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World Health Day (April 7)

World Health Day: Prioritizing Preventive Health Care

Preventive health care is just as important as seeing your doctor during times of illness or when you’re experiencing unusual symptoms. In fact, seeing your doctor for important well check ups contributes greatly to the overall quality of your health throughout your lifetime.

World Health Day is April 7, and your local Capital Women’s Care team of women’s health professionals shares important tips to help you evaluate preventive measures within your current personal health plan and augment it with often overlooked pertinent preemptive health practices, so you achieve and enjoy optimal, quality health throughout your life.

Why Get Preventive Care?

Preventive care puts you in direct charge of your personal health. It not only allows you to gauge where your health is currently, but it also helps you discover valuable ways you can protect it in the future.

Preventive care helps you:

  • eliminate or reduce disease risks.
  • identify disease early when more can be done to achieve best outcomes.
  • and save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

What is Preventive Care?

Preventive care means being proactive about your health. It helps you avoid becoming sick or effectively manage a health condition, so it doesn’t worsen or lead to further issues. Taking consistent, small actions when you may not have an illness or symptoms offers you best opportunity for achieving lifelong health.

To establish a good preventive care regimen, you need to:

  • know and understand your risk factors for illness or injury.
  • have regular, recommended health checkups.
  • get cancer and disease screenings as directed.
  • get all immunizations within health guidelines.
  • and practice healthy habits every day.

According to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), annual preventive health assessments or well visits provide doctors and practitioners excellent opportunity to counsel patients about preventing or minimizing health risks and to provide or make referrals for recommended specialized services if necessary.

Preventive Care Tips

The National Women’s Health Information Center offers the following 10 things you can do to help live longer, better and happier:

  • Be informed. Learn about health promotion and disease prevention and ask your healthcare provider for information uniquely specific to your personal health needs.
  • Be good to your bones. For healthy bones, be sure to replenish your body’s calcium level every day with foods like milk and other dairy products, tofu, leafy green vegetables, canned salmon or sardines and calcium-fortified juices or breads. Speak with your healthcare provider about calcium supplements. While osteoporosis can occur in both men and women, it’s more common in women over age 45.
  • Don’t use illegal drugs and limit alcohol intake. For women, the definition of moderate drinking stops at 1 drink a day. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines a drink as one 5-ounce glass of wine, one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Remember the alcohol content of each type of drink can vary widely. Where illicit drugs are concerned, there’s no such thing as safe” or “moderate” use.
  • Take all medicines wisely. Read all labels, follow instructions carefully and remind your healthcare provider or pharmacist about any other medicines or supplements you might be taking that could interact with prescribed medicines. For your safety:  to lower your risk for adverse side effects or medicine interactions, you should also let your healthcare provider know if you use any illicit or “recreational” drugs. If you have any questions about possible side effects, call your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
  • Play it safe. Avoid injuries. Buckle up. Wear motorcycle and bicycle helmets. Use smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Wear sunscreen and UV-protected sunglasses. Use street smarts and common sense. Practice safe sex by using condoms to guard against sexually transmitted infections (STIs.)
  • Get checked. Get regular checkups, preventive exams and immunizations. Make sure to have blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked annually or as recommended. Don’t forget to do self-exams, including skin, oral and breast self-checks.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.
  • Eat smart. Healthy eating is the secret to achieving and maintaining good health. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Enjoy a variety of foods, balance foods from each food group and exercise in moderation. Carrying around extra weight can increase your risk of several conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. These 26 evidence-based weight loss tips may help you shed pounds once and for all.
  • Get moving. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women. In the U.S., 1 in 4 women dies from heart disease. Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease and keep your ticker strong. It’s also beneficial for your mental and bone health. Just 30 minutes of physical activity, accumulated throughout each day, can radically improve the way you look and feel, both physically and mentally.
  • Be happy. Take time for yourself. Get connected with family, friends and your community. Pursue favorite hobbies, spend time with your significant other and do things with your family. Carve out time each day to do something you love and enjoy.

For a comprehensive timeline outlining women’s preventive health care, click on this link.

Routine Activities for Good Health

Keeping tabs on your everyday health with proactive preventive care boosts your chances of having overall good lifelong health. Be sure to schedule these routine exams to optimize daily health:

  • Schedule a dental checkup twice yearly. Daily brushing and flossing keeps away cavities, gum disease, and even your physician, as having healthy teeth and gums might reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Get vision and hearing checked annually.
  • Schedule an annual well woman checkup with your Capital Women’s Care provider. Include recommended screenings for cervical and breast cancer and reproductive health evaluation.
  • Get screened for diabetes at age 35 years and every 3 years thereafter if at average risk.
  • At age 45, get colorectal cancer screening. Continue recommended colonoscopies as warranted by your primary care practitioner.
  • Beginning at age 45 years, have a full lipid profile test for cholesterol and triglycerides. Schedule these tests every 5 years or as recommended based on your personal health/family history. If your history indicates high coronary artery disease risk, screening may begin earlier.
  • Get pneumococcal, shingles and COVID-19 vaccines and boosters as recommended. Ask your healthcare provider during your well checkup if you need any other vaccinations or if immunization recommendations have changed since your last visit.
  • Get a tetanus/diphtheria (td) booster every 10 years.

With consistent proactive preventive health care, you have better opportunity for enjoying a healthy life. Your Capital Women’s Care team of doctors, practitioners and support staff is here to answer your questions concerning preventive health care and how it relates to your personal health care plan and any women’s health issue. Our compassionate, premier group of doctors, practitioners and support staff prioritizes your health care and treatment so you may achieve and enjoy a long quality life.