The Importance of Regular Physical Exams

Having an annual physical exam is an important part of maintaining your overall health and it provides your doctor with critical information about your health so you can get the best guidance and care as you age. Our medical needs change over time and it is easier to catch these sometimes subtle but significant changes during regular annual exams. If you are looking for a great internist in Los Angeles, then check out Dr. Gura and his team today. And read on to learn why a regular physical exam is so important.

What to Expect

Health history is an important key in annual exams. With Dr. Gura, physical exams begin with a complete personal and family medical history to look for risk factors for diseases, as well as review any symptoms you might have. Patients are also asked to provide a list of all current medications, including pain relivers, vitamins and supplements that are taken on a regular basis.

There will also be a check of your basic vital signs including blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and temperature. There is also a check of your eyes, ears, nose, throat, belly, lungs and heart. Typically, blood work and a urinalysis are ordered, and additional tests or evaluations might be performed depending on the patient’s specific needs. At the end of the exam, patients will walk away with medical guidance aimed at addressing any existing medical issues and advice to lead a healthier life.

For men, additional checks include a testicular exam, hernia exam, penis and prostate exams to look for any sensitivities, changes, lumps or other issues. For women, additional checks include a breast and pelvic exam to screen for lumps, cervical cancer or other abnormalities. Patients can also expect to have their cholesterol checked and their blood sugar if they are overweight.

How to Prepare

When you schedule your exam, your doctor may order blood work. It’s important to have these types of tests completed at least a week or so before your appointment to make sure the results are available for review and discussion during your exam. You should also be prepared with a list of any medications or supplements you are taking, as well as a working knowledge of your personal and family medical history so your doctor can identify any risk factors or additional screenings that may need to be performed.

There are certain tests that will kick in as we age. For example, at age 50, it is time to get regular screenings for colorectal cancer. Women from 40 to 44 years of age should get their first mammogram screening for breast cancer. Women from 45-54 years of age should be screened every year. Once women reach 55 or older, they should get exams every two years.

Internist in Los Angeles

The bottom line is that prevention is the best medicine. Use these exams to work with your doctor to develop a care plan that involves establishing healthy behaviors like regular exercise, healthy eating, and no smoking. This can help patients maintain their blood sugar, blood pressure, weight and overall cardiovascular health.

If you are looking for a great doctor, Dr. Gura is a world-renowned, board-certified nephrologist and internist in Los Angeles. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases and dialysis technology. Dr. Gura offers treatment options for diabetes, high blood pressure, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal disease and proteinuria. Book your consultation with Dr. Gura today and you will see why he is the best internist in Los Angeles.