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  • Writer's pictureiCare Health Services

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Annual Physical Exam

The biggest killers in the United States, heart disease and diabetes, don’t show any symptoms until a lot of the damage is already done. Learn more about how an annual physical can prolong your lifespan and increase life quality.About 1 in 5 deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease, a condition that’s largely preventable when caught early.  Unfortunately, heart disease — much like the second biggest killer in the US, diabetes — often doesn’t cause any symptoms in its early stages. The only way someone can be certain that they’re free of heart disease or diabetes is by having tests done regularly.  Below, we asked our experts at iCare Health Services in Laurel, Maryland, to explain why annual physicals are so important, as well as who can benefit from them.  Preventing diseases and catching viruses early on  Adults may also benefit from getting their immunizations up to date and getting tested for STDs if they’re sexually active. Sexually active adults with multiple partners are advised to get tested every year.  Sexually active women can also benefit from testing for cervical cancer by having pap smears. You don’t need to get a pap smear every year, but you can include it in your annual physical exam if you haven’t had one in three years.  Managing the symptoms associated with aging Not everyone benefits from hormone replacement therapy. However, if you’re a woman or a man past the age of 50 and experience upsetting symptoms, getting tested and having your hormones optimized can bring some relief.  Symptoms associated with a drop in hormones with aging include loss of muscle mass, loss of skin elasticity, hair loss, and mood swings.  Managing chronic conditions and medication If you’re suffering from a chronic condition, the dosage or the type of medication you take is likely to change over time. An annual physical is a great way to determine if the medication you’re taking is doing a good job at keeping you safe.  Learn more about your annual physical  During an annual physical, our providers will check the following:

  • Blood pressure and pulse 

  • Lungs and heart 

  • Head, neck, and abdominal area

  • Reflexes

  • Skin

Depending on your age, risk factors, and medical history, you may also have your blood or stool tested.  If you complain about tiredness and mental fog during your annual exam, and you show signs of nutritional deficiencies, our providers can also offer IV therapy, which is a quick way to deliver all the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that your body needs, straight to your bloodstream, with immediate results.  Get peace of mind by scheduling an appointment with us so you can prevent or better manage pre-existing conditions.

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