A medical exam is an important component of most life insurance applications. Rather than being performed by your regular doctor, this medical exam is given by a medical professional hired by the insurance agency. There is no cost to you.
The actual appointment is short, normally not more than a half hour at your home or office. During this time, basic measurements such as pulse, blood pressure, height and weight will be taken, and blood and urine will be collected. An EKG may also be used, which painlessly helps evaluate heart health. There will also be discussion about your medical history and that of your family.
Here are 9 tips to do your best with the last amount of hassle.
Schedule your Appointment for the Morning
You will be expected to fast, so it’s best to get the exam done early so you can go about your day and get breakfast. Also, stress is a factor, and we’re most relaxed in the morning, before the pressures of the day have started to wear on us.
Be sure to have your driver’s license or other form of picture ID on you to prove your identity.
The insurance company will need to get your medical records at some point. The easiest way of doing this is to pick them up yourself and deliver them to the medical professional during your appointment.
If you are taking any medications, either prescription or over-the-counter, be sure you have all of their names, including the dosages. The best method of doing such is to simply present the bottles to the medical professional. This is important not just because they want the information but because some medications can skew blood or urine results. You are free to take your medications as normal the day of the exam.
You will need to have blood drawn. Normally this is done from the inside of the elbow, so be sure your shirt will allow easy access to this area.
The body negatively reacts to stress, and those reactions can be picked up through things like reading the pulse and measuring blood pressure. Avoid exercise the day before and get a good night’s rest. Exercise has the additional complication of producing proteins that can show up in blood draws and urine samples.
What to Drink
Water is always an excellent thing to drink, as it hydrates the body without introducing anything that might have unwanted effects. Be sure to drink lots of water before the exam so that you can provide a urine sample. It is also helpful in making the blood draw easier.
Avoid coffee, tea, soda and other caffeinated sources before the exam as they raise pulse rates and blood pressure.
Alcohol should also be avoided as it dehydrates the body and raises liver enzymes.
How to Eat
Avoid salt and sugar. Salt raises blood pressure and sugar affects blood sugar levels. Fast for 12 hours before your exam in order to have a proper blood draw; food affects blood sugar levels and the technicians will be expecting that you have the blood sugar of someone who has fasted. Elevated blood sugar can suggest diabetes.
In the days before the exam, be particularly mindful of the foods you are eating. Fatty foods and dairy can raise cholesterol and triglycerides, two components you want to keep as low as possible. Consider fish, lean meats such as chicken and fiber rich foods instead.
One easy way of removing some of the unhealthy elements of food from your diet is to avoid highly-processed foods, which are commonly loaded with salt, sugar and/or fat.
Stand up Tall
Your healthy weight is calculated based on your height. The taller you are, the heavier you can be and still be considered to have a healthy weight. Dressing in light clothing can also shed a couple pounds on the scale.