Do You Take Better Care Of Your Car Than Your Body?
Most drivers know how often to have their cars' oil changed,
the tires rotated, and their inspections done. But do you know how often you
should have your blood pressure checked, your cholesterol measured, or your
Pap smear done? Are you one of the many adult Americans who take better care
of their cars than their bodies?
Your annual physical is the equivalent of your car's annual inspection. Although
you don't get a sticker, you will get a wake-up call if any abnormalities are
discovered. This is the time to have your height and weight measured, your
blood pressure checked, and your cholesterol screened. All adults should also
have a digital rectal exam as part of their annual physical. Women need two
to three additional tests: an annual Pap smear, an annual clinical breast exam,
and an annual mammogram if you're over 40. If you're over 50, it's time to
talk with your doctor about colonoscopy. If you're over 60, ask for a thyroid
test or TSH.
This is also the time to review ALL of your current medications-prescription,
over the counter, and vitamins and supplements-with your doctor to see if any
other screening or diagnostic tests are necessary.
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Created: 4/10/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.