Wellness Exams and Why You Need One
You know how important it is to take care of your body by eating healthy and being physically active, but if you aren’t visiting with a physician regularly, you’re not getting the whole picture. While living a healthy lifestyle prevents or reduces your risks for many illnesses, there are some concerns that are unavoidable and may only be discovered by a thorough medical examination.
What is a Wellness Exam?
A wellness exam is essentially an annual check-up with your physician. These can take place with general practitioners, as well as others who specialize in different areas, such as gynecologists, dermatologists, and dentists. In general, during your wellness exam, the doctor will perform several tasks, including:
- Medical History Discussion. You and your physician will review your medical history and discuss any new concerns that may have started since your last visit. They will also ask you about your lifestyle habits, such as exercise and diet, and check your vaccination status.
- Check Vitals. The doctor will most likely check several vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature. While using the stethoscope, they’ll also listen closely to your heart and lungs to detect any potential health concerns, such as irregular heartbeat or wheezing.
- Reflex Check. A simple check of your reflexes by tapping below the knee will help provide insight into your neurological health.
- Gender Specific Exams. Depending on age and whether you are male or female will also influence other exams. Men require a testicular exam, hernia exam, penis exam, and prostate exam. Women require a breast exam and regular pelvic exam. These specific examinations can help find sexually transmitted infections, certain cancers, and more.
- Lab Testing. You won’t always require lab tests at every exam, but some things do need to be tested for periodically, such as cholesterol and diabetes.
Why an Annual Wellness Check is Important
Many people choose to wait and see a doctor until they experience a problem, but unfortunately, when certain conditions show symptoms, they’ve already progressed to a more dangerous state. Being checked regularly by a doctor helps identify potential health problems before they start or when they are in early stages, making treatment easier and more effective. A regular medical record can help highlight any sudden changes to vital signs that may point to other conditions, and the doctor can choose to perform other tests or refer you to a specialist.
If you or someone in your family is in need of a wellness exam, visit one of our convenient locations today and take charge of your overall health.