How well have you cared for your health?Dr. Veita Bland / November 30, 2015
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It’s a Matter of Your Health
Well, we have made it to the end of the year but how well have you cared for your health this year? We all start the year with the intention of making a new and improved version of ourselves during the year. We strive to exercise more, to eat a better diet and to get adequate sleep. We strive to go improve our minds as we improve our bodies but some of us may fall short of those lofty goals. We fall down but then we get back up, to quote Rev. Donnie McClerkin. That getting back up is what makes us strong.
Have you performed your maintenance care? Have you seen your dentist? Dental health is so important. Decayed teeth can affect the health of your heart. Have you had your eyes examined? Not being able to see makes you a risk to yourself and to society especially when driving. Glaucoma needlessly steals the sight of many by not being detected early. Have you had your mammogram? I still feel they are a necessary part of health care as is self-breast examination. If there is a family history of breast cancer, speak with your health care provider and see if you need to start performing this test before the age of forty. How about that PSA for the gentlemen? Yes, controversy abounds but I have seen how it has saved many men so I still recommend them. Black men may have an aggressive form of prostate cancer so I am ever vigilant of them. Pap smear frequencies have been adjusted. Speak with your health care provider to make sure you are adequately surveyed.
Have you gotten old enough to get that colonoscopy? Fifty is the magic number unless there are signs of problems or family histories that say sooner. Again make sure that your health care provider is aware of that history.
Make sure that you get your blood count and cholesterol checked yearly. You cannot know that you need to cut back on that fried chicken and bacon without those numbers. Check on those kidney functions and liver functions also.
How is your immunization status? Do you need a tetanus or whooping cough shot? Tetanus is due every ten to fifteen years and the whooping cough is needed especially if you will be around babies.
Do you get your yearly flu vaccine? Have you reached the age that you should be getting a pneumonia or shingles shot?
Some say the yearly physical is a thing of the past. I say you should discuss your health issues with your health care provider and decide if that physical is appropriate and what time schedule is right for you.
Make sure you are on top of any chronic disease you may have such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, lung diseases or stomach ailments. Preventive care is the way to go here.
If there have been changes in your family history such as development of illnesses or death of immediate family members, make sure you provide that information to your healthcare provider. That information may mean changes in your healthcare strategies.
Be proactive and share all the medications, herbs, vitamins or anything else you are putting in your body with your health care provider. You would not want an interaction of medications.
Know what your insurance policy will and will not cover. If you are making changes make sure your new policy will cover your present medications. Ask for a formulary, a list which states what medications your insurance will cover. Share that with your healthcare provider so they may write for medications that are covered. Just like anything else in life the cheapest policy may not be the best for your medications and condition. Make sure the policy you chose will cover your needs.
Take stock of your health and protect it.
Veita Bland is a board certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Email Dr. Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org.