If you’re a healthy adult, a routine physical exam may be the only reason you see your doctor and perhaps the best opportunity you have to make sure you’re as healthy as you feel. Dr. Firas Zakaria is a skilled internal medicine specialist in Palos Heights, Illinois, who recommends even healthy adults take time for a physical exam that’s focused on your current health and preventive care. Call Dr. Zakaria’s office today to make an appointment or use his convenient online scheduling service.
A routine physical exam is the foundation of preventive medical care. Many adults breeze through decades of their life without feeling ill enough to see a physician. Or you may be used to popping in for a quick visit to seek care for the occasional cold or sore throat. As you age, however, certain health factors can creep into your life without producing any symptoms.
Unfortunately, many serious conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, and coronary artery disease, often remain symptom-free for years. And those quick urgent care visits don’t give you access to cholesterol checks and other lab tests that help Dr. Zakaria detect and treat mild changes in your overall health before they evolve into significant health concerns.
Beyond the physical portion of the exam, Dr. Zakaria also uses your appointment to carefully review your medical history and your family’s medical history. Diabetes, heart disease, and other medical illnesses often run in families.
He also asks questions about your diet, exercise routine, and other lifestyle factors that often play a vital role in your health. Your emotional health, your occupation, the stress in your life, and your social relationships may also come up during this interview time.
All these factors give Dr. Zakaria a comprehensive view of your sense of well-being, which is also vital to your overall physical health.
The physical includes a complete head to toe exam. Dr. Zakaria conducts a visual evaluation as well as palpation to check for lumps, bumps, or other abnormalities under your skin’s surface.
He carefully examines your eyes, ears, and nose, as well as your neck; he listens to your heart, lungs, and abdominal sounds; and he checks the health of your musculoskeletal and neurologic systems with basic reflex and range of motion testing.
For women, a complete exam may also include a breast and pelvic exam with a Pap test. Men may undergo testicular and prostate exams.
Depending on your age, health history, and exam findings, Dr. Zakaria may order routine screening studies, such as a cholesterol check, urinalysis, and other diagnostic labs. He also takes time to discuss other preventive measures you can take to help maintain good health, such as a nutritious diet and routine exercise.