It’s amazing how quickly everyone is going back to their old habits. The beaches are crowded. Flights are sold out.
Americans are returning to restaurants, movie theaters, and concert halls in droves as the vaccinations jump, and the infection rates drop.
But there’s one place most people are in no hurry to visit again. That’s the doctor’s office.
We’ve spent too much time over the past 15 months worried about health and medicine as it is. So it’s really no surprise that the last thing in the world anyone wants is MORE of that.
But if you’re overdue for an annual physical, a new report shows why you need to get back in and take care of business.
It’s NOT just a formality. However, it likely isn’t for the reason you’re thinking.
The surprising benefit of an annual physical
I’ll admit there’s a lot to dislike about your yearly check-up. From the pricks and pokes of the blood tests to the cold stethoscope pressed to your chest, it’s downright uncomfortable at times.
And, of course, there’s the anxiety that can kick in the moment you make that appointment. “What am I going to find out is wrong THIS time?”
But the new analysis of 32 studies shows why you should screw up your courage and go anyway. And surprisingly, it’s NOT because you’ll live longer.
In fact, the study finds getting your regular annual physical… versus just seeing a doc when something’s wrong… won’t add so much as an extra minute to your life.
Some folks think that means you shouldn’t bother. They’re wrong. And the new study reveals why that’s true too.
The researchers took a closer look at patient-reported outcomes, or how people FEEL as a result of their appointments, and because of the care they got. And they spotted something critical.
In THAT department, regular check-ups shine. The fact is patients simply feel FAR better and healthier when they follow through on their annual physical. Their quality of life soars.
One reason is that check-ups help detect chronic disease earlier. That means you get a chance to turn it around before it gets worse or have a shot at getting treatment when it’s most likely to help.
And should your appointment lead to a new prescription, be sure to ask these 9 crucial questions BEFORE filling it.
Feel better and live better with a yearly check-up
So even if you don’t live LONGER when you have an annual physical, you still live BETTER. You could even end up spending less of your precious time sick or heavily medicated.
Of course, there’s one potential downside to regular check-ups. Some tests… like PSAs and mammograms, especially in older seniors… can do more harm than good. They can lead to unnecessary stress and unneeded treatments.
But you can head that problem off at the pass. Just be aware of that going in and have an honest discussion with your doc about which tests and screenings are likely to help and which ones won’t.
And while you’re there for that annual physical, seize the opportunity to see if you can ditch any of your drugs. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask.
The best way to do that is to bring in ALL of your meds in a bag. Don’t forget any that were prescribed by specialists. A paper lunch bag is fine. In fact, these sessions are often called “brown-bag appointments” for that very reason.
Studies show many seniors take one or more medications they don’t actually need. So these check-ins at your annual physical could help you and your doc spot those drugs and eliminate them.
That’s not JUST one less pill to swallow, either. It could also mean fewer side effects, more energy, and a sharper mind.
Just be sure to let the office staff know when you make the appointment that you’ll be bringing those meds in. That way, they can set aside some extra time for the review.
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