As you go through life, you’ll reach points where you’re statistically at an increased risk for certain conditions. For instance, osteoporosis screeningsare recommended for women over the age of 65 or those with a high fracture risk. Physicians will also develop, maintain, and update your medical history with each visit, which can help determine what other preventative screenings may be right for you. This includes making recommendations for when patients within a certain age range should start considering mammograms or colonoscopies. Other times, there are tests that may be recommended because of your medical history. If heart disease runs in your family, for example, you may be encouraged to have blood tests, EKGs, and chest X-rays on a regular basis to detect irregularities in your heart’s structure and rhythm.
Changes in weight, whether it’s up or down, are sometimes so gradual that it’s not noticeable. In some cases, certain medications and age-related changes in metabolism can affect weight. It’s during regular physical exams that your doctor can identify any changes in your weightand other important stats such as your blood pressure that may need to be evaluated further. Your physician can also let you know if there are specific goals you should be focused on based on any patterns seen from one visit to the next (e.g., losing 15-20 pounds to bring down your blood sugar numbers).