Let’s face it, almost no one looks forward to a visit to the doctor unless we are sick and have no choice! But it’s high time that we change that attitude and welcome our annual well checkup as a prime tool to keep us at our healthiest level ever! Annual health check-ups not only provide motivation to live a healthy lifestyle, but they can be instrumental for early detection and treatment of any problem allowing you to take action before it becomes a serious disease or health issue. Addressing yellow flags of caution during your annual checkup can be key to preventing those issues from becoming major health concerns!
In today’s non-stop society, our bodies are consistently under stress, which makes it more difficult to fight off illnesses. Combine this with a fast food diet, nutrient deficiencies, little exercise and lack of sleep and you can easily have a recipe for disaster! Our bodies are being attacked on multiple fronts – polluted air, poor foods, inactivity and stressful lifestyles. All of these factors combined play a major role in compromising your overall health.
The annual check-up of the past was more basic, consisting of physical exams and certain lab work. They were by no means comprehensive in nature, which increased the chances of possibly missing potential early warning signs. For instance, mammograms and colonoscopies are only recommended to individuals of a certain age. Today your family practice doctor looks for any clue that signal a problem, addresses it, and recommends additional follow up with a specialist if need be. Many doctors today go above and beyond the general health assessment and provide advanced services such as such as allergy testing, cancer screening, hormone therapy, testosterone replacement and many other advanced testing programs. Their goal is to help you achieve your best level of overall health!
Here are a few things that are generally assessed during your annual checkup:
-Review of Systems, including listening to heart sounds, lung sounds, bowel sounds, reflexes, checking eyes, ears, nasal passages, mouth, throat, skin and assessing general appearance and affect. Your doctor will check your neurological system by testing your muscle strength, nerve response, balance and mental state. Depending on your age and gender, your doctor might recommend a prostate exam, annual Pap smear and breast exam, mammogram as well as a baseline colonoscopy. Don’t be shy to address any concerns you might have regarding sex, birth control or the possibility of sexually transmitted disease. This is your opportunity to mention anything that may be troubling you such as any symptom, problem or even an emotional situation or unusual stress that you might be experiencing. Your doctor is someone you can trust and confide in and will give you sound, medical advice and options to choose from or recommend another medical professional if need.
General blood work will be done such as CBC, glucose level, etc. A routine urinalysis may be done. Your doctor wants to get a clear picture of anything that might be affecting your health, both positively and negatively so don’t be surprised if they ask you about your health habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, recreational drug use, diet, exercise and sleep habits. Their intent is not to pry into your business, but to get a clear picture of your health habits so they can assist you in making positive lifestyle changes that will help you achieve the healthiest lifestyle possible!
When setting up your annual checkup, it’s important to choose a doctor that you feel comfortable with. Dr. William Cheatham in Pompano Beach is such a doctor! Affectionately known as “The People’s Choice” Family Doctor, Dr. Cheatham mixes his unique blend of medical savvy with genuine concern for his patients and comes up with a winning combination! Patients actually look forward to their annual checkup and know that they’re in good hands with Dr. C! Take charge of your health today by calling 954-364-3673 and scheduling your checkup. You’ll be glad you did!