Today most health insurance policies provide yearly health examines and very limited preventive medicine coverage. It’s imperative though that people be proactive in their approach to healthcare to avoid illness and get treatment for on-going conditions before they become serious. People must become their own healthcare advocates.
Here are some basic recommendations:
- Get a check-up. How often you have a check-up can be determined by your age, sex and overall health. Have your blood pressure checked and get screened for hypertension.
- Stay physically active and exercise regularly. Something as simple as a daily 30-minute walk will do wonders for your overall health.
- Weight can be a killer. Address any overweight and obesity issues you may have.
- Eat a healthful diet that features daily servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables and at least one serving of fatty fish (salmon, tuna, trout) per week. Consider a high quality fish oil pill that has been concentrated and purified to give you 1,000 mg of combined DHA and EPA in a single soft gel.
- Limit foods and drinks high in sugar, salt, and saturated fat. Avoid unhealthful snacks. Stay away from processed foods to the best of your ability. Avoid simple carbohydrates. Sugar is your enemy.
- Talk to your doctor about whether or not taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks and stroke is right for you.
- Get immunized: Annual flu shots are recommended for adults 50 and older, as well as immunization of adults 65 and older against bacteria that causes pneumonia and related diseases. Children should get immunized for measles, mumps, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, rubella, polio, hepatitis B, etc.
- Cholesterol screening is imperative. Request an assessment of not only your LDL but your LDL particle number as well. Liposcience does this in their NMR LipoProfile.
- Never smoke; quit smoking if you’ve already started; and avoid second hand smoke.
- Adults 50 and older should have a routine colorectal-cancer screening.
- Cervical cancer screening for sexually active women and women over 21 years of age.
- Routine breast-cancer screening for women 50 and older and discussion with women ages 40 to 49 to set an age to begin screening. Other special recommendations may apply to high risk women. Speak to your doctor.
- Calcium-supplement counseling for adolescent girls and women.
- Get an eye exam, particularly adults 65 and older.
Please remember that central to overall health is daily exercise, a healthful diet, and maintenance of an optimal weight. We call this TLC, or Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes. TLC is paramount for health!