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Thread: Physical exam

  1. #1

    Physical exam

    this may seem like the most obvious question, but what exactly is a "physical"?? and is it normal to have one for people in their 20's or do GP's usually just give one if they feel they have a reason to? I just switched GP's and this one knows about my ed and she said something about checking my heart and BP and electrolytes etc... I'm dreading going, she seems really nice, but I hate going to doctors in general... and I am scared. I'm kind of telling myself that everything will be fine, but do you think that's really realistic? I am SO worried.

  2. #2

    Re: physical exam

    I think that sounds normal. My doctor gives me a physical everytime I go in for an annual exam. I think which tests and things they give varies from doctor to doctor just depending on the way they are used to doing things. I bet that you will get the same physical exam that she is used to giving most everyone that she sees, with maybe an extra thing or two because she knows about your ED. Like maybe the electrolyte thing. I've never had one of those before but it sounds pretty easy. I think the BP and listening to your heart is pretty run of the mill physical exam stuff. Sometimes they also do UAs to check for something, i'm not sure what during my physicals. Maybe she will do a breast exam too...I usually get those pretty much yearly too.

    It sounds like nothing to be alarmed about!

  3. #3

    Re: physical exam

    thanks toeless... your post made me a little less worried... until I found more info....eeek

    ok, I am FREAKING OUT.

    Screening & Diagnosis
    Besides recording your weight, a physical exam will help determine if you're experiencing any of the side effects of an eating disorder. These complications may include problems with your gums or teeth, bloating, unusual heart rhythms, loss of bone density, anemia and changes in your menstrual cycle. Your doctor may order these tests:

    • Complete blood count (CBC). This test can signal the presence of a wide variety of health problems, including anemia. One substance measured by this blood test is hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the red, iron-rich substance that binds to oxygen to carry it throughout your bloodstream.
    • Electrocardiogram. This procedure measures the pattern of electrical impulses generated in your heart. The test can help identify heart damage and irregular heart rhythms. The procedure involves attaching electrodes to your skin on your chest. The electrodes detect electrical impulses, and the impulses are recorded on a graph.
    • Chest X-ray. An image of your heart generated by an X-ray may reveal whether anorexia has damaged your heart muscles by reducing the size of your heart.
    • Other imaging tests. Tests such as a computerized tomography (CT) scan may reveal damage to your brain or digestive tract.
    • Bone density test. Your doctor uses a device called a sonometer to pass painless sound waves through your bones to measure bone density.
    • Tests of the function of various organs. Your doctor may order more extensive blood tests to detect your blood levels of hormones, enzymes, proteins, electrolytes, vitamins and other substances to gauge the performance of various organs, such as your liver, kidney, thyroid, pituitary gland and ovaries.


    also, who's paying for all of these tests?? insurance or are these additional costs????

  4. #4

    Re: physical exam

    Hi Eunioa, over here when one switches G.P's.. it's normal\routine for the new g.p to do a physical so that all info they have is up to date. Ask her which tests she is thinking of having done... not every test u have listed may be necessary. I can't see her sending you for a ct scan unless she has reason to at the min.. these are done only if a complaint warrants it. (over here)
    and You can ask who's paying..
    and u can tell her you are nervous, scared etc.. she will understand.

    try not to worry.. talk to her first before any tests to settle yur mind ok.

  5. #5

    Re: physical exam

    Ok don't freak out

    First I want to say that this thinking of yours is reminding me of mine and I feel for you. Secondly, just because some tests might be run on you, does not mean that you have each ailment that they are screening for. Third, just because you found that information on the internet, that does not mean that your doctor is going to do all of those tests. From your original post when you stated what she had told you that she was going to do, it did not include most of those things. And lastly, those tests on there are not that unusual...I have had a CBC when I wasn't feeling well. Many people get bone density tests, same thing with anemia. Most of those things are pretty run of the mill...and I doubt that you have heart damage...that just seems really unlikely.

    Everything will be alright. This is normal and you will be fine. I bet you'll get a clean bill of health. Dreading it is the worst part. You will be fine. If you do get these tests, they are not bad or painful and I doubt she'll give them all to you anyway. I would also certainly expect the insurance to pay for tests that your doctor ordered...and if that is not the case I would expect the doctor to inform you of the non-coverage beforehand...however, I don't think doctors are really in the habit of ordering a battery of tests that are not covered by insurance just for the purpose of a getting a physical exam.

    It is good that your doctor knows about this. I'm sure she's just trying to take really good care of you. You're lucky that you found a doctor that cares about you so much. Try not to worry, everything will be alright. When are you going?

  6. #6

    Re: physical exam

    Most doctors like to get a "baseline" view of the overall health of a new patient, hon. This will usually include an EKG, chest X-ray, CBC (complete blood count), BMP (basic metabolic profile), and any other tests specific to a particular patient. Once these tests have been done, the doctor knows the state of your general health at the time he/she begins to see you as a patient. That way, if you have problems or become ill along the way, any changes can be spotted that might help to diagnose and treat you.

    From the sounds of it, there's really nothing for you to be frightened by. This sounds like a normal physical that would be given to almost any patient.

  7. #7

    Re: physical exam

    1. If a new doctor did NOT want to do a physical for a new patient who had not had one in the past year or so, I would question that doctor's competency. It is simply good medical practice.

    2. The physical is covered by your government health insurance.

  8. #8

    Re: Physical exam

    It is simply good medical practice.
    I agree.


  9. #9

    Re: Physical exam

    thanks everyone... still not too excited about going, still dreading going, but I guess I'll be okay... and at least I don't have to worry about what I'm really worrying about b/c she already knows... I've never had a physical (well not since I was little I guess and not that I can remember) so part of it is also just not knowing what to expect. I feel stupid worrying about this, but I don't think I would if I'd have no reason to worry about this, but I feel like I do.... ahhhhhhhhhh. this is like when I had to go to the dentist and she is THE nicest dentist I have ever met but it was dreadful going each time.

    toeless, I'm going next week...

  10. #10

    Re: Physical exam

    Actually, it's a lot easier than going to a dentist

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