man and doctor having a discussion

Regular health checkups are important, but they are often ignored or put off — sometimes until it’s too late! Annual checkups provide preventative care, and can help guide you towards healthier living in the upcoming year. In today’s post, we’ll look at reasons why annual physicals are important, as well as what to expect during your next checkup.

If you’re ready to schedule your physical today, get in touch with Hill Family Medicine. Our caring team in Bee Cave is ready to help you discover more about yourself, and recommend ways to better care for yourself so that you can get the most out of life.

How Often Should I Get a Physical?

Let’s start with a question we often receive. Do annual physicals really need to be annual? We certainly believe that no matter your age, yearly checkups can be hugely beneficial. Many Americans are living with chronic disease, but they are often unaware of it because a lot of chronic diseases do not show symptoms initially. However, for younger adults — age 18 to about 35 — checkups do not always need to be quite as regular because there is a lower risk for most diseases. From 35 onward, we definitely recommend yearly checkups, as your risk increases from then onward. For all ages, if you have been identified to be at risk for a disease, you feel you could benefit from an extra checkup, or you have troubling symptoms, make sure that your health is getting checked regularly.

The Purpose of Health Exams

Health checkups have three common purposes, and all of them are prevention-based. The goal of yearly checkups is to find symptoms and potential problems before they become real health issues so that you can partake in treatment before lasting damage can be done to your body.

Primary Prevention

The first type of prevention includes treatments and interventions that can completely prevent diseases. This is primarily focused on immunizations for diseases like measles and tetanus. These vaccinations completely prevent dangerous and scary diseases.

Secondary Prevention

The second type of prevention identifies risk factors in your life by checking your blood pressure, cholesterol, performing various cancer screenings, and more. These tests and screenings help to identify abnormal results, which leads to early discovery and intervention measures that aid in preventing serious diseases.

Tertiary Prevention

This final form of preventative care is built to optimize a patient’s health once a disease has already been diagnosed. This can include a management plan to keep a person from having a heart attack once they have established heart disease or defect. We can offer guidance and advice to our patients that are working through troubling times so that they can hopefully live normally, even when they are at risk of future complications.

At Hill Family Medicine, we want to help you identify risk factors for common diseases, detect diseases that have no apparent symptoms, and give our doctors opportunity to grow their relationship with you. That way you feel at home and comfortable with each other, so if there ever are serious issues, you are able to discuss the problems easily. Schedule your own health checkup today, and benefit from preventative care!

What to Expect During a Checkup

During your visit, doctors want to make sure they have an accurate and up-to-date picture of your life. One way to do this is by updating your clinical history. This will be done in your talk with your doctor, and often some info is recorded with paperwork prior to the appointment. The information update includes:

  • Dates and results of prior procedures, if any
  • Updated family disease history to give your professional an idea about common diseases in your family
  • Personal medical history, and any changes since your previous visit
  • Lifestyle practices including recreational drug use, alcohol consumption, smoking, exercise, and sexual habits
  • Information about normal body functions like eating, sleeping, vision, and hearing

Your healthcare professional will use this information to analyze any abnormalities or risks in your health or lifestyle and suggest new ways to promote everyday healthy living, so that you can experience life to its fullest for many years to come. Preventative care is extremely important to us, because we want to identify your health problems before they can even begin working in your life. A little bit of care today can save you a lot of time and money in the future.

Procedures Your Doctor May Use at Your Checkup

There are several common tests and procedures doctors will use during annual physicals to determine your baseline for health, and recommendations for future care.

Your healthcare professional will run some screening tests for early detection of diseases like blood pressure readings and laboratory tests. These tests help to identify the possibilities of future complications, and allow you to take preventative measures in your lifestyle or through medical care to keep you healthy.

If you are behind on immunization shots like tetanus boosters, flu shots, and others, a yearly checkup will keep you up-to-date so that you can avoid many common or dangerous diseases.

Depending on your conditions or symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medication, or suggest over-the-counter options to keep disease and health issues at bay.

During your time with your doctor, he or she will give a little bit of counseling and guidance for healthy living. This can include doctors suggesting a patient to stop smoking, safe sex practices, and pre-pregnancy advice. If you have any serious health issues, your doctor will also discuss plans for action and further prevention or treatment goals.

As you can see, getting a yearly physical is very beneficial so that you are able to take control of your health. Preventative care is usually fast, and can greatly impact and improve your day-to-day living. Call the healthcare staff at Hill Family Medicine in Bee Cave today to set up your own physical wellness checkup, and get more proactive about your health! We want you to experience healthy and happy living for many years to come, and we look forward to joining with you to make a long and healthy life a reality.