Routine check-ups are common during childhood at specific milestones, before school, or before joining a sports team. However, annual physicals are just as important for adults too!
Drs. Ines Munoz De Laborde and Svetlana Burkhead know how important preventive care is, and that’s why we provide a variety of physicals here at Physicians Medical Urgent Care, in San Jose, California.
Below, we discuss one incredibly important benefit of annual physicals: how they can help elongate your life.
In many cases, health conditions cause painful or otherwise obvious symptoms. For example, it’s hard to ignore the warning signs of strep throat. Left untreated, strep throat is a dangerous condition that can lead to scarlet fever, but you’ll experience many symptoms that prompt you to give us a call: fever, sore throat, fatigue.
Unfortunately, not all health conditions cause warning signs during the earliest stages. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a good example of a silent-but-dangerous condition. It’s possible to have high blood pressure without any symptoms. High blood pressure can continue to damage your blood vessels, increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
High blood pressure can be easily managed with medication and even lifestyle changes (such as diet and exercise), but you can’t treat it if you don’t know you have it.
However, during your annual exam, we check your blood pressure levels at every appointment. This is a simple way to ensure that hypertension isn’t left untreated, and it’s just one example of how your annual physical can potentially save your life.
Other potentially dangerous conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or certain types of cancer, can also be detected during routine physical exams and blood work.
Another benefit of receiving a physical each year is that Dr. Munoz De Laborde and Dr. Burkhead can monitor your health over the years and track any trends. By establishing a baseline, our team can spot any inconsistencies or changes quicker. Tracking your health over time is important in catching conditions during their earliest stages.
Let’s look at another scenario: you have blood work done and your blood sugar levels are in the normal range. If you didn’t have any past lab work, there’s nothing to compare it to, and that’s the end of it. Now, let’s consider the same lab work. If your blood sugar levels are compared against previous lab work and reveal that the numbers are slowly trending upwards (but aren’t yet considered high enough to diagnose you with diabetes), you can take action. Knowing your baselines can help you focus on diet to help reverse a potential prediabetes diagnosis.
Colonoscopies and mammograms are two well-known health screenings. Colonoscopies help screen for potential signs of colon cancer, while mammograms screen for signs of breast cancer. Other screenings include Pap smears, skin checks, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, eye exams, and screenings for sexually-transmitted infections.
Your annual physical is a great time to identify any key screenings you may need in the upcoming year. Our team takes many factors into account when recommending the right screening and the right timeline for you. Factors to consider include your personal health history, your family health history, your age and gender, and any other lifestyle factors that may be relevant.
These screenings can help elongate your life by detecting issues before they start causing noticeable symptoms.
About 60% of Americans have at least one chronic condition, and 40% of Americans have multiple chronic conditions. Chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease contribute to the leading causes of death in America. The silver lining is that many chronic conditions can be diagnosed and managed through the watchful attention of your care team. By carefully managing your condition 一 whether that’s through lifestyle changes or medication 一 we work to help reduce your risk of complications from untreated or undermanaged chronic conditions.
Staying up-to-date with your vaccines can help elongate your life by helping you avoid potentially fatal but preventable illnesses.
At Physicians Medical Urgent Care, we want you to live a long, healthy, and happy life. And one of the ways that we work toward that mission is by offering annual physicals.
To schedule your next annual exam, call us at 408-207-4637 or book your physical online.