Posts Tagged ‘Health’

When Should I Get My Next Physical Exam?

July 12, 2010

Many years ago a very good female friend of mine informed me that she hadn’t been to her gynecologist in years for a check up because she was afraid to be weighed. I almost fell off of my chair. This woman is someone who is very lean and works out quite a bit. In fact her appearance is of someone who could use to gain a few pounds.

When I turned 40 I began to have annual physical exams. It was because of a routine blood test that it was found that I had an elevated enzyme count that then led to the finding of a “pre-existing” condition that now has to be monitored every 6 months. I’m fine and if anything I’m in better shape now than I was 20 yrs ago.

What is bothersome is that I know that there are a lot of people out there like my friend who are not being checked for frivolous reasons.

The Penn State Hershey Medical Center states that the purpose of regular physical exams include

  • Screen for diseases
  • Assess risk of future medical problems
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle
  • Update vaccinations

It is recommended that everyone has two physical exams in their 20’s. For women a complete breast exam should be done every 3 years between the ages of 20-40. And pelvic exams and pap smears should be done every 1-2 years.

In our 40’s it is recommended that we have physicals every 1 to 5 years depending on what your doctor recommends and what the previous findings were. For women breast exams should be done annually.

And after the age of 65 even more extensive testing should take place.

There are many “silent killers” out there, diagnosis that you might have but don’t realize until they rear their ugly heads and then it may be too late.

So, how about you? When was the last time you were in your doctor’s office for a check up? if you haven’t been to your doctor in too many years, pick up the phone. If not for you, how about for those that are depending on you to live a healthy and fulfilled life.

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