Should You Get an Annual Physical?
The answer to this question depends on many factors such as your age, overall health and lifestyle.
If you are an individual who does not have any underlying health problems, with no family history of medical conditions and you live a healthy lifestyle (non-smoker, eat right, exercise), it may not be necessary to have a yearly physical by your family doctor. In fact, some studies have shown that healthy people who have physicals every year are actually draining our health care system and taking up valuable time that could be used for those who are actually ill – not to mention the costs of expensive bloodwork tests. However, the peace of mind that comes with the good results of an annual physical can be very beneficial for some people.
On the flip side, if your overall health is in question, meaning you are over age 65, make poor lifestyle choices or have a chronic illness that needs to be monitored (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.), an annual physical would definitely be recommended. These regular appointments can have a two-fold effect:
- Promote earlier diagnosis of medical problems.
- Allow for a stronger patient/physician relationship to be formed so information about health concerns may be more forthcoming.
The more open you can be with your doctor about your lifestyle, the better your doctor will be equipped to look for signs of illness. So, regardless of how often you see your family doctor, it’s important to be honest about your lifestyle choices like smoking, vaping, drugs, alcohol, sex, depression, diet, exercise, etc.
Of course, if you are experiencing any out-of-the-ordinary health symptoms, schedule an appointment with your family doctor right away. Whether it’s flu-like symptoms, a lump, trouble breathing or anything uncommon, early diagnosis and treatment could protect your health – even save your life.
Westgate Family Physicians are a team of family doctors in Spartanburg, SC, that provide annual exams and physicals for people of all ages (including well child exams). Tests may include blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, EKG, chest x-ray, spirometry (breathing), immunizations and more. If the diagnosis or treatment is out of our scope, we will refer you to a specialist for further testing.
If you would like to schedule a physical exam in Spartanburg, contact us at (864) 574-0070 or click here to make an appointment.