Our Primary Care Physicians Discuss the Importance of Having an Annual Physical

How did you celebrate National Primary Care Week? Hopefully by taking the time to see your family doctor for an annual physical. By being proactive about your health, you’re taking control of your future. No matter your age, annual physicals are the cornerstone of a healthy life.

Wellness checkups offer you the opportunity to spend time discussing your overall health, going over any medications you may be taking for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol. This appointment can also alert your primary care physician to any new developments in your life that may impact your well-being.

As a parent, you’re no doubt diligent in making sure that your child always attends their regular checkups to keep them healthy and protected against myriad childhood diseases. But as we get older, we tend to make the mistake of dismissing the need for an annual physical. These yearly exams are essential to good health and quality of life.

Why your annual physical is so important

Annual physicals are the best way for your family doctor to determine a baseline when it comes to your health numbers, such as your blood pressure, disease risks, height, and weight.

When you attend a well-visit from year to year and your family physician notes a change in these numbers, it will alert them that something may be amiss. If you’re on regular medication for a chronic condition, your primary care doctor can make any necessary adjustments during your regular physical.

What does a typical physical involve?

During your annual checkup, our primary care doctors typically conduct a number of tests and measurements, such as:

Blood pressure check

One in three Americans suffers from high blood pressure (BP), or hypertension. It’s often called the “silent killer” because many individuals have no idea their BP is elevated, as there are no clear warning signs. At your yearly physical exam, your family physician assesses your numbers, and can help you find ways to lower your BP and your risk for heart attack or stroke, if needed.

Height and weight measurement  

Osteoporosis and spinal compression are both indicated by a loss of height. Additionally, significant weight gain or weight loss can indicate serious underlying medical conditions. Your family doctor assesses your height and weight and compares the measurements annually.

Blood work

Our primary care doctors include blood work at your annual physical to check your glucose levels to identify signs of diabetes, evaluate your thyroid function, assess your electrolyte balance as it relates to heart and kidney function, and administer any additional labs based on your history.

EKG

As you age, your need for an annual physical with your primary care physician becomes even greater. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in the US, and anyone age 50 and over should have a yearly EKG to note changes in heart function, an early indicator of cardiovascular issues.

Take control of your health through annual physicals

Yearly screenings are the cornerstone of good health management. As you get older, it becomes more and more crucial to your healthy aging, vitality, and independence to be proactive about your health. By scheduling an annual physical with our primary care physicians, you’re taking control of your future.

A recent survey indicates that 92% of Americans understand the importance of an annual physical exam, but only 62% actually schedule the yearly visit with their family physician. This may explain the rise in chronic conditions and serious illnesses like heart disease and certain cancers.

Take control of your future by scheduling an annual physical exam with the trusted experts at Doctors First. Primary care physician Rakesh Malik, MD and his team offer ongoing, comprehensive care for patients in and around Germantown and Gaithersburg, Maryland.

National Primary Care Week is the ideal time to schedule your annual wellness check, so call or book online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Signs of Prediabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a debilitating disease that seriously affects your quality of life. Stop it in its tracks. Know the signs that indicate you could develop the condition, so you can get early treatment.