Preventing ill health saves money and time, avoids stress and inconvenience, and most importantly, spares you pain and suffering. The Umbrella HealthCare team in Phoenix, Arizona, provides comprehensive preventive medicine services, including annual physical exams. An annual physical is a routine health checkup that identifies signs of disease before they become a serious problem. To arrange your annual physical, call Umbrella HealthCare today or book an appointment online.

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What is an annual physical?

An annual physical is a routine health checkup you have each year at Umbrella HealthCare. It’s an essential element of preventive medicine, helping you avoid serious health problems by identifying diseases in their early stages.

Chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and dementia respond much better to treatment if it begins early. You can even avoid some of these problems if treatment starts before irreversible damage occurs.

Chronic conditions often cause few symptoms until they reach an advanced stage when treatment is more challenging and less likely to be successful.

Some conditions, like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, don’t cause any symptoms until a crisis like a stroke or heart attack occurs. Yet these disorders are treatable and reversible if caught early enough.

What does an annual physical involve?

An annual physical generally begins with a medical history review and a discussion about your current health. You can raise any queries or ask for advice, for instance, if you’re a woman experiencing menopause symptoms or a man struggling with erectile dysfunction.

The physical exam includes checks of your pulse, breathing, blood pressure, and heart and lung sounds. Your Umbrella HealthCare provider palpates (presses on) your abdominal organs and looks at your skin, hair, and nails. They examine your eyes, ears, mouth, hands, and feet; test your reflexes; and observe your balance.

Your provider also evaluates your hearing, speech, mental awareness, and other indicators of health issues or age-related deterioration.

The Umbrella HealthCare team adapts each patient’s annual physical to suit their specific needs. For example, women may need a pelvic exam, while men might have a prostate exam. Your age, general health, and other factors also influence the design of your annual physical.

Would my annual physical involve any tests?

Tests and screening procedures are a vital part of your annual physical. Blood tests reveal a variety of problems, such as:

  • High cholesterol (which narrows the arteries)
  • High blood glucose (typical of diabetes)
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Signs of infection

You might need to supply a urine sample for testing as well. Cancer screenings might include a Pap smear for women to test for cervical cancer and lab tests to rule out conditions like colorectal and prostate cancer.

If your provider has any concerns about other health issues, they might order X-rays, an ultrasound, or a CT or MRI scan. They can also refer you to a specialist if necessary.

To arrange your annual physical, call Umbrella HealthCare today or book an appointment online.