Najeeb Karimi, Family Practice
CMC Cabarrus Family Medicine
5435 Prosperity Church Rd
#2200, Charlotte,NC, (704) 863-9830
Healthcare has been changing significantly over the last century. It becomes overwhelming sometimes what to expect when you go to a yearly physical exam. First of all, it is very important not to be in denial regarding your health and not to be afraid of visiting your healthcare provider. It is better to be safe than sorry.
1. Infants/children: Make sure you take your child for a complete physical exam right after birth, at 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24 months and then yearly after that. Make sure they receive all the required vaccinations. Some of the vaccinations are optional; however, equally important to receive. For example, for infants, there is the oral vaccine called “Rota virus” to prevent diarrhea in infants. Other vaccines are optional, but highly recommended are the hepatitis A, meningitis, HPV/Gardasil. Consider influenza vaccine yearly after 6 months of age if your child is not allergic to eggs. Adolescent groups are at risk for testicular cancer, so make sure you get their physical exam yearly. Talk to your doctor if your teenage child is involved in any kind of substance abuse.
*Make sure you schedule yearly physical exams with your doctor. There are many recommendations by USPSTF (US Preventative Service Task Force) for adult as described below.
* Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the United States. Emphasis should be given to prevent heart attacks, stroke in all patients ages 35 and older. Obesity and physical inactivity are associated with hypertension, diabetes, increased cardiovascular events. Have your doctor check fasting blood sugar and cholesterol, exercising daily, monitor blood pressure, maintaining ideal weight will significantly reduce heart disease
*Have your doctor schedule an abdominal ultrasound one time if you are a current or a former smoker, and in between ages of 65 and 75 years to rule out abdominal aortic aneurysm. The great majority of the 9000 annual US death occurs from aortic abdominal aneurysm.
* The cancers that are responsible for the greatest mortality in the US are lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate. USPSTF recommends considering screening mammogram for women yearly after 50 years of age up to 75 years of age. If you have a family history of breast cancer, then consult your doctor for earlier screening mammograms. Women should have Pap smears starting at the age of 21 to rule out cervical cancer. Consider screening colonoscopy at the age of 50 years to rule out colon cancer. If you have family history of colon cancer, then consult your doctor for earlier screening colonoscopy. If you are a smoker, which includes smoking cigarettes, quit smoking to prevent lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. Consider screening test for prostate cancer at least once at 50 years of age and then let your doctor and you decide how frequent you and your doctor want to have it screened.
* Get yearly influenza (flu) vaccine if you are not allergic to eggs. All people with chronic illnesses, smokers, and all who are 65 and older should be vaccinated against Streptococcus pneumonia infection by vaccine called Pneumovax. Ask your doctor regarding zoster vaccine if you are 60 years of age or older to prevent herpes zoster. The USPSTF recommends booster doses of tetanus and diphtheria toxoid every 10 years. Also consider having Hepatitis B vaccine.
*If you have family members who are elderly, have them checked by their doctor for depression, cognitive assessment to rule out dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. Get their vision and hearing checked. If they have urinary leakage, then have their doctor check them for the treatment. Please maintain up to date medication lists including over-the-counter medication and any herbal medications. Make sure they are eating nutritious meals. Get their vitamin D level checked. Make sure you talk to your elderly family members on a regular basis to prevent social isolation, and provide physical, financial, and emotional support. Go over with their doctor regarding advanced directives and healthcare proxy.