What to look for in annual physical?

Answered on June 08, 2014
Created June 07, 2014 at 2:08 PM

So I finally got health insurance and I plan on getting annual check ups from now on (I'm 24, female). What kind of tests should I get to see if I'm on the right track? I believe last year I got blood sugar and cholesterol checked but back then I didn't know enough to know what to look for (although my results were good, according to my doctor)

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2 Answers



on June 08, 2014
at 01:21 AM

When you do your cholesterol, I would opt to get your LDL-P (or apoB-100) done as part of an NMR lipoprofile test, so you can scope out the particle count / size, and not just the cholesterol moving around. 25(OH)D is useful to determine if the sunlight you're getting or d3 supplements you're taking are too much or not enough, so you're not just blindly popping pills and soaking up UV rays. I would opt for a ferritin test, a C-reactive protein test, and a homocysteine test, so you can tell if your diet / exercise is working for you or generating inflammation. If you're doing a thyroid panel, you might as well get the full hormone / thyroid panels, complete with T3/T4/rT3 /free-T3/TSH/antibodies, so you don't miss anything. Throw in some fasting glucose / fasting insulin / a1c, and a basic metabolic blood panel, and you should have some idea of where you're at.

If you're going to run some labs, you might as well do it right.

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on June 07, 2014
at 02:44 PM

If you're 24 and in good general health, I wouldn't worry about it too much, but I'd try to insist that he checks more than just the TSH for my thyroid. Ask what else he feels would be a complete check of the thyroid, so you have a good baseline for later. Women often get thyroid issues and it would be nice to have a record of how it changed.

Sadly, health insurance won't help you for the really important things like a full check of whether you're low in any nutrients. A regular doctor might check you for vitamin D or magnesium deficiency though -- if you ask. But for a full check, you need at least a chiropractor or ND, possibly a functional medicine doctor (MD). None of those, except maybe DC would be on your insurance. And the test wouldn't be.

My advice to you is to claim that you're perfectly fine and wondering why you even bothered coming in because then the doc won't think you're a hypochondriac and dismiss everything. Just watch for any sign of unease in his face and ask "What?" to get more details so he doesn't skip over anything he doesn't want to bother you with because it's "probably nothing."

I was born suspicious. ;)

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