questions about the interactions of the medicines you’re taking, if any.
If you have specific health plans for the future (like signing up for a weight loss program or getting infertility treatment), then it’s ideal to discuss these with your doctor too.
Schedule yours soon
A yearly check-up is definitely worth the effort. In most cases, it’s also a very straightforward process so it shouldn’t take up much of your time. If you’re already enrolled in an HMO plan, we strongly encourage you to take full advantage of your benefits and schedule an annual physical soon.
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