What to Expect During Your Annual Exam

Even if you feel fine, an annual checkup is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Annual exams are an important part of your health care. From receiving vaccines to monitoring for any potential red flags, annual exams make sure you’re on the right track. 

Here at Family First Wellness, Samantha Lindsay, MD, offers annual exams for the littlest members of your family up to the senior members. 

In this blog, we explore the importance of annual exams and what you can expect during your appointment.

What your annual exam entails

Are you wondering what to expect during your annual exam? Here are six components of this important health exam.

Health history

During your annual exam, we ask you to share your health history. This includes your personal health history as well as your family health history. 

Your family history can help pinpoint any diseases that may run in your family and can shed light on your risk for strokes, heart disease, and even certain cancers. 

Concerning symptoms and bothersome issues

You have an opportunity to share any concerning symptoms you’ve developed since your last exam. Don’t hold back. Symptoms can be clues to your overall health. Extreme thirst, for instance, can be a sign of diabetes

Other symptoms worth discussing include any aches or pains, intense snoring, sudden weight gain, headaches, and coughing, just to name a few.

Vitals check

We also check your vital signs during your exam. Vital signs measure your vital body functions. This includes checking your:

We also record your height and weight. This is important information for the short term (checking for immediate problems), but it can also provide insight throughout the years. 

Each year, we record your vitals, which reveal trends. If your blood pressure slowly increases each year, it may be an indication that it’s time to focus on heart-friendly habits.

Physical exam

The physical exam includes listening to your heart and lungs, feeling your abdomen, and examining your head and neck. 

During your exam, Dr. Lindsay looks for any signs of lung disease (like wheezing or crackling noises) or heart disease. She may also examine your thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland that sits on the front of your neck.

Laboratory tests

Lab work is useful for diagnosing conditions like high cholesterol or confirming conditions like diabetes. There are many different types of laboratory tests, including:

Not everyone needs every type of laboratory test. Depending on your specific health history and  symptoms, you may only need one test. A complete blood count is often used to establish a baseline.

Helping you make healthy lifestyle changes

Annual exams allow for early detection of diseases or conditions, but they also enable you to receive preventive care to prevent those conditions from occurring. 

For example, if your blood pressure is elevated, but not high enough to be hypertension, preventive care can help you avoid high blood pressure. 

Dr. Lindsay recommends the right lifestyle changes for you. Whether you’re at risk for hypertension or diabetes, she can help you focus on the healthy changes you need.

Scheduling your annual exam

When it comes to your health care, treat or manage conditions as soon as you spot the initial symptoms. At Family First Wellness, we want to help you detect (and treat) small problems before they escalate, and annual exams help us do that. 

If you are due for an annual exam, request an appointment by calling our Lutz, Florida, office or by visiting our website to book online.

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