Once a year, your insurance typically covers an annual wellness exam. Life can get busy, however, and it’s easy to put your annual checkup aside. 

You’re not feeling sick, so why bother going to the doctor? 

That said, checking in with a doctor at your wellness exam allows the opportunity for you to understand the state of your health so that you can keep up with that busy lifestyle. The following are some benefits and what to expect from your visit:

What does the annual wellness visit entail?

  1. Checking in with you

When you come in for your wellness visit, the doctor will ask several questions to help them understand how your body is doing. These questions include:

  • Your health history: including medications, supplements, allergies and family history. If something has changed, your doctor needs to know. For example, some medications cause vitamin deficiencies that can lead to other problems. Your doctor can help you troubleshoot problems before they become a bigger concern.  
  • Organ systems check: From the head to heart to joints, your doctor will review each body system to see if you have anything to report. If you’ve been putting off talking about that knee problem, now is the time.
  • Here at Natural Medicine of Seattle, our doctors also care about your mental health and stress level. You will be asked how you’ve been feeling in that regard. This is just as important as any other element of the wellness check, since your mental state can strongly impact your overall health.

If you’re at the office, a physical exam will also be performed. 

  1. Screenings for health concerns

Annual exams are the heart of disease prevention. Depending on your age and sex, health screenings may include:

  • Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer
  • STD testing 
  • Diabetes risks
  • Cardiovascular disease risks
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Breast health and mammogram discussion
  • Bone density test referrals
  • Prostate cancer screenings

  1. Measuring Data

Your doctor is keeping an eye on many important numbers. They clue us in on the state of affairs inside your body. They also help keep you on top of your goals and measure success.

Some of these valuable numbers include blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. These basic exams provide useful information about your cardiovascular and immune health, among others. 

In addition, your doctor may order lab work at your wellness exam. This information can reveal possible vitamin or mineral deficiencies, cholesterol status, how much sugar is in your blood, and so on. At Natural Medicine of Seattle, we also do extensive hormone testing depending on your concerns. 

Our doctors are here to help you move closer toward your health goals. We spend time getting to know you and reviewing all of the elements of your health with you. Your annual checkup is the key to maintaining optimal health and helping you stay on top of your game.

 

Dr. Grace Chang is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist. Her clinical interests include hormones, digestive concerns, and IV nutrient therapy. Follow her on Instagram, @drgracechang

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