When it comes to health, it is better to prevent a condition than to treat it, and that is a known fact. This is where the concept of adult preventive care (also referred to as “preventive medicine”) steps in and helps you prevent complications that may result from various undetected diseases, with the help of routine examinations and physical check-ups. In addition to the routine check-ups, nutrition also plays a pivotal role in the equation, as it is known that having a balanced diet can prevent most diseases, provided that they are not genetically inherited.
An Overview Of Preventive Care And Its Numerous Benefits
Thousands of people die from preventable diseases every day, simply because they skip the recommended routine check-ups and they fail to have these life-threatening conditions diagnosed in real-time. Treating a condition in its incipient stage is relatively easy, but as the condition progresses, be it cancer, HIV or any other condition, it becomes increasingly difficult to treat it or at least to keep it under control. Just like its name suggests, preventive care focuses more on preventing a disease from occurring and addressing it in its early stages, as opposed to treating it later on.
Nutrition – An Essential Part Of Adult Preventive Care
There are numerous factors that can increase the risk for potentially fatal conditions: while some people are genetically predisposed to some of them, such as hypertension or cancer, other diseases occur as a direct result of one’s lifestyle choices, environmental factors, diet and such. Diet-related diseases and sexually transmitted diseases are amongst the most common ones, but fortunately, there are numerous methods used for preventing most of them nowadays.
This is precisely why nutritionists and health care providers advise us to consume foods rich in antioxidants, amino acids, heart-healthy fats, vitamin C, zinc, iron, and other minerals. Moreover, physical exercises are also important for maintaining an optimal weight, reducing the levels of cholesterol, increasing the blood flow to the peripheral areas (arms and legs) and increasing your oxygen intake, which is very important for keeping a sharp mind and preventing Alzheimer’s.
Regular disease screenings are widely available nowadays, and in addition to a thorough health check, your health care provider may also offer you a questionnaire that you will need to answer in order to identify your risk of contracting or developing a certain condition.
Also, you must have your blood sugar and blood pressure checked on a regular basis, along with your cholesterol levels and screenings for all types of cancer. Your doctor will need to know everything about the diseases that commonly run in your family and that may be passed down do you – the comprehensive medical history is yet another important component of preventive medicine for adults.
Screenings for sexually transmitted illnesses, or STDs, are also included in the preventive health care package – you will be tested for gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, syphilis, and others. The earlier you diagnose a disease of any kind and you begin the treatment, the higher the chances for a full recovery.
Unfortunately, many diseases (and cancer in particular) are asymptomatic, which means that there are no signs or symptoms that may indicate something is wrong until the disease reaches its final stage, and when it does it is often too late. This is why blood tests, X-rays, MRIs, and other routine screenings are of utmost importance, especially for those who are considered to be at a higher risk for a certain condition, based on their family history and other factors.
It should go without saying that preventive medicine can benefit you on many levels: firstly, the patient is significantly more likely to enjoy a long, healthy and prosperous life with these regular, routine check-ups. Secondly, preventive care saves the patient considerable amounts of money in the long run, as it often happens that treating disease early on is a lot cheaper (and, as mentioned earlier, more effective) than treating it during its final stages.
The Bottom Line
To sum it all up, preventive medicine can really be a lifesaver, as some diseases (including those that were once thought to be incurable) can be completely cured, provided that they are diagnosed in their incipient stages.