An annual physical is important for health maintenance and disease prevention. Adults who get annual physicals are more likely to discover potential health complications before they become serious and they are more aware of the importance of lifestyle choices and how they affect overall wellbeing. Several tests and screenings are performed to verify the health of the body’s various organs and systems. If a problem is uncovered during a routine check-up, treatment can begin immediately to slow or even halt its progression.

Did you know?

that annual physicals were not commonplace in America until the 1940’s? Their popularity has since escalated, with the National Institutes of Health reporting that more than 9 in 10 Americans now believe routine exams are essential for healthy living. In addition to patients, doctors also believe yearly adult physicals are important – and not just for health reasons. Visiting a [city] doctor on a periodic basis helps establish a trusting relationship that facilitates communication and trust when potential health problems arise.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m an adult. Do I need an annual physical?

Yes. You should get a check-up with your doctor every year. However, the types of screenings and exams that you’ll have may vary from year to year depending on your age and health.

What should I expect during my physical exam?

If it is your first time visiting your doctor, you’ll complete paperwork about your personal and family health history, as well as any medications you may be taking and symptoms you may be having. A nurse or medical assistant may weigh you and check your blood pressure. When the doctor comes into your exam room, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss symptoms and ask any questions you may have. You may then be submitted to a series of tests that screen for diseases or systemic complications. Finally, your doctor may provide lifestyle recommendations for healthy living and also encourage you to update your vaccinations.

Will I need to follow any special instructions following my check-up?

Your doctor may recommend making certain changes to your lifestyle habits following your exam. For example, you may be encouraged to exercise more, eat more healthfully, get more sleep, reduce your stress, or even begin taking certain vitamins, supplements or medications.

Chronic disease is highly prevalent in the U.S. and requires ongoing medical oversight and clinical management. A chronic disease is any condition or illness that persists long-term but for which there is no medical cure. Examples of chronic diseases include diabetes, heart disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Chronic disease management consists of obtaining a definitive diagnosis and creating a treatment plan that will slow progression of the disease and help make symptoms more manageable.

Did you know…

at nearly half of all American adults suffer from at least one chronic disease or illness? Many of those chronic diseases are manageable and even reversible with certain lifestyle changes. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control reports that the modification of certain risk-associated behaviors – such as eating, drinking, exercise, and tobacco use – can help manage, prevent or reverse many chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, lung cancer and liver disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a doctor to manage my chronic disease?

Yes. Some diseases, such as diabetes, require daily monitoring and health management. However, even if you have a chronic disease for which you haven’t experienced symptoms in many months or years, you still need a practitioner who is aware of your health history and the diseases you suffer with.

What should I expect if I am diagnosed with a chronic disease?

If you are diagnosed with a chronic disease, you can expect to build a very close relationship with your doctor, who will be your advocate and greatest partner on your health journey. You may be frequently screened or tested to determine the extent of your disease, and you may be prescribed medications to help suppress symptoms and disease progression on an ongoing basis. You can also expect to check in with your doctor regularly to ensure that the disease is being adequately managed.

Will I need to follow any special instructions between office visits?

Probably. Your doctor may recommend that you not only take your medications as prescribed but also modify certain lifestyle habits to lower your risk of complications stemming from chronic disease.

The thyroid is like the body’s built-in thermostat, producing hormones that regulate its various systems and functions. The hormones released from the thyroid must be in careful balance to prevent symptoms that can affect the quality of life. But sometimes this butterfly-shaped gland falls out of balance, either producing too much or too little thyroid hormone. This condition is known either as hypothyroidism (too little hormone is produced) or hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone is produced. By visiting a thyroid doctor, patients suffering from hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can receive a definitive diagnosis and adopt a plan for managing excess thyroid hormones or deficiencies.

Did you know…

that the symptoms of thyroid disease are often opposite each other, depending on whether a patient is suffering from an underactive or overactive thyroid? Hyperthyroidism, for example, often causes significant weight loss, shakiness, overactive digestion (diarrhea), sleeplessness, and elevated heart rate. On the other hand, hypothyroidism can cause sudden weight gain, lack of energy, underactive digestion (constipation), and fatigue. But when patients are diagnosed with either condition, they can often easily manage their symptoms and condition with prescription medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have some of the symptoms of an overactive or underactive thyroid. Should I see a doctor?

Yes. Leaving a thyroid disorder untreated can allow the disease to progress, resulting in more severe side effects. Some patients may even experience more serious complications, such as infertility or chronic depression.

What should I expect during my thyroid visit?

Your doctor will probably ask you about the types of symptoms you have been experiencing and may examine you for visual signs of thyroid disorder, such as dry skin. You may have lab work done to check the hormone levels of your thyroid before a diagnosis is made.

Will I need to follow any special instructions or behavioral modifications if I am diagnosed with a thyroid disorder?

You may be prescribed medications to help slow your overactive thyroid or supplement hormone deficiencies in your underactive thyroid. Your doctor will discuss your treatment plan at your visit and provide you an opportunity to ask questions about managing your disorder.

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