Anything I shouldn't do before taking a physical?

I’m taking a Class 1 Flight Physical in order to be qualified for an aviation contract when I graduate college and accept my commission as a Marine Corps Officer.

The test is pretty comprehensive and I’m told if there’s anything wrong with me they’ll find it. There is supposed to be a bunch of eye, blood, and listening exams as well.

My Officer Selection Officer told me to not drink any alcoholic beverages, eat oysters?, and to not go to any rock concerts as it might impair my hearing.

Is there anything else that I should be aware of not to do?

Is there anything else that I should do such as eat a certain food or supplement to temporarily increase vision or hearing?

Salt might raise your blood pressure.

P. S. Good luck!

Salt probably won’t raise your blood pressure, but black licorice will.

Wear earplugs for 24 hours prior to your test.

Annoying as hell, but you will hear like you never thought possible.

No cite other than the advice of some airline pilots when I had to take a hearing test once.


Eat little carbohydrate (less than 60 grammes of carbohydrate (not counting fibre) per day) for as long as you can (up to about a couple of weeks) before the exam. This will reduce your insulin level and raise your glucagon level. Glucagon is a diuretic and vasodilator, and insulin is an antidiuretic and vasoconstrictor, so a result will be to lower your blood pressure, and you may shed a few pounds, mostly of water. (I lost 4 kg (9 pounds) in a week when I took up this diet.) And there will be no traces of diuretic drugs or beta-blockers in your blood.

Another effect will be to lower your low density lipoproteins and raise your high-density lipoproteins, lowering your overall cholesterol. The effect should be to make you look a lot better on risk factors for heart attack and stroke.

You should be able to achieve this by cutting out cereals, bread, batter, pastry, rice, pasta, polenta, oatmeal, cous-cous, potatoes, root vegetables in general, sugar, candy, non-diet lolly-water (soda-pop), fruit juice, and very sweet fruits. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, celery, mushrooms, cauliflower, and broccoli, and as much meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, and tofu as you want. Don’t worry about how much fat you are eating, but don’t go overboard.

I would suggest that you not eat less than 30 g of available carbohydrate per day. If you did that you might have ketones in your blood and urine. This is harmless in itself, but it is most often found as a sign of diabetics on the verge of insulin coma. It will not be taken as a good sign. You might like to buy a package of ketosticks from a drugstore and test your own urine a few days before your exam: if there are ketones present, edge your carbohydrate up gradually until your urine is back to normal.

Drink plenty of water, but stay off the grog. Coffee will do you no harm, but don’t have more than seven or eight cups in the 24 hours before the test or it may look as though you take stimulants.

If you have a few weeks, eat plenty of red meat and perhaps liver, take vitamin B12 (or eat foods rich in it), and take plenty of aerobic exercise. This will help get your haemoglobin up and make you look fitter.

Good luck,

agback, seems like you’ve done this before.

Ear plugs are interesting, however, as after I had wax in my ear and had it removed, it was like I could hear everything.

I’m going in for the physical on 1/27/03.

Steer clear of the poppy-seed muffins and bagels, if they’re going to be doing drug tests.

If it were me, I’d think about having a private physician do a complete physical beforehand, to see if there are any minor issues that can be corrected. Cost you a few bucks, but what the hey? With only three days til the exam, though, this probably won’t help much now. At any rate, good luck to you!

This is probably in the realm of urban legend, but I’m curious to know if there is any shred of truth to it:

A male student of mine was told not masturbate within 24 hours of a physical for entry to the Marine Corps, as traces of protein from semen may linger in the urinary tract and show up in a urine test; providing a false indication of a kidney disorder.

I would think the first time you peed after the “act” would flush any semen from the urinary tract immediately. I don’t generally sit about thinking of these things. :smiley:

FIRST thing is not to let anyone scare with tales of how horrible a flight physical is.

I would advise against any special diets. Odds are, if you’re looking at a job that takes a Class 1 exam you’ll be repeating it every 6 months anyhow, so unless you want to change your diet permanently there isn’t a point to it.

Assuming you don’t have heart disease, epilepsy, or diabetes, and your vision is 20/20, you should pass without trouble.

If you have a concern about a particular thing go to an AME (aviation medical specialist) BEFORE your exam, even if it’s just to talk with him/her over the phone. A lot of things that get folks in a twist turn out not to be an issue.

To the best of my knowledge, they don’t normally test for drugs (they certainly don’t at my flight phsycials, but then I’m strictly civilian and those are a little different). The urine sample is for diabetes and abnormal protein levels. But it can’t hurt to stay away from anything with poppy seeds in it, just to be sure.

Get a good night’s sleep beforehand and don’t overdo with the coffee in the morning. TRY to relax.