Like any complex machine, your body requires regular maintenance. That’s why you brush your teeth, exercise, and eat a nutritious diet. But if you think that’s enough to keep you healthy long term, you’re mistaken. The human body is resilient and can overcome many illnesses and injuries, but nothing beats prevention and early detection.
Dr. Timothy Scott Beck at Life Point Medical in Clayton, Georgia, offers a comprehensive annual wellness exam that can help you keep tabs on your health and get a jump on any issue that might occur. He understands your busy life and respects your time with an efficient, yet thorough, physical. Here’s what he’s looking for.
What’s normal for you
Dr. Beck starts by examining you all over from head to toe to establish a baseline. Every human is different, and while there are acceptable ranges, what’s normal for you might not be normal for the next person. So we take measurements of your vital signs and other important health information, such as:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Bowel sounds
- Lung function
- Blood analysis
- Body weight
We also ask you questions about medications and supplements you may be taking, how often you exercise, whether you smoke, your family medical history, and any physical or mental concerns you have. This information gives Dr. Beck a great measuring tool for the next time you come to see him, as change is often an indicator of a health issue.
Early warning signs of health problems
Medical problems don’t always announce themselves with a big flashy sign that says: You’re sick! But they often do come with silent signs that you might not even notice — but Dr. Beck will. Medical conditions from simple indigestion to cancer may present early warning signs that, if caught early, can help you treat them fast and avoid complications. Here are a few of the many symptoms Dr. Beck may look for:
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Swollen gums
- Chronic coughing
- Memory loss
- Sexual dysfunction
- Numbness or tingling
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or have noticed anything else out of the ordinary, mention it to Dr. Beck so he can determine whether they’re warning signs of something more significant.
Risk factors for health problems
Some medical conditions are more likely under certain circumstances. These are called risk factors, and if you have any of them, you and Dr. Beck can be better prepared for the warning signs, and in some cases, take preventive measures to keep you safe and healthy. Here are a few of the risk factors to watch for:
Being overweight can put you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, joint problems like osteoarthritis, liver problems, sleep apnea, and cancer.
Anxiety and stress can lead to depression, chest pain, high blood pressure, headaches, digestive problems, sleep disorders, and sexual dysfunction.
Some risk factors are passed along in families and increase your chance of conditions such as: diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, and other serious medical issues.
The choices you make every day can affect your health over time. Some of the most dangerous habits include: sedentary lifestyle, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, poor diet, unsafe sex, unprotected sun exposure, and being unvaccinated.
After his wellness exam, Dr. Beck can let you know if there are any preventive measures you can take given your unique health history and current status. One of the primary ways to protect yourself from certain diseases is to make sure your immunizations are up to date. A simple vaccination can keep you and those around you safe from major communicable diseases.
Other ways to ward off the worst of potential health problems include maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced, nutritious diet. Physical exercise and good posture also go a long way in your efforts to stay healthy. Similarly, keeping your brain functioning well may include reducing your stress levels and monitoring your memory and cognitive skills. The stronger your body and mind are, the more resilient they are.
When you consider the time, money, and pain a major illness will cost you, you’ll understand the value of annual wellness exams. They’re your best defense against potential medical problems, opportunities to take control of your body and your life.
If you haven’t had a physical in a while, give us a call or use the online tool to schedule your wellness exam with Dr. Beck today. Your future self will thank you.