You change the oil in your car, check the air in the tires, and make sure there’s water in the radiator to keep it running smoothly. This regular maintenance helps you avoid breakdowns that leave you stranded on the side of the road and end up costing a lot of time and money.
That’s the concept behind the annual physical. It’s a maintenance appointment that checks for irregularities and warning signs.
Here at Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care in Woodstock, Georgia, Dr. James Lee encourages our patients to take their annual physical exam as seriously as he does. Here’s why it’s so important.
Establishing a baseline
One of the primary goals of the annual physical — especially your first one — is to establish a baseline of your overall health. Starting with your personal medical history and your family’s medical history, Dr. Lee begins to build the foundation of your unique physical system and attributes.
He also discusses your lifestyle with you: how much you exercise, the quality of your sleep, whether you smoke or drink alcohol, whether you’re sexually active, and (for women) the regularity of menstruation.
During your exam, he also gathers basic physical information, such as your height, weight, heart rate, lung sounds, blood pressure, and temperature, as well blood and urine analyses. All of these measurements allow Dr. Lee to establish a norm for your body.
Because change is often an indicator that something is wrong or about to go wrong, knowing what’s normal for you helps him track changes every time he sees you, which may allow him to identify and stop problems before they get serious, like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, for example.
Many diseases, if caught early, can be treated or stopped. That's where screenings come in. Before you see or feel symptoms, health screenings detect certain illnesses and allow Dr. Lee to intervene early. We can screen for:
- Certain cancers
- High cholesterol
- Sexually transmitted diseases
These tests may come back negative, which gives you peace of mind and further establishes the full picture of your health, or you may find out you need medication or lifestyle changes to nip a potential medical condition in the bud.
To avoid serious illness, it’s important to make sure your vaccinations are up to date. Many people mistakenly believe that vaccinations are for children, and you no longer need them as an adult, but that’s not true. Here are some of the shots grown-ups need:
- Hepatitis A and B
Some of these are annual vaccinations and others are one-time shots, but if you haven’t had them, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to serious diseases and illnesses.
Hormones play a critical role in all of your bodily functions. When they surge or wane as they do during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and old age, you experience physical and emotional symptoms.
Dr. Lee specializes in balancing your hormones with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, a natural version of hormones that safely returns your body back to balance.
All types of physical exams
Dr. Lee doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all physical. That’s why he offers specific exams for men, women, and children, and also performs specialized exams for school and work requirements, Department of Transportation employees, and sports teams.
With each annual exam and in-between visit, Dr. Lee gets to know you and your body better. And just like your favorite mechanic who knows your car inside and out, Dr. Lee becomes your personal health specialist.
If it’s been a while since you’ve had an annual physical exam, this is the time to get it back on your calendar. Book an appointment with us today online or by phone, and make 2021 the year of taking a proactive approach to your health.