Initially, people visited doctors only when they were not feeling well. However, today, you can book an appointment anytime with your doctor for random checkups, even if you aren’t sick. Your doctor will perform various tests and screenings to evaluate potential diseases during your visit. With this, they can detect any problems that may become serious medical concerns, and you can obtain early medications.
Regular checkups also enable you to update your immunizations and maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. You can book an appointment earlier with your doctor or healthcare provider. However, if you can’t reach the hospital, book an appointment with community healthcare partners here at communityhcp.com and obtain primary care visits that work for you.
With that in mind, here’s a comprehensive guide to routine medical examinations:
What Medical Examinations Entail
Your doctor can perform the following examinations during your visit:
1. Physical Examination
Here, your doctor will check your appearance for potential issues. They’ll examine your body’s parts that may visually signal health problems. This way, they can detect diseases and identify risks, enhance prognosis, and prevent permanent damage like blindness. Your doctor can review the following body parts:
- Eyes: You can usually feel the signs and symptoms when you get sick. However, for eye health, you may find it hard to detect any symptoms. With regular checkups, your doctor will thoroughly examine and inspect you for any diseases you may be suffering from. For instance, they may check for diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, which are common causes of blindness. Eventually, this will prevent you from losing your vision.
- Chest: A chest examination is a vital element of respiratory system evaluation. It allows doctors to identify breathing issues, lung issues, and disorders. Your doctor will assess the quality of the breath sounds and the duration of the expiratory phase. This way, they can discover airway obstruction and obtain a better diagnosis.
- Head: Your doctor can visually examine your head for signs of injuries. They may check for swelling, redness, discharge, etc.
- Abdomen: Abdominal examinations enable doctors to determine the size of your abdominal organs and check for injuries and diseases in those organs. Additionally, your doctor may examine the surface and movement of your abdomen to decide if there’s any issue.
- Musculoskeletal system examination: Your soft tissues, muscles, and bones require sufficient blood flow. Your doctor may examine your hands and wrists to determine if they’re healthy and identify any problems.
- Integumentary system examination: Your doctor can examine your skin for various skin diseases, such as skin cancer, and prescribe early medication. On the other hand, they may diagnose your hair for issues like alopecia areata and nails for onychogryphosis. This condition makes your nails grow, lengthen, harden, thicken, and curve.
Some physical exams can reveal underlying issues in various parts of your body. When doctors examine your body, they can quickly identify the root causes of the changes in your hair, nails, and skin.
2. Laboratory Tests
Laboratory tests include drawing blood from your system for various examinations. Your doctor may perform a complete blood count (CBC) or metabolic panel. CBC helps doctors look at your health and diagnose conditions like leukemia, infection, and anemia. During CBC testing, your doctor can measure the following:
- Hemoglobin: This has iron, which enables it to collect oxygen from the air you breathe and transport it to the rest of your body. Typically, a hemoglobin test checks for anemia, in which your body contains fewer red blood cells than usual. With anemia, the cells in your body may not obtain all the oxygen they require.
- White blood cells: Your doctor will carry out a white blood count (WBC) to establish if the total number of your white blood cells is within the required range. A high WBC can indicate disorders like autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. These conditions result in your immune system attacking healthy tissues. Alternatively, a low WBC signifies leukopenia.
- Platelets: The primary role of platelets is to prevent bleeding. When your blood vessels are injured, your body sends signals to the platelets, causing them to move to the damaged area. Once there, platelets form a clot that stops bleeding. However, your platelets may sometimes not function well, leading to too much bleeding or clotting. For this reason, your doctor may perform a platelet count to monitor and identify conditions that cause your blood’s inability to clot or over-clot.
- Red blood cells: Like hemoglobin testing, a red blood cell (RBC) count enables doctors to diagnose red blood cell conditions like anemia, in which your body doesn’t manufacture adequate healthy red blood cells.
A CBC helps doctors monitor and diagnose drastic changes in your cell counts. These changes can indicate medical conditions that require further testing.
