Prevention is always better than cure. And that’s why routine checkups are essential. Regularly assessing your risk factors for several health conditions, screening for diseases like cancer, and evaluating your lifestyle helps you remain healthy as you decrease the risk of life-threatening diseases.
Read below to know more about the importance of routine checkups with your physician, how often you should visit them, and ways to prepare.
Routine Checkups for Adults
The frequency of regular checkups is based on risk factors, health status, and age.
While there might be different opinions about this, your doctor will generally recommend the following routine checkups:
- Once in three years if under the age of 50 and without health problems.
- Once a year for 50 years old above.
If the patient has a chronic disease like COPD or diabetes, seeing the doctor more often is recommended, regardless of age.
The doctor can even recommend more or less time on your checkups established from screening test results, overall health status, and risk factors.
The Benefits of Regular Checkups
Routine checkups with your trusted doctor are beneficial in many ways. Here are some of the benefits to take note of:
- Determining health issues that can lead to life-threatening situations
- Early treatment of medical conditions, increasing the odds of a successful output.
- Regular observation of existing health problems, lowering the risk of worsening symptoms or complications.
- Staying updated with screening tests and vaccines.
- Limiting expensive costs related to treating severe health conditions that aren’t diagnosed early.
- Building an honest relationship with your healthcare provider.
- Learning new methods to live a healthier and longer life, which significantly improves your general health.
During the routine checkup, the doctor will review the patients’ health history, evaluate their health status, and recommend screening tests.
In addition, during the physical exam, the nurse will most likely take you to a private room to check your blood pressure and ask about any small and significant changes in your medication, symptoms, or allergies. They will also check your vital signs, health history, and lifestyle habits. After this, you will meet the doctor.
The doctor will then examine your body for marks or unusual growths. He will feel your abdomen, listen to your heart, intestines, and lungs through a stethoscope. Depending on the patient’s age, doctors also recommend specific exams and screenings.
For both men and women, regular adult checkups would most likely include:
- Medical history
- Family health history, if needed
- Allergies and current medication
- Screening list and vaccination history
Both genders are mainly screened for the following:
- High blood pressure
- Tobacco use
- Drug and alcohol misuse
- AIDS and HIV
- Type 2 diabetes
- Hepatitis C
Women have additional screenings, which include:
- Violence screening
- Breast cancer screening for ages 50 to 74
- Cervical cancer
- High cholesterol
For men, the additional screening tests would be:
- Prostate exam
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
- High cholesterol screening
Routine checkups don’t usually last long, so you can make time for it despite being busy at work. And don’t worry about delays and interruptions as most health facilities have custom-built UPS for research centers, allowing them to provide results in a few weeks or days.
Preparing for Routine Checkups
Here are some tips to prepare for your routine physical exam.
First of all, if you’re meeting a new healthcare provider, collect all your medical information, including your vaccination history, insurance card, and old records. Make sure to bring these documents with you to your appointment. If you’re uncertain about your previous vaccinations, the doctor can suggest a blood test to check for antibodies.
But if it’s not your first visit, list down the changes in your surgical or medical histories (if there’s any) since your last appointment.
Furthermore, ensure that your list of medications is updated. Don’t forget to list down your supplements, herbal remedies, vitamins, and over-the-counter medications. Make a copy of your prescription too. Your doctor might request to see it during the checkup.
Inform your doctor if you have developed new allergies, medication reactions, or symptoms. Lastly, let the clinic know if you have specific needs like a wheelchair, an interpreter, or anything to make the checkup smoothly.
In conclusion, it’s vital to be aware of your health, and the best way to do so is by getting routine checkups. It can help you boost your health and decrease the risk of getting ill.
As mentioned, the frequency of your routine checkup will vary on different elements- age, health status, and risk factors. People have various opinions, but regular checkups are essential for everyone, especially adults over 50.
If you have health conditions, you might need to see a doctor more often, no matter how young or old you might be.