You Healthy ó Could Save Your Life
Some Veterans think you only go to
the doctor when something is wrong.
Why go to the doctor when you feel
Because an annual checkup may
help you stay healthy longer.
An annual checkup can provide
your physician with valuable
information should you become ill.
It can also help diagnose disease
early and allows your doctor give
you important advice on disease
Every adult, regardless of age,
should have an annual checkup.
The physical is the perfect time to
update your medical records.
Why an annual checkup is
- Regular checkups help your
doctor accumulate a history of
your health information that
would be very valuable if you
- Diagnostic tests, like blood
tests, and routine screenings
can help your VA health team
diagnose diseases before you
show any symptoms.
- If you are overweight or
trying to quit smoking, you can
get good advice about these
challenges during your checkup.
- Knowing your familyís
medical history and talking
about your lifestyle will help
your VA doctor determine your
risk factors. This helps him or
her make recommendations about
- A checkup is not just about
your physical well-being. Itís
also about your mental health.
This is a good time to get
counseling about things like
stress, depression, or anxiety.
- Itís also a good time to
ensure all of your vaccinations
are up to date.
More Good Reasons to Get
a Yearly Checkup
One of the most important reasons
to get an exam is screenings. A
blood test for cholesterol or
diabetes is great for early
intervention of potential diseases.
A colonoscopy, a pap smear, a breast
exam are all key to catching any
signs of cancer at its earliest and
most treatable stage.
You should have health
measurements like blood pressure
done at least once a year, usually
much more often. Elevated blood
pressure over time is a risk for
heart disease. Weight monitoring is
very important to ensure overall
health. And a loss of height could
indicate an acceleration of
The physical is the perfect time
to update your medical records. Itís
so important to keep a record of
your lab tests, immunizations and
illnesses. Keep a record of your
allergies in case of a recurring
illness or emergency situation. An
accurate family history will help to
detect any genetic patterns that may
put you at a high risk for disease.
You may think that because you
exercise regularly and eat a healthy
diet, there is no need to get a
checkup. Would you go several years
without changing the oil in your
car? You should be taking better
care of your body than your car.
Most of us donít have a clue
whatís going on inside our body.
There could be an unknown problem
that can be discovered with an
Just think about happy you will
feel after your physical, knowing
that everything is OK or that you
have discovered a problem early
enough to do something about it. You
donít need to obsess anymore over
that ache or pain you didnít
Having less to worry about not
only feels great but leads to better
health because now you have one less
thing to cause you stress. Checking
the annual physical off your list of
things to do lets you get back to
the things you really enjoy.
To stay healthy all year between
your annual physicals, see the
Healthy Living Messages provided by
VHAís National Center for Health
Promotion and Disease Prevention.
VA Medical Center today and
schedule YOUR physical!