Here at Sioux Center Health, we’re dedicated towards making sure that all the patients who enter our doors are well taken care of. However, it’s impossible for us to take care of people who don’t get their annual checkups. If you want to keep your body strong and healthy, one of the best ways to make sure that you’re on the right track is by obtaining your yearly checkup. These checkups will help prevent health problems from occurring while also identifying some areas where you can improve your health.
What a Yearly Checkup Entails
One of the more unique aspects of annual checkups is that the doctors who administer the physical don’t have any strict guidelines that they need to follow, which means that your yearly checkup can differ substantially if ever you change doctors. However, there are some basic things that will almost always be checked. When you visit one of our doctors, we’ll inquire about your medical history, which is the perfect time for you to tell us if you’re currently suffering from any health issues. The health history aspect of the checkup will ask you about a variety of your lifestyle behaviors, which extends from your diet and exercise regime to whether you smoke or drink alcohol.
Once your health history has been recorded, it’s likely that your heart rate and blood pressure will be taken, which will help us identify whether you’re currently healthy. The doctor that you meet with will also take a look at your overall appearance, which is something that can say a lot about how healthy you are. Lung, heart, neck, and head exams will typically be administered as well. Each of these exams takes a minute or two to complete at most. Some additional exams that may be administered during your yearly checkup include an abdominal exam, dermatological exam, neurological exam, and extremities exam. Once the physical has been fully administered, the doctor will provide you with detailed results that highlight any concerns and identify ways in which you can improve your health.
There are also some tests that are specific to men and others that are specific to women. For instance, men could receive testicular exams, hernia exams, and prostate exams. As for women, breast exams and pelvic exams are possible, both of which are typically designed to look for certain types of cancer. It’s common for a variety of lab tests to be ordered as well. These tests may include chemistry panels, complete blood counts, and a urinalysis, the latter of which is helpful when searching for diabetes or kidney disease.
Why a Yearly Checkup is Important
The main importance of obtaining a yearly checkup is that these examinations will allow you to prevent the development of a wide range of conditions and diseases. If you wait too long between checkups, it’s possible that a disease won’t be caught early enough for treatment to be as effective as it otherwise would have been. The health screenings and treatments provided during an annual physical will invariably help you live a longer and healthier life. Even if you’ve been leading a healthy lifestyle, these checkups can identify some diseases and conditions that can occur even when an individual is healthy, such as cancer.
Main Benefits of Receiving a Checkup
There are a large number of benefits that you will obtain from a yearly checkup with practically no downsides. While you’ll need to clear your schedule for an hour or two on the day of the appointment, the benefits of a checkup far outweigh any issues you might have. These checkups will allow you to strengthen the relationship that you have with your doctor, which can pay dividends in the future when you make appointments with them. It’s been proven that people who have a good relationship with their doctor are much more likely to listen to the advice that they give and be honest with them.
As touched upon previously, the primary benefits of these checkups are that they will be able to prevent health problems that you might be at risk for. When you receive annual checkups, the doctor will compare your previous results with your latest ones, which allows them to monitor any substantial changes and tell you whether or not lifestyle and diet alterations are necessary. These examinations provide our doctors with the information necessary to ascertain if you’re at risk for developing cancer or other diseases, which is something that you’ll want to know ahead of time.
Another benefit that’s easy to overlook is with the amount of money that you’ll save in the long run. When a doctor detects a problem early on before the issue becomes too serious, it’s likely that you’ll save a large sum of money on future medical bills. While it’s understandable that you may be hesitant to visit a doctor, it’s important to understand that physicals usually take only 20 minutes to an hour, which makes it a very short trip that won’t take up too much of your time.
How to Prepare for Your Checkup
The yearly checkups we provide aren’t intrusive at all, which means that there’s not much you need to do in preparation for a checkup. However, if you want the process to be a smooth one, there are several things that you’re going to want to do beforehand. For one, make sure that you conduct an extensive review of your family history in regard to their health. Do any of your close relatives suffer from diseases or conditions that have developed since your last visit to the doctor? Since our doctors will inquire about your family health history, it’s recommended that you brush up on this information so that you’re prepared when we ask you these questions.
You should also write down any questions that you might want to ask your doctor during the checkup. These visits are highly beneficial for the mere fact that you’ll be able to talk one-on-one with a healthcare professional, which makes it as good of a time as any to ask some health-related questions that are on your mind. As you’re thinking of questions, make a note of any changes that have happened over the previous year in regard to your health. Are you fatigued on a regular basis or have your usual eating habits changed recently? These alterations will help your doctor determine if you’re at risk for certain diseases.
Additional Health Services to Consider During Checkup
While there are some basic tests and examinations that are almost always performed during a yearly checkup, you should consider obtaining additional screenings and health services if you want to be confident about your health and the fact that you’re in good shape. Some of the extra health services available to you include:
- Colon cancer screening
- Early detection screenings for cervical and breast cancers
- Skin cancer examination
- Screening for HIV and aids
- Viral hepatitis testing
- Oral health exams
- Vaccination schedules
- High blood pressure and cholesterol tests
Each of these vaccines, exams, and screenings will provide you with additional information on your health that may prove useful when you’re learning how to live a healthy and strong lifestyle. These health services are simple and highly beneficial, which means that there’s no reason not to request them at your next yearly checkup.