Wellness exams aren’t just for infants and the elderly. At any age, you can benefit from getting an annual wellness exam to check in on your health status and identify concerning health trends or signs of a symptomless illness. Plus, most annual wellness exams include helpful personal advice on what you can do to improve your health.
Our board-certified physicians and experienced providers at Westmed Family Healthcare in Westminster, Colorado, urge every patient to make time for a wellness exam once a year. Clifton Etienne, MD, Michael Cavanagh, MD, and Flora Brewington, MD, can provide in-depth exams and individualized wellness recommendations for your entire family.
If you’ve never had a wellness exam, or if it’s been a while since your last one, you might want a refresher on what to expect. Here are seven things you can count on happening at your next annual wellness exam at Westmed Family Healthcare:
1. A review of your current medications
If you take any medications consistently, your physician will want to know about them. They consider any conditions you have that require medications for management. They also take note of the dosage of each medication to ensure you’re taking an appropriate amount.
You should report any side effects or concerns regarding your medications during your visit. Your provider double-checks that you take your medicines consistently and correctly according to their instructions. This ensures you get the best possible results from using them.
2. A review of your medical history
Your provider goes over your medical history, including any recent medical testing or hospital visits that have occurred outside of primary care. Knowing your medical history, they’re better able to identify your health risks and recommend any necessary screenings.
3. Height and weight measurements
Sometime during the first part of your visit, your provider guides you to stand on a scale as they record your weight. They compare your weight to past visits to identify any significant weight gain or loss.
Your provider also measures your height. Using both figures, they can calculate your body mass index (BMI). While it’s an imperfect way of identifying if someone needs to lose weight, as it doesn’t account for muscle versus fat, your BMI might offer some insight into your current weight category.
4. Vital signs
Your vital signs carry this title because they measure your body’s vital functions. This includes your pulse rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.
Each of these measurements can tell your physician helpful information about your health. For example, a high temperature can indicate an infection. Similarly, a high blood pressure reading is a sign of hypertension, though some people have elevated blood pressure during a doctor’s visit due to the stress of the medical environment.
Your provider compares your current vital sign measurements to measurements during your past visits and analyzes them alongside your overall medical history.
5. A skin examination
Your physician examines your skin from head to toe for signs of skin cancer. This includes areas you can’t see yourself. Even if you routinely examine your own skin at home, you might miss a lesion in a hard-to-access area.
Your provider also checks for any other conditions or growths that impact your skin health.
6. Blood testing
A blood test offers a lot more insight into your health than a wellness exam without one. Some conditions aren’t visible and can’t be detected with simple, noninvasive tests like blood pressure readings.
Blood testing results in a report of the contents of your blood. It might include a complete blood count (CBC), blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels. Each of these parameters is valuable for diagnosing health conditions that may or may not cause discernible symptoms.
Westmed Family Healthcare has a convenient on-site laboratory for efficient testing with quick results.
7. Planning for your future
During the final portion of your annual wellness exam, your provider uses the information gathered from the examination and testing services to offer personalized recommendations, including:
- Diet and nutrition recommendations
- Exercise recommendations
- Help with smoking cessation
- Recommendations about your drug and alcohol habits
- Tips for stress reduction
- Sleep recommendations
Making small changes to your lifestyle can result in major improvements for your long-term health. And you’ll likely be able to see tangible evidence of the healthy changes you make during your next annual wellness exam.
With flu season afoot, there’s no better time to schedule annual wellness exams for yourself and your family at Westmed Family Healthcare. Book your appointment online or over the phone today.