Did you know that many doctors who endorse annual physicals refuse to have one? I am not one who endorses annual physicals. I think they are a bad idea; one that encourages unnecessary testing and ultimately leads to unnecessary treatments. I call such examinations hunting expeditions.
Instead, I think you should have period-of-life exams; one early in life and one as middle age approaches.
Here is the big dilemma of annual physicals: If you, as a physician, find something wrong on a blood test or some other test, what should you do? Should you ignore it or should you pursue it further?
This is not always an easy question to answer. Most doctors know this. That is why so few doctors have regular physicals or testing done on themselves. They are afraid that if they find something they will need more tests, some of which can be quite invasive. An invasive test is one that requires surgery (biopsy, endoscopic exams, etc.) or procedures that require the insertion of catheters or tubes (such as an arteriogram or bronchiogram).
While most of us do not mind giving a little blood, a urine specimen or having an X-ray or scan of some sort, we do not want our bodies invaded by instruments. This is especially so when the doctor (usually their nurse or assistant) informs us of the long list of complications possible. Most informed consent information is enough to send anyone’s blood pressure soaring.
For example, complications possible with colonoscopy include bowel perforation (tearing a hole in your colon), massive hemorrhaging, shock, pulmonary embolism, paralysis and even death. Pretty scary stuff! (Get advice for staying healthy while hospitalized by reading my special report "Survive Your Hospital Visit.")
The Period-of-Life Exams, which are done at the age of 21 and again at age 45, include the following tests:
• General physical exam
• Comprehensive Blood Studies
• Comprehensive Iron Studies
• Comprehensive Cardiovascular Tests
• Comprehensive Gastrointestinal Tests
• Detoxification Profile
• Essential and Metabolic Fatty Acid ProfileSpecial Tests for Men:
• PSA Test
• Testosterone levelsSpecial Tests for Women:
• Breast Exams
• Female Hormone Testing
• Bone Density Testing
I discuss these tests in detail, including why iron levels on the high side of normal can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurological problems, in my special report "Health Exams that Can Save Your Life."
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