The way the healthcare system is today, people get treated for illnesses after they get sick. Now, there’s a different way to care for people: treating them before they get sick. This is known as preventative care.
What is preventative care, exactly?
Preventative care focuses on keeping you healthy, so you don’t end up with an illness you’ll have to take care of for the rest of your life (also known as a chronic illness). This includes learning about healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercise and eating right. Your doctor helps ensure you stay healthy by teaching you these things and providing the following services:
- A physical exam
- Screenings for diseases like cancer
Why choose preventative care?
On top of helping you live a long life, going to your doctor for preventative care can help you get fast treatment when you need it and saves you money in the future:
Pay Less for Medical Care
The idea is simple: When you care for yourself now, you won’t have to pay for it later. Many diseases people have when they’re older can be treated early on to keep them from getting worse (or ever happening in the first place). These conditions can be found through preventative care with your doctor. If they are left untreated, however, they can lead to a lot of costly doctor and hospital visits in your future.
Staying Healthy = Faster, Easier Treatment
Before a disease starts, making good changes in your life—like the way you eat or how much you exercise—can help you stay healthy. Even if a problem starts to develop, the earlier your doctor sees the problem, the easier it may be to treat.
What types of chronic diseases can preventative care help avoid?
There are a number of diseases that can be avoided if people take part in preventative care. These include:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis is the most common cause of disability (an issue where someone can’t move or sense things correctly) in the U.S. Arthritis is a word used to describe a bunch of different diseases that cause pain and inflammation in the joints of the body, such as knees, elbows, hips, etc.
Though a lot of progress has been made in treating cancer, it continues to be a big problem in America. Over 1,500 people a day die from cancer or cancer-related complications. Early prevention is key when it comes to cancer, so you catch it before it gets too bad and spreads throughout the body.
Diabetes is an illness where the body can’t break down sugar the right way, and it can result in all kinds of problems. In fact, according to the CDC, it is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputation and new cases of blindness in adults.
Heart Disease and Strokes
Heart disease and strokes are two of the biggest killers in America. Both are usually the result of issues with the vascular system (which is the way blood travels in the body). Poor life habits can lead to clogs in that system that can result in these issues.
Oral diseases are painful diseases that happen in the mouth. They can include periodontal (gum) disease, tooth rotting and cancer. Oral diseases can happen when you don’t take care of your teeth and gums and don’t visit a dentist regularly.
Getting and staying sick does not have to be part of your life. If you are ready to take charge of your health and begin participating in preventative care, contact your primary care doctor to schedule an exam. If you do not have one, let us help you find one that fits your needs today.