When we think of medicine, we tend to think of illness. It makes sense, then, that when we’re feeling relatively good and healthy, it’s easy to take our health for granted. However, just like a car needs regular tune-ups and oil changes, our bodies need routine maintenance and care. Indeed, preventative medicine can reduce the risk of disease, as well as lead to early diagnosis and, if necessary, prompt and effective treatment. Keep reading for more information on preventative medicine, including common medical practices, self-care methods and more.
Regular checkups with your primary care provider can help prevent illness in a number of ways. First of all, routine checkups allow your doctor to monitor your health and any conditions you may have, which can help with early diagnosis and treatment. Other professional preventative methods include the following:
*Vaccinations. Vaccinations aren’t just for children. Talk to your doctor about which vaccinations are right for you, and always get caught up on inoculations before leaving the country.
*Tests and scans. Depending on your medical and family history, your doctor may want to scan for certain illnesses. This can include genetic blood testing to determine predisposition for some types of cancer, X-rays, CT scans and other diagnostic procedures.
*Reproductive health. For women, regular gynecological checkups are crucial in preventing and diagnosing cancers of the ovaries, uterus and breast. For men, regular checkups can prevent testicular and prostate cancers.
It’s also important to note that preventative medicine doesn’t stop with a checkup. In order to fully protect yourself from illness and disease, you must follow doctor’s orders and keep all future appointments. According to experts at Solutionreach Patient Reactivation, it’s not uncommon for patients to fall off the radar after initial doctor visits. Take full responsibility for your health, and remember to follow up with your doctor or specialists, take all medications as prescribed, and try to form lasting relationships with your healthcare providers.
In addition to seeing a doctor for regular checkups and scans, there are plenty of ways you can prevent certain illnesses. Lifestyle choices like the following, for example, can help you lose weight, lower cholesterol and reduce the risks associated with diseases like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
*Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Foods like fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats not only promote weight loss, but help prevent disease, as well. In addition to cutting the risks of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, the nutrients and antioxidants found in whole foods have been linked to lower instances of stomach, breast and colon cancers.
*Exercise. Regular workouts can help prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, joint problems and other conditions. Find an activity you love, and one that’s best suited to your lifestyle and fitness level, and get to it!
*Don’t smoke or drink to excess. Smoking causes cancer, emphysema, COPD and a host of other illnesses; stopping now can reduce those risks, as well as enhance overall health and well-being. In excess, alcohol can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis and even cancer; cut back, or quit, altogether.
*Protect your skin. Protect your skin from harmful, cancer-causing UV rays by wearing sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), hats and protective clothing.
Preventative Care and Mental Health
Just like physical health, emotional and psychological wellness can benefit from preventative self-care. Prevent and attend to mental illness by staying aware of your mental and emotional states, and by seeking treatment for conditions like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder as soon as you notice symptoms. Keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings is a great way to monitor your mental state, as is asking loved ones for input and support.
“Through preventative care, you can
take control of your health, reduce
the risk of disease, and enhance
your quality of life.”
To sum it up, wellness is often fleeting, and we should never take good health for granted. Thankfully, through preventative care and the tips provided here, you can take control of your health, reduce the risk of disease, and enhance your quality of life.
What are your favorite preventive care suggestions?
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