An annual physical exam might be something you often put off, but it’s an essential part of maintaining your health and well-being. Don’t just see the doctor when you have a serious problem. Maintain good health by coming in for regular maintenance. Internal medicine specialist, Dr. Vijay Patel, listens to any concerns you might have and helps identify possible problems before they become serious. Schedule your physical by calling his office in either Perth Amboy, New Jersey or in Old Bridge, New Jersey, or by using the online booking option.
Physical Exams Q & A
Why do I need an annual physical?
An annual physical exam serves several purposes. It’s a time that you can discuss any health concerns you’re having with Dr. Patel – whether that be pain symptoms, fatigue, nutritional issues, or allergies. Dr. Patel also has a chance to examine your appearance and many of the markers that indicate good health. He can catch concerns, such as high glucose levels or high blood sugar that may not necessarily show outward symptoms, but indicate you’re at risk of developing a chronic disease. He can then help you make lifestyle changes that can put you on a healthier track, rather than having to resort to medication or invasive treatments.
What tests happen at an annual physical?
Dr. Patel reviews your medical history and asks if you’ve had any changes since the last exam. His staff checks your pulse, blood pressure, respiration rate, and temperature. He may order blood tests, such as your blood sugar levels, a chemical panel, and cholesterol, as well as a complete blood count to check for underlying disorders such as pre-diabetes or diabetes, high triglycerides, or anemia. He may also order a urinalysis.
He’ll also listen to your heart and lungs, and exam your head, neck, and abdomen. These help him identify any abnormalities in your glands or organs that might indicate an issue, such as hypothyroidism or digestive concerns.
Do I still need a physical exam, even if I feel perfectly healthy?
A physical exam can keep you feeling healthy long into the future. Reminders from Dr. Patel about healthy living help prevent illness far better than drugs and medical treatments. These strategies include:
- Getting regular physical exercise — at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity most days is sufficient
- Eating a healthy diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Keeping on top of necessary screenings, including colonoscopies starting at age 50 and mammograms for women older than 40 or 45
- Quitting smoking
Plus, remember that many chronic diseases, including heart disease and high blood pressure, don’t always have outward symptoms until they’ve progressed to very serious levels.