What role does preventative medicine play in today’s society? Many of the leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory illness, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, and pneumonia. In many cases, these are preventable diseases. Additionally, in many cases, these were reversible diseases.
Many of these diseases are caused or made worse by poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive drinking, and other adverse lifestyle decisions. For example, one out of three adults in the United States is obese. Obesity is a significant contributor to a host of health problems including heart disease and diabetes.
Studies have shown that patients that undergo bariatric surgery have a 60% reduction in the risk of cancer-related death, a 50% decrease in the risk of a heart disease-related death and a 90% decrease in the risk of a diabetes-related death. These statistics are significant and demonstrate the damage obesity has on the human body.
Eating a healthy well-balanced diet, maintaining regular physical activity, and staying in close contact with your doctor can do a lot to help keep your risk factors for these diseases low. Be active in your health, and when you see your doctor, go in with questions to ask a physician. Make sure you understand your risks for these types of diseases.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women. Over 600,000 people die of heart disease every year. Being overweight and smoking are significant risk factors for heart disease. If you are not currently under the care of a doctor, it is important that you find a doctor to get a better understanding of your risk and what you can do to reduce that risk.
If you are at a higher risk of heart disease, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist. Be prepared with questions to ask a cardiologist. You want to leave your appointment knowing what you are going to do to improve your health.
Sometimes preventative health may mean undergoing tests to get a better understanding of your health status. It may mean outpatient services that will reduce your health risks and improve your health outlook. Preventative medicine may only mean changing the way you eat and losing weight.
The cost of preventative medicine far outweighs the costs of treatment once diseases are irreversible. Many diseases can be reversed if they are caught early and you do everything recommended to you by your doctor. For example, Type II diabetes is almost always a result of poor lifestyle choices. While there are risk factors unrelated to personal habits, those are the minority.
When caught in the pre-diabetes stage, the situation can be reversed. Making clear and deliberate decisions to eat better and increase physical activity can take you from pre-diabetic to perfectly healthy. At that point, it becomes a personal decision.