Many people would adopt a healthy lifestyle just to avoid diseases, but not all are willing to take the extra step of practicing preventive care. After all, who would want to go through the hassle of visiting the doctor regularly or getting screenings and vaccinations done?
The truth is that preventive care is not just about avoiding diseases. It’s also about detecting health problems early on when they’re easier to treat. It’s about taking charge of your health and feeling your best.
Why There Is a Need To Embrace Preventive Care
Diseases do not discriminate. Anyone can get sick, no matter how young or old, rich or poor they are. This is why everyone must have access to preventive care.
Unfortunately, many people still do not see the importance of preventive care. A study showed that only 8% of Americans get routine preventive care services. This is a shame because preventive care has been proven to be very effective in saving lives and promoting good health.
One of the main reasons why people avoid preventive care is because they think it’s too expensive. Yes, some services may require you to pay out-of-pocket, but most insurance plans now cover preventive care services with no copayment or coinsurance. This means that you can get the care you need without having to spend a lot of money.
Another reason why people avoid preventive care is that they think it’s not necessary. They believe that as long as they feel fine, there’s no need to see a doctor or get screenings done. However, many diseases do not show symptoms until they are already in the late stages. Even if you feel healthy, getting screenings will help you catch these diseases early on when they’re easier to treat.
Lastly, some people avoid preventive care because they simply don’t like going to the doctor. No one likes getting poked and prodded. However, such pokes and prods could save your life.
The point is to catch diseases early, before they cause serious harm. So if you’re not getting any preventive care services, you risk your health. You are more likely to undergo costly and time-consuming treatments down the line when you can easily beat some diseases in their early stages.
How to Get Started with Preventive Care
There are many ways to start welcoming preventive care into your life. The following are just a few examples of things you can do now to better care for your health.
Talk to Your GP
Keeping your general physician updated with your plan to start preventive care is a good idea. They will most likely be supportive and give you valuable tips on getting started. This can include undergoing certain screenings, getting vaccines, and eating a healthier diet.
Your GP can also help you manage any chronic health conditions. If you have diabetes, for instance, they can help you monitor your blood sugar levels and prevent complications.
Don’t Be Afraid of Diagnostic Care
Screenings and tests can be daunting, but they’re nothing to be afraid of. In fact, they could save your life.
Many different types of screenings and tests are available, depending on your age and health status. For instance, all adults should start getting a colon cancer screening test at age 50. Women should also get a mammogram starting at age 40.
If you’re unsure which screenings and tests you should get, talk to your GP. They will be able to create a personalized plan for you based on your unique needs.
Don’t Forget About Your Dental Health
Your oral health is just as essential as your overall health. This is why you should also see a reliable dentist regularly, even if you don’t have any dental problems. They can help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. They can also spot conditions affecting other body parts, such as diabetes and cancer.
Be sure to visit your go-to dental clinic at least twice a year for a dental checkup. If you are still unsure where to get your oral health checked, consider asking for recommendations, checking reviews online, and seeing which licensed dentists you feel comfortable with. It would be better if they offer other services like dental implants and emergency dental services so you’ll have peace of mind knowing you know where to go in times of dental trouble.
Prioritize Mental Health
It also pays to give enough attention to your mental health, too. This is because your mental health can affect your physical health in many ways. For instance, stress can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to diseases.
Depression and anxiety can also lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as smoking and excessive drinking. These habits can increase your risk of developing chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
To keep your mental health in tip-top shape, get enough rest, try to stay active, and eat a healthy diet. You should also avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or down, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Your body is always changing, and it is already giving cues that can be an early sign of disease. If you ignore the signs and symptoms, it might be too late before you get a diagnosis.
Start by being more mindful of your body. Pay attention to any changes, no matter how small. Don’t hesitate to consult your GP if you notice anything unusual.
For example, you should see a doctor if you have any of the following:
- A lump or mass that appears suddenly
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent pain
- Changes in your bowel habits
- Bleeding that is not normal for you
- Skin changes, such as a new mole or a change in an existing one
- Changes in your urinary habits
If you experience any of these changes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a severe health problem. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Saying “yes“ to preventive healthcare may not always be convenient or affordable, but it’s almost always worth it. From early detection and prevention of serious health conditions to saving money on future healthcare costs—there are many good reasons to make preventive care a priority in your life. So next time your doctor recommends a screening or immunization, don’t hesitate to say yes. Your future health may depend on it.