- When was the last time you went to the doctor?
- Did you only go because you were already sick?
- Do you have a regular wellness routine in place?
These questions may be overwhelming, but they’re important because your answers to each of them could reveal more about your health than you realize.
Preventive healthcare has been proven to lower overall healthcare costs and has saved lives, yet Americans use preventive health services at half the recommended rate, according to the CDC.
So, what’s the big deal? If you’ve gone most of your life without any serious illness or injury, then you may think you’re in the clear.
However, we want our patients to understand just how important preventive care is and what a great investment into yourself it can be.
What is Preventive Care?
This is the first step to staying healthy as it will allow you to avoid illness and uncover issues long before symptoms may even start. Early detection is crucial as many diseases are completely treatable when caught early, and many chronic conditions are preventable if appropriate action is taken.
Did you know that:
- Chronic diseases make up 75% of healthcare costs each year
- Over 30 million Americans have diabetes
- Nearly half of Americans suffer from at least one chronic condition
Each of these could be avoided with preventive care. Now, let’s focus our attention on what preventive care entails.
Preventive care varies depending on age and health history, considering characteristics like a family history of certain diseases, but for the purpose of this article, we will focus on preventive services for adults.
While there are many different ways to engage in preventive care, here’s a list of the basics:
- Immunization vaccines
- Cholesterol screening
- Blood pressure screening
- Type 2 Diabetes screening
- Patient counseling and education
- Osteoporosis screening
In addition to these exams, men and women may have more specific tests like gestational diabetes or breast cancer screening for women and AAA and colorectal cancer screening for men.
How many of these screenings have you had done? Have you had any screenings in the last year? If you’re guilty of avoiding your annual check-up, then it’s okay. It’s never too late to start!
In general, you want to have age-appropriate screening tests done annually, or as recommended by your doctor. The top preventable diseases include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and vaccination-preventable infections.
We also recommend mental health counseling and screening to ensure you are receiving the care you need throughout each stage of life.
Preventive Care Can Preserve Good Health
Our goal with preventive medicine is to help you maintain good health throughout your lifetime and to extend your lifespan. Having a check-up each year and getting recommended screening tests is the best way to do this.
Although most people wouldn’t think twice about a doctor’s visit when sick, the same can’t be said when it comes to regular check-ups.
Preventive care goes well beyond the walls of our clinic; it starts at home. Aside from your annual check-up and keeping your physician up to date on your health, there are plenty of things you can do that require no medical knowledge. Are you implementing the following healthy habits into your daily life?
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products.
- Drink alcohol in moderation (if at all).
- Regular exercise is your friend. Aim for three days a week of aerobic workouts and strength training.
- Eat a well-rounded diet to ensure you receive proper nutrients.
It seems simple enough, right? If you need more convincing on why preventive health care is essential, here are a few more things to consider.
The Benefits of Preventive Healthcare
We’ve been going on and on about how great and important preventive care is, but we know that some of you just want the facts. Here you go. Preventive care can benefit you by:
- Save Money: When you have regular check-ups and age-appropriate screening, you are actually saving money on medical expenses. Preventive medicine can catch disease or illness in the early stages before it is too costly to manage. Plus, many health insurance covers preventive screenings and tests.
- Give You Peace of Mind: Especially true for patients with a family history of certain diseases. Getting annual check-ups and testing done can help ease your worry of being diagnosed with something. We’ll help you understand what your current health status looks like so that you may live your best life!
- Have the Opportunity for Effective Treatment: If your screening should detect something and you are diagnosed with a disease or chronic condition, chances are it will be in the early stages, meaning it is much more treatable. On the other hand, many tests can catch a disease before it even starts meaning you have some time to make lifestyle changes or undergo treatment that could prevent them from ever arising.
Each of these are huge advantages when considering your health. If you see the value of preventive care and you’re ready to meet with an expert partner to guide you on your path to wellness, we can help!
OneLife Medical is Here for You
We’re here to help you make preventive care a priority. You only live once, live well! When you visit OneLife Medical, we will listen to you and work together to uncover the root of your health problems.
Schedule your consultation today, so we can craft the best plan of care so that you can look, feel, and live your best life!