5 Ways That Doctors Evaluate Your Health During Annual Check-Ups

Your doctor can help you when you're feeling sick, but visiting your doctor's office once a year for annual check-ups is a great way to prevent illness. During an annual exam, your doctor will perform a series of tests to screen for illnesses, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and ear and eye infections. These are five components of an annual physical check-up:

1. Height And Weight Check

When you arrive at your doctor's office, your doctor or an assistant will measure your height and weight. This information can tell your doctor several things about your health. For example, if you have shrunk since the last time you visited your doctor's office, your doctor may want to evaluate you for bone diseases, such as osteoporosis. People who are overweight and underweight may be especially susceptible to certain health conditions, so your doctor may want to monitor you if you fall into one of these categories.

2. Blood Pressure Test

Next, your doctor or an assistant will measure your blood pressure using a blood pressure cuff. The cuff will tighten around your upper arm until it cuts off blood flow, at which point it will begin to loosen until blood flow returns. Blood pressure tests can check for hypertension and hypotension, two health conditions that must be managed with dietary changes and medication.

3. Blood Test

Blood tests can measure the number of nutrients in your blood. It can also discover inflammatory markers and white blood cells that could point to an active infection or autoimmune disease. Your doctor can use blood tests to diagnose any symptoms you're having. However, even if you're symptom-free, a blood test can allow your doctor to make helpful suggestions regarding your nutrition and lifestyle to help you achieve optimal health.

4. Medical History

You will also have the opportunity to speak to your doctor during your annual physical. This is a good time to update your doctor on the general state of your health. You should also update your doctor on any health conditions your family members have developed since your genes can determine the health conditions that you are most susceptible to.

5. Physical Exam

Last but not least, your doctor will perform a physical exam. They may use special tools to listen to your heart and lungs and examine your eyes, ears, nose, and throat. A physical exam can help your doctor catch potential diseases as soon as possible.