Regular wellness exams are an important tool you can take advantage of to ensure a high quality of life for yourself and your loved ones. These exams can identify life-threatening illnesses in its early stages to better fight disease, and may even determine whether your genetic makeup and current lifestyle are putting you at risk for future health problems.
For most people, a wellness exam is best performed by their primary care doctor. This is because your doctor will already be familiar with your medical background, and may be the most equipped and knowledgeable to diagnose and treat you appropriately.
What is included in a wellness exam?
Typically, a wellness exam covers a full investigation into your health. Several tests and an interview discussing your current lifestyle are some of the things you can expect. More specifically, a wellness exam will include the following:
- Full physical examination: This will include checking your vital signs, visual exams of your body, motor function, and reflex tests, and blood chemistry exams. Certain tests will differ depending on your gender.
- Personal and family medical histories: Doctors will take a look at past medical events in your life and in your family’s as well to determine if you’re at higher risk for contracting certain diseases.
- Interview on lifestyle and health choices: You can expect to be asked a multitude of questions that may cover all aspects of your life. Some of the usual topics include your sexual history, tobacco and alcohol use, diet, profession, and overall stress levels.
- Screening tests for common diseases: You will also undergo a series of tests to detect if you are currently suffering from a disease that you may or may not be aware of. The most frequent diseases doctors screen for include cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and sexually-transmitted diseases.
- Shots and immunizations: Wellness exams may also include a detailed review of your immunization record to determine whether or not you require any more.
- Health plan consultation: At the end of your testing, you will meet again with your doctor so that they can recommend a plan that you can use to address any health issues you might have and maintain your overall health.
- Some wellness exams may include other tests that are beyond the scope of this list, like taking a look into your mental health, for instance.
- When should I take a wellness exam?
There is no specific time in your life to take a wellness exam. For most people, however, especially those over the age of 35, it is highly advised that they undergo annual checkups. You may opt for more frequent testing if you’re particularly concerned about your health, but there are no real drawbacks to doing so as well.
Also, note that while more thorough wellness exams may be a bit pricey, your insurance or health plan should cover the cost of one exam per year. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t put a price tag on your own health, and it’s usually better overall to prevent a disease than to treat it.
If you’re interested in taking a wellness exam, some aspects that you have to remember is to be thorough and honest with your answers. You should also write down any questions and concerns that you may have before visiting your doctor. In doing so, you can ensure open communication between everyone involved, and your doctors can better help you.
If you’re looking to undergo a wellness exam in New Jersey, visit our physicians today for a free consultation.