A physical exam is a comprehensive look at various parts of the body. It may involve feeling for lumps, looking for growths and lesions, checking your pulse, and listening to your heartbeat.
During a physical, you can expect the following tests:
- Height and weight measurement
- Blood pressure measurement
- Reflex examination
If you have an underlying condition such as diabetes, you may also have your blood sugar tested or undergo other tests linked to your condition.
Early detection improves life quality and can potentially save your life. Many conditions such as hypertension and diabetes are silent killers. In their early stages, they often don’t present any symptoms, as it takes years for the damage to become noticeable.
Below, we asked our experts at Casa de Salud to explain the current guidelines for physicals and how often you should get them.
Physicals for children of school age
Physicals for children are usually recommended annually, as most children need them if they engage in sports.
Physicals for children often include checking their vitals. They also include checking their ears, throat, and nose, and their spine and eyes.
In addition, our specialists may check to see if your child’s immunizations are up to date and if your child needs any prescription refills.
Physicals for healthy adults
Under the age of 50, adults who aren’t overweight, don’t smoke, and don’t take any medications are recommended to get a physical every other year. If you’re sexually active and have multiple partners, you may need STD screening at least once a year.
Adults 50 and above may benefit from a yearly physical. At this age, most people see their metabolism slow down. Also, women tend to experience symptoms associated with menopause, and men experience symptoms associated with low testosterone.
Physicals for adults with underlying conditions
If you suffer from a chronic disease such as fatty liver disease or heart disease, our experts may recommend annual checkups along with tests. Over time, you may need to tweak your treatment regimen.
Adults who are obese may also need yearly physicals, as obesity increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, sleep apnea, and gallbladder disease.
Find out if you or your loved one can benefit from a physical
Each individual is unique, and the best way to find out if you can benefit from additional tests and an exam is by scheduling an appointment with us at one of our Los Angeles, California, offices. Our specialists will look at your medical history, your lifestyle, and other risk factors to determine how often you need a physical and what the physical should entail.