Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Annual Physical Exam

You feel great. So why should you go through the hassle of getting a physical exam each year? You don’t skip oil changes when your car’s running well, or skimp on brushing your teeth because they feel clean. Don’t skimp on your health, either.

Approximately 1 in 5 women and men in the United States get a comprehensive physical examination each year. That means that 4 out of 5 don’t. So, who’s making the better choice?

Many people believe that as long as they’re feeling well, there’s no need to see a doctor. But seeing your doctor at least once a year confers important benefits for your ongoing health.

At the Center of Advanced Wellness, our expert medical team tailors your annual visit according to your age and condition. If you’re young and feeling well, a simple wellness exam may be sufficient to keep tabs on your health. If you’re aging or have a chronic condition, an annual exam is even more important.

Should you skip your physical? Or keep your appointment? Find out how an annual physical can help you stay healthy for life by reading about the benefits of annual check-ups and check-ins that we’ve prepared for you.

An annual exam establishes your baseline

Diseases and adverse health conditions sometimes come on suddenly. More often, though, they develop gradually. So gradually, in fact, that you don’t notice symptoms until the disease is in a later stage and already causing problems.

By having a baseline exam when you’re feeling well and fit — and all your bloodwork and vitals back this up — you and your doctor can easily see when something’s starting to shift. It also establishes your “normal,” which varies sometimes by individual.

For instance, even men who test in the normal ranges for testosterone (T) may exhibit symptoms of hypogonadism, or low T. If we establish that your baseline is higher than average, then when it shifts downward — even if it’s still considered normal by general standards — we may recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to resolve your symptoms.

An annual exam catches problems early

Those extra pounds tend to sneak themselves around your middle when you’re distracted by the holidays and just life itself. Even though most revelers only add a pound or two during the holidays, when that happens year after year, you’re on track toward being overweight, obese, and potentially diabetic. We can catch that trend early.

Making sure that your blood glucose levels are in a normal range and aren’t sneaking upward may protect you from diabetes, which is one of the fastest-growing health conditions in the world. When we discover that you’re prediabetic — or even that your blood glucose is on the rise — we help you make the healthy lifestyle choices that prevent diabetes.

As part of your annual exam, we may also recommend or refer you for tests or screenings that monitor your health and identify potential problems, including cancer, as soon as possible. Mammograms for women, prostate specific antigen tests for men, and bone scans as you age can help you stay healthy and catch problems when they’re treatable.

An annual exam establishes trust and consistency

When you’re feeling unwell, the last thing you want to do is to start searching random practitioners online, hoping for answers and relief. When you come in every year for an exam or check-in, you establish a patient-practitioner relationship that can last all of your life.

An annual exam also presents an opportunity to raise questions you may have about your health. You might otherwise ignore seemingly minor issues, such as drier skin, itchy eyes, or discomfort during sex. At your physical, we address such basics as healthy aging and how to improve your health and increase your lifespan.

An annual exam is often covered by insurance

Insurance companies usually pay for one wellness exam per year for both women and men, plus an extra well-woman exam with a gynecologist for women. They believe that investing in your health pays off in the end. So do we.

To schedule an annual physical today, contact the Center of Advanced Wellness office nearest you today by phone or online. We have three locations in Frisco and San Antonio, Texas.

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