Annual Physical Exams

The annual physical exam is something that every patient at Vanguard Medical Group should have on their calendar. Physicals are wellness exams and give your doctor a chance to make sure you are doing all the things you need to do to optimize your health and keep yourself healthy. It’s an opportunity to work with your doctor to make a proactive health and wellness plan.

What are Annual Physicals?

During an annual wellness exam, your doctor will talk to you about strategies to improve your health and promote wellness. This may include a discussion about your diet and exercise habits, sleep routine, or stress management techniques. It will also include recommendations for cancer screening and prevention, immunizations, and appropriate testing to help prevent illness. Your doctor may also recommend vitamins or lifestyle changes to improve your health. The annual physical is a valuable tool for you to work with your doctor to create a comprehensive wellness plan and for you to get connected with any needed resources.

The physical exam allows doctors to catch potential problems early and provide appropriate treatment or lifestyle change suggestions to steer you in a healthier direction. And while it may be tempting to skip annual physicals, they’re one of the best ways to maintain good health and eliminate illnesses before they become more serious.

What to Expect at an Annual Physical

The annual physical is customized for every patient. Based on your age, sex, and risk factors, your doctor will develop a prevention plan. For some, this many include a mammogram, pap smear, or breast exam, a colonoscopy, or screening for prostate cancer. Well child checks allow doctors to assess your child’s growth, physical and emotional development, as well as make sure children are up to date on vaccines and developing healthy habits.

In addition, if you have an increased risk for certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, your doctor will perform appropriate testing to catch problems early.

In general, however, you can expect a doctor to do all or some of the following at an annual physical:

  • Check your vitals (weight, blood pressure, heart rate, etc.)
  • Update your family health history
  • Ask about your mental health
  • Ask about your diet and exercise routine
  • Perform a head to toe physical examination

Have You Had Your Annual Physical Yet?

Whether you’re a new patient or an existing one, Vanguard Medical Group can help get you set up with an annual physical. Just give us a call or make an appointment online to book a date and time, so that you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with quality medical care.

Hypertension Management & Treatment

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition faced by roughly one in three adults. You’re considered to have high blood pressure if you have a reading over 130/80. If you’re concerned about hypertension or need help managing the condition, the physicians at Vanguard Medical Group are here to give you the tools you need to manage your blood pressure and improve your overall health.

What Causes Hypertension?

Hypertension is simply abnormally high blood pressure However, there are a number of contributing factors that can increase an individual’s risk for high blood pressure. These include:

  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Tobacco and alcohol use
  • High-sodium diet
  • Low-potassium diet
  • Stress
  • Chronic conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea and more
  • Pregnancy
  • Age
  • Ethnic background/Genetics

Improving Hypertension

One of the best ways to manage hypertension is to lose weight by exercising regularly and eating a healthier diet that is low in sodium and high in potassium. Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption can also have positive effects. If you suffer from an underlying condition that causes hypertension, speak to your doctor about ways to manage these conditions or adjust medication that may elevate blood pressure.

While it’s very common for individuals with hypertension to experience few symptoms, that doesn’t mean the condition can’t have serious side effects. If left untreated, high blood pressure can eventually cause heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney and vision problems, metabolic syndrome and cognitive disorders, including dementia. If you’re unable to reduce your blood pressure with lifestyle changes alone, your physician can prescribe medications to help.

Advice for Living with Hypertension

Making lifestyle changes can be difficult, but finding a support group who can help you follow through on your health-conscious goals is a great way to stay on track. Lean on family, friends, your doctor and other resources who can support your efforts and encourage you along the way.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the necessary changes, focus on small, steady steps rather than changing everything about your diet and exercise habits at once. Simply going for a walk after dinner or committing to a few meatless meals a week can be a great way to make positive changes that last.

Find a Hypertension Doctor Near You

Request an appointment with Vanguard Medical Group at one of our nine locations. Our team of experienced doctors and staff will teach you more about hypertension so you can manage your high blood pressure and decrease the risk of future complications.