Many people visit their doctor only when they’re not feeling well. While treatment for illness is, of course, important, your doctor has far more to offer to keep you healthy. If you want to lead a long and healthy life while reducing the risk for serious chronic illnesses, you should explore health optimization services. This long-term plan for preventative care can change the way you feel and improve your health.
Why preventative care is so important
Preventative care is the most important kind of care you can get from your doctor. According to the American College of Preventative Medicine, the goal of preventative medicine is to “protect, promote, and maintain health and well-being and to prevent disease, disability, and death.” They sound like lofty goals, but that is exactly what preventative medicine does. While all risk factors for disease can’t be controlled for, the vast majority of them can. Your doctor will work with you to reduce as many of those risk factors as possible with regular guidance and treatment. That’s why regular wellness visits are your doctor are so important. Often, when symptoms begin to appear, an illness has already progressed quite a bit and may be more difficult to treat.
When talking about health and living a long life, the focus is often put on catastrophic events like heart attack, stroke, and cancer. While these are obviously concerns, these events are often a culmination of years of poor lifestyle habits and health. Heart disease can develop silently for years before you have a serious cardiac event. Decades of high cholesterol and hypertension can have a major impact on your health as you get older. Diabetes has also become a global health emergency in recent years. With more people than ever living with diabetes, it’s critical to monitor yourself for risk factors and reduce your chances of developing the illness.
The goal of health optimization is to reduce the chances of developing chronic illnesses. Alternatively, if you already have cardiovascular disease or diabetes, optimizing your health can help you control your condition and delay its progression. For example, diabetes can be controlled by diet and exercise alone up to a point.
Diet and exercise
The foundation of any wellness program is most certainly a healthy diet and exercise regimen. It is nearly impossible to lead a long and healthy life without these two things. While genetics certainly play a role in the development of chronic illnesses and serious disease, lifestyle choices are the other major component. Getting the proper nutrition, reducing intake of processed foods and saturated fats, and keeping your cardiovascular system strong are general rules to follow for everyone. However, on an individual level, everyone’s nutrient needs differ. Your doctor will check your levels periodically to keep a running log of where you are as far as key metrics of health are concerned. Recommendations will be made based on those findings. As levels change, different tweaks to your diet or exercise routine may be recommended to meet your needs.
As we get older, our bodies go through a variety of changes. At the root cause of many of them is a shifting of our hormonal balance. This happens naturally as we age. Men experience a depletion or lowered production of testosterone with age, while women see a reduction in estrogen and progesterone particularly after menopause. Many symptoms can appear due to low hormone levels including mood changes, decreased sex drive, low energy, weight gain, and poor concentration. Hormone replacement therapy may be recommended in order to reverse some of the symptoms you’re experiencing and revitalize you. While symptoms of low hormone levels can be vague and mimic other conditions, bringing your hormones back to normal levels can make you feel like you’re functioning at your best again if that is indeed the culprit. Your doctor will give you the information you need on hormone replacement therapy and what it can realistically accomplish for you.
Managing your health is an ongoing process. It’s not a simple blood test and a jumping on the scale once a year. What many people don’t realize is that you can optimize your health with the right expert assistance. The sooner you begin optimizing your health, the more years you’ll get to enjoy a body that performs the way you’d like it to. Most chronic conditions take years to put you in jeopardy. Before that you’ll experience a diminishment in your health that negatively affects your quality of life. With the right preventative care, you can greatly reduce your risks for developing these illnesses. Book an appointment online with us today. Dr. Morris and the team at The Private Practice have the expertise to provide you with the professional medical care you need to live a longer and healthier life.