Why You Don’t Want to Skip Your Annual Exam

You’re feeling pretty good, you haven’t had any recent health problems, and you’ve never been diagnosed with a chronic disease. Is it really that important to make time for an annual physical or wellness exam?

The answer, of course, is yes. Just like infants, children, and adolescents, adults benefit from having routine checkups at every age. This includes people who feel well, stay in shape, and don’t have any obvious health complaints.

As a physician who practices integrative medicine, Anita Petruzzelli, MD, knows firsthand that good health isn’t an abstract concept — it’s a definitive practice built on individual awareness, expert guidance, and lifelong commitment. 

Having an annual exam is an indispensable part of that practice, and one you should never skip. Here are a few good reasons to schedule your next checkup at BodyLogicMD of Hartford today:

You get to know your ‘health baseline’

One of the most valuable advantages of having an annual exam is the insight that it provides to both you and your physician. It’s a bit like taking a comprehensive snapshot of your health that you can compare to previous years’ checkups. 

Beginning with your first physical, your annual exams help you get to know your unique “health baseline.” Establishing your baseline is key for identifying worrisome trends early on, before they become serious risk factors for chronic illness. 

As an example, your blood pressure is a basic but highly important part of your health that Dr. Petruzzelli monitors and measures each time you visit. By simply watching out for concerning changes in your blood pressure, you’re more likely to catch a problem before it progresses. 

You can stay on top of preventive screenings

When it comes to safeguarding your long-term health, remember: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

As the threshold of preventive care, your annual exam aims to keep you healthy by meeting you where you’re at. Each physical is tailored to your current needs based on your present health status, medical and family history, lifestyle, and the checkup guidelines for your age and gender.

You may be due for routine immunizations like your annual flu shot, a tetanus booster, or a shingles vaccine. Or it may be time for your latest blood lipid profile, a fasting blood test that measures your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. 

Routine preventive screenings in women’s health care include Pap smear and HPV tests, breast and colon cancer screenings, and bone density tests; preventive screenings in men’s health care include colon and prostate cancer screenings. 

You learn how to avoid chronic illness

Did you know that 3 in 5 adults in the United States live with a chronic disease and that 2 in 5 adults have multiple chronic illnesses? 

Chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease are often preventable, but they also remain a leading cause of disability and death for men as well as women.

It’s during your annual exam that Dr. Petruzzelli:

When it comes to preempting a serious chronic condition like heart disease, lung disease, or hypertension, your annual checkup is — hands down — one of the best tools you have.

It helps you build rapport with your doctor

It’s truly fitting that annual exams are also called wellness visits: Having regular one-on-one time with the same doctor when you’re not ill or experiencing a medical problem provides you both with an excellent opportunity to build a stronger connection. 

By getting to know your physician — and giving them the chance to get to know you — you can establish a higher level of rapport and trust. 

This basic element of care is invaluable, whether you’re learning about your disease risk, discussing your personal health care preferences, or redefining your wellness goals. 

Whether your goal is to stay healthy, get healthy, or prevent future illness, your annual exam has you covered. Call 860-375-4935 to schedule your next exam with Dr. Petruzzelli today, or click online anytime to book your appointment at our office in Glastonbury, Connecticut. 

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