Your doctor will likely start by asking how you’re feeling and if you have any concerns. They will then take your height and weight and calculate your BMI. They will also take your blood pressure and temperature. After that, they will probably listen to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope.
Depending on your age and gender, they may also do a breast or testicular exam. They will also check your eyes, ears, nose, and throat. They will probably do a quick physical exam of your abdomen and extremities. They may order blood tests or other tests if they are concerned about something.
Still, a standard annual physical exam usually covers the following:
1. Blood Pressure Check
Adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years and more frequently if it is higher than normal. Blood pressure is measured with two numbers and is considered normal when the top number is less than 120 and the bottom number is less than 80. Additional tests may be ordered to rule out type 2 diabetes if blood pressure is regularly above normal.
2. Weight and Height
Being obese can cause a variety of different health problems. Your doctor will likely use your height and weight to calculate your body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. It is one way to determine if you need to lose weight for your health. In addition, if you are a man, your doctor may check your waist size. If your waist is more than 40 inches, you may risk developing diabetes and heart disease.
3. Cancer Screening
After age 50, your doctor may want to include a rectal exam as part of your physical. This is because colon and rectal cancer become more common as you age. The doctor may also want to analyze a stool sample to look for signs of cancer. In addition, men may have a prostate exam to check for enlargement. Women, especially after age 40, may also have a breast exam. Finally, doctors may do a whole body skin exam to look for early signs of skin cancer.
4. Blood Tests
Your doctor may recommend an annual physical, including a blood sample, to test your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol tests are common for men over the age of 35 and women over the age of 45. However, if you are at risk of developing heart disease, your doctor may recommend that you have your cholesterol levels checked starting in your early twenties.
Additionally, some people have their blood tested for diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends testing for diabetes after age 45. However, if you have high blood pressure or symptoms of diabetes, your doctor may recommend testing for diabetes at an earlier age. Symptoms of diabetes include thirst, hunger, and frequent urination.
5. Age-Related Exams
Your doctor may check for an abdominal aortic aneurysm if you are an older man. This happens when the main artery in the belly becomes weak and starts to balloon out. If it ruptures, it can be fatal. This is more common in men over 65. Your doctor may want you to have an ultrasound to rule this out.
If you are a woman over 65, your doctor may suggest screening for osteoporosis. Men may also have this screening. An annual checkup allows younger women to talk with their doctor about reproductive issues, including birth control or family planning options.
An annual physical exam is a routine checkup with your doctor to assess your overall health. The exam usually includes a general health history, physical exam, and sometimes lab tests. It’s important to keep up with annual physical exams so your doctor can catch any potential health problems early on.
At Family Medicine and Wellness, we believe that health and wellness are of utmost importance for well-being and are attained through a personalized patient-physician relationship. Led by Dr. Al-Misky, we believe in a strong, trustworthy, and confidential patient relationship committed to effective communication and shared decision-making. If you want to get annual health exams in Troy, get in touch with us! Call us at (248) 759-0993 to book a schedule!