The Importance of Health Screenings

It is often easy to get busy with life and forget to take care of ourselves first. