A physical exam is a regular appointment with your doctor to check how your body is doing. They also update your health information, help manage chronic conditions, and may do tests to make sure you are healthy. wMost doctors perform a physical once a year, but they might do it more often if you have a situation that needs close monitoring.
See What Is Involved In The Examination Process.
A regular physical exam usually includes the following procedures:
The more the Doctor knows about you, the easier it is for him to find out if anything is wrong. He asks you inquiries about any new results in your health since your last physical and supplements.
The nurse takes your temperature, pulse, respiration rate, weight, and height. Blood pressure is significant because it can be an early indicator of heart problems.
Take the visual and physical exams.
The Doctor will first check your appearance for any possible conditions or problems. It includes looking at your skin color, skin growths, swellings, and how you walk and speak.
Next, the Doctor will perform a hands-on exam. It will involve feeling your body to see if there are any problems.
Some health exams for women include looking at the vagina, vulva, and cervix. For men, the health exam may consist of checking for lumps, tenderness, and changes in testicle size.
When you go for a physical exam, the Doctor will do blood work. It can show if you have a problem that isn’t yet visible. The Doctor will usually request a complete blood count and a complete metabolic panel. The metabolic panel looks at your blood plasma and tells the Doctor about your kidneys, liver, vitamin levels, heart function, cholesterol levels, and immune system. The Doctor may also order a thyroid screening if there is a family history of thyroid illness.
If any of the numerals stand out as too high or too low, he will do more tests and send you to a specialist. He may also send women a mammogram to screen for breast cancer and men for a PSA test to screen for prostate cancer. Relying on your history, he may want to screen for depression and colorectal cancer.
Though vaccinations are not always a part of a routine physical, it is an excellent time to hook up on any vaccinations you may have missed. You can also get screened for any sexually transmitted diseases at this time.
Lifestyle choices that make a difference
It is also a perfect time to talk with the Doctor about diet and nutrition, exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption. The Doctor might tell you how to change your habits to be healthier. For example, they may suggest losing weight to decrease the risk of developing diabetes or heart disease. If you have any medical concerns, feel free to bring them up.
Overall, a physical exam is a way to see how healthy you are. It would benefit if you did it regularly to catch any problems before they worsen. For children, it’s a good time to check their growth and development and make sure they’re hitting milestones at the right time.