The impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate life in 2020 as one of the largest medical issues of a generation. Because of quarantines and shelter in place orders, much of regular life has been on hold. Avoiding the virus is important because it’s new and people have no natural immunity. Some segments of the population are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
It’s time, though, that you stay on top of your entire health picture, including things like well visits. Your annual physical has, perhaps, never been more important. Contact Millennium Park Medical Associates if you’re due for a physical, or if you’re behind on care for a previously existing condition that needs observation or treatment. Good health could help protect you against the effects of coronavirus as well.
The role of the annual physical
Your interactions with a primary care physician like internist Dr. Farah Khan help to build a relationship that benefits your health care. As well as maintaining continuity through your medical history, you build an informed patient/doctor relationship. Changes that you may not notice could be easy for Dr. Khan to see. Observation by the caregiver is a crucial part of a physical exam.
When you seek medical care only when you’re ill, you’re in firefighting mode. Focusing on illness keeps you from pursuing wellness. Maximizing health keeps your body working well. When your immune system is at peak, for example, you may have a better chance of avoiding the effects of pathogens such as the current coronavirus.
If you have a progressive disease like arthritis or diabetes, delaying regular medical care could let your condition grab hold and advance. Now is the time to be sure you’re still in control.
Your health “scorecard”
Another crucial role of your annual physical is the health statistics it provides. Changes to your heart rate, weight, blood pressure, and more provide the scorecard through which Dr. Khan can monitor changes that aren’t easy to observe. Catching changes early often leads to moderate treatment to correct an issue before it becomes a substantial health problem.
Screenings and immunizations
Many people think of vaccines as a part of childhood, but there are still some immunizations that target adults. The seasonal flu vaccine is an important annual preventive care step. The shingles vaccine can spare older Americans from a painful condition related to chickenpox that emerges as you get older.
Pneumococcal vaccines also become more important as you get older. You may have other immunization needs if you have certain conditions. Diabetes can suppress your immune system, for instance, so extra protection from vaccine-preventable diseases helps ensure good health.
The importance of early detection
Conditions including breast, cervical, colon, and lung cancers depend on early detection for the best prognosis. Prediabetes indicates you’re at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, but at a time when you can still prevent it. High cholesterol could indicate elevated risk of certain cardiovascular diseases.
Your annual physical is a key time to gather the clues that point to future disease. Contact Millennium Park Medical Associates by phone or online to schedule your next physical. Your continued good health could depend on it.