Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"What does a annual physical consist of?"
I'm am 40yr old male.
First, good for you in making sure to get an annual physical examination, and for taking part in preventative health rather than waiting until you are sick. There are many benefits to this, including the ability to head off many of commonly encountered chronic diseases that are silent until they have already affected your body (such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc). The annual physical exam consists of many parts.
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One of the most important is a complete medical and family history, in which you will answer a series of questions about your medical past, health habits, and any symptoms that might be bothering you. These then become the fuel of the rest of the conversation and testing. The physical exam portion will include listening to your heart, lungs, and abdomen, as well as a general review of your skin, ears, mouth, and eyesight. The doctor will also press on your belly to see if there are any masses or anything else unusual. The lab and testing portion will include checking your vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate, etc, and also some common tests (assuming these have not been done too recently) for your cholesterol and possibly blood sugar. Other tests might be indicated depending on your answers to the physician up to this point. Good luck, and good for you!
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