Preventive medicine encompasses many different facets of healthcare that help an individual remain healthy and prevent possible health problems. This can include medical screenings, diagnostic testing, and the establishment of positive lifestyle habits. Through the use of annual physical exams, yearly screenings for potentially dangerous diseases, and advice on how to live a healthier, more invigorating lifestyle, doctors can help their patients prevent common health problems that reduce their quality of life or prevent them from doing the things they enjoy. With preventive health measures, patients are able to prevent many of the conditions that may have been a problem for their parents or other family members.
Preventive health plans often include many different tests and screenings that are used to determine if a person is predisposed to specific health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, digestive disorders, or high blood pressure. In addition to blood glucose tests, women can also benefit from mammograms, Pap smears, and pelvic exams that give doctors information they need about a woman's reproductive health. Men, women, and children alike can benefit from annual physical exams. These types of examinations are vital when it comes to preventing serious illnesses, especially in individuals who have a family history of illness or disease.
During an annual examination, doctors may uncover the beginnings of diabetes, hypertension, chronic gastrointestinal upset, or heart disease. In some cases, individuals may also exhibit the symptoms of a chronic upper respiratory disease, like COPD. When signs of these diseases begin to appear, the doctor can recommend possible lifestyle changes and treatment plans that will help to control the progression of the disease. If a condition is in its earliest stages, a reversal may even be possible. In a case where a person has an extensive family history of chronic disease, preventive heath measures may save their life.
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