This is a guest post by Dr. Karen Ritchie, a physician and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa.
Ritchie is a senior author of a new study that has found that while some of us may need to take a physical exam, it’s important to do it during a time of high stress, such as during the flu season.
For many, this can be challenging to do.
This study, published in the journal Medical Hypotheses, found that some people were more likely to be uncomfortable with the physical exam when they were in a heightened state of stress.
So, if you’re feeling a little bit down, it may be a good idea to take the test, she said.
Dr. Rwayne said that this could also have an effect on whether people take the flu vaccine.
“You could see this as a benefit in terms of the flu, but there’s other benefits, too,” she said, noting that people who take the vaccine tend to have lower levels of inflammation, and they tend to be healthier overall.
She said that a person could benefit from doing the test during a stressful time, or just to help them deal with their stress.
For example, a person might feel better if they took the exam while they were feeling down, which can help them cope with a stressful situation, she explained.
Another advantage to the exam is that it could be done during an office visit, which could be helpful in helping people understand how they’re feeling, Ritchie said.
“If they’re in a busy office environment, they might not have time to do a physical and they might be having a hard time finding the time,” she added.
People may not be ready to go for the physical because they’re overwhelmed by the stress, but the study found that they may not know that they need to do the test at the same time.
If they’re worried about the test being too difficult, you could ask someone to do some of the tests, she suggested.
The study also found that people with more stress were more resistant to getting tested, but people with milder stress were also more likely.
“The reason this is a benefit, we think, is because it could actually help them more,” Ritchie explained.
“So they may have more time to get their symptoms under control, which they might have been struggling with earlier.”
Ritchie added that people can take the tests at home, as long as they do them in a safe environment, and that it’s very important that they do it in the most comfortable way possible.
For instance, if they feel uncomfortable with a test, they could ask their spouse or significant other to take one, or if they’re having a difficult time finding a physical, they can ask their family doctor or therapist.
You can get a free flu vaccine at Health Canada by visiting their website.
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