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A Guide to Annual Physical Exams

Having an annual physical examination for the first time can be a bit nerve-wracking when you don’t know what to expect. The American Medical Association recommends this practice from as far back as 1923. Insurance companies also include APE as a part of their way of screening pre-existing conditions for their clients. Here are some of the things that you can expect out of a hospital visit for your APE:

Your Medical History

This is an excellent time to mention if anything is physically or mentally bothering you to the doctor. Before you start searching out for physicians in Clive, Iowa or elsewhere, you need to collect all the existing medical work done on you and fill out a form detailing individual cases, like allergies and surgical procedures done on you previously. This will serve as a way to benchmark your clean bill of health before administering any additional medical examination or laboratory work.

Your Vital Signs

In any checkup, you usually get these statistics for your vital signs: oxygen levels, heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure. Anything above 130 on your blood pressure reading requires a specific exploration by the doctor as it might mean you need to take some maintenance medication. If there are any irregularities to your vital signs, it will be duly noted on your medical records with that hospital.

Your Overall Appearance

The doctor will also check if you look ill based on your countenance. If they see yellowing skin, something in your eyes, or other symptoms that correlate closely with your vital signs and lab work, it is the perfect time to get started with therapy or medication. He will also use a stethoscope to check your lungs for any unusual sounds. Your throat is also checked with the help of a mouth open wide with a popsicle stick. Your abdomen can also be subject for evaluation, and it can be tapped to see if anything is irregular with your liver.

Male-specific Exams

There are also specific exams in the APE that caters to male bodies. For men, some exams include those for testicles, penis, and prostate. There is also a hernia screening examination for some cases.

Female-specific Exams

Young woman patient with a senior gynecologist

Some of the more specific exams for women include but are not limited to pelvic and breast exams. This will concentrate on problems in the vagina and cervix. Your OB gynecologist might also require a pap smear and HPV.

Routine Lab Work

Male or female, there are routine laboratory tests that screen out big health issues. Some examples of this include CBC or complete blood count, urinalysis, chemistry panel, or screening lipid panel to check cholesterol levels. If you have diabetes risks in your medical history, a fasting blood sugar exam can also be thrown in as additional lab work for you.

Maintaining good health is essential. Annual physical examinations are thorough and can help you achieve that. For medical practitioners and patients, prevention is often better than finding a cure for a complicated issue with your health.

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