What to Expect During This Visit
The doctor and/or nurse will probably:
1. Check weight and height, calculate body mass index (BMI), and plot the measurements on growth charts.
2. Check blood pressure, vision, and possibly hearing.
3. Give a screening (test) that checks for depression.
4. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about:
Eating. Young adults should eat three meals a day that include lean protein, at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and at least three servings of dairy products or a fortified milk alternative. Limit food and drinks that are high in fat and sugar.
Sleeping. Young adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Poor sleep makes them less alert and cause problems at work or school. Follow a relaxing bedtime routine and turn off devices, including phones and computers, before bed.
Physical activity. Each week, young adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (like fast walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (like running).
Growth and development. By 18, it's common for young adults to:
- develop a sense of self
- value individual relationships over peer groups
- become more independent from parents
- think abstractly to solve problems
- have long-term plans for the future
5. Do a physical exam. The doctor will look at the skin and listen to the heart and lungs. Young women will undergo a pelvic exam or be referred to a gynecologist. In guys, the doctor will check the testicles for masses and varicocele (swollen veins).
6. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect people from serious illnesses, so it's important to get them on time. Immunization schedules vary from office to office, so talk to the doctor about what to expect.
7. Order tests. Your doctor may check for anemia, high cholesterol, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and order tests, if needed.
Here are some things young adults should keep in mind until their next checkup:
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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