Benefits Of Having Routine Medical Examinations
Regularly visiting your doctor for medical checkups substantially benefits your well-being and overall health. Some top advantages include the following:
1. Reduces Your Risk Of Getting Sick
Routine medical examinations allow your doctor to diagnose life-threatening diseases earlier. They perform various tests to check your current health conditions and identify any risks to your health. Doctors who detect issues early can prevent them before they worsen by providing proper medical care. This way, you won’t get ill quickly, as early medications can stop the effects from negatively impacting your health.
2. Allows You To Be More Aware Of Your Health
The results from your medical examinations can direct you on what to do to lead a healthier lifestyle. Based on your medical history, age, family history, or health condition, your doctor can warn you against various habits that can affect your health. For instance, if any of your family members have diabetes and they find protein in your urine, your doctor can advise you to change your lifestyle as you may have a high risk of developing diabetes.
3. Minimizes Healthcare Costs
Treating a disease in its early stages is easier and more cost-effective than in advanced settings. Routine medical examinations enable doctors to diagnose various conditions earlier and enroll you in early treatment. That way, you can avoid being admitted to a hospital or undergoing surgery or other advanced treatments that can break your bank and drain you financially.
4. You Can Undergo Blood Test
Routine blood testing is among the most crucial ways to monitor your overall health. It lets you see how your body changes with time and enables you to make more enlightened decisions about your health. Some standard blood tests include the following:
- Sexually transmitted infection tests: Various sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be identified through blood and urine samples and swabs of contaminated tissue. Some STIs that can be diagnosed this way include HIV, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, etc.
- C-reactive protein (CRP) test: Your liver creates CRP when your body’s tissues are inflamed. Higher CRP levels signify inflammation from various conditions like cancer, bacterial or viral infection, inflammation associated with diabetes, etc.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) sulfate serum test: A Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) sulfate serum test measures the amount of DHEA sulfate in the blood, a hormone adrenal glands produce. The test helps assess adrenal function and diagnose conditions such as adrenal cancer, Addison’s disease, or adrenal hyperplasia, providing valuable insight into hormone-related health problems.
- Basic metabolic panel (BMP): This examines the levels of sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, etc.
- Comprehensive metabolic panel: Measures all factors in BMP together with extra proteins and matters related to liver function, like bilirubin, total protein, albumin, etc.
Blood tests reduce the risks of several diseases related to blood and situations integrated into your bloodstream.
5. Unveils Stress-Related Issues
Sometimes, things may not work as expected, increasing your stress levels. Increased stress levels can lead to various physical and mental issues, including diabetes, mental disorders, hypertension, high blood pressure, etc. With regular medical checkups, your doctor can quickly diagnose these issues before they become serious.
6. Increases The Chances Of Obtaining Better Treatment And Cure
Some deadly diseases can slowly accumulate in your body before physical symptoms show. With an early diagnosis, you have a higher chance of obtaining the appropriate medications quickly. Additionally, you can acquire various treatment options that can accelerate your recovery process.
7. Boosts Your Overall Health
Your healthcare provider will encourage you to be more active and advise you on your actions to remain healthy. For instance, they may suggest various exercises you can perform to boost your physical and mental health. That way, you can improve your health and quality of life.
How To Prepare For Medical Examination
Preparing well before your checkup appointment allows your healthcare provider to complete this process faster and lets you obtain satisfactory results and solutions to any concerns you may be having. That said, here’s how to prepare for your medical examination:
1. Examine Your Medical History
Your doctor may want to know your medical history before diagnosing any health issue. Therefore, list all previous health issues you experienced to avoid forgetting any condition and provide accurate information.
2. Know Your Family History
Some medical conditions, like heart disease, cancer, stroke, etc., can result from genetic factors. Therefore, examine your family history before your appointment to give your doctor a complete picture of your health and let them know the conditions you’re highly susceptible to.
3. List Down Questions Or Concerns You May Have
During a medical examination, you have the full attention of your healthcare provider. Therefore, this makes it an ideal time to ask questions and voice concerns about your health. You can ask about drastic weight gain or loss, sleeping issues, stress, etc.
Routine medical examinations offer numerous benefits for your health. It allows doctors to detect potential health issues early, enabling you to obtain the correct treatment promptly and avoiding further complications. Therefore, don’t wait until you’re sick to visit your doctor. Book an appointment any day at least twice a year, track the changes occurring with time, and know your health condition. That way, you can live a healthier and longer life.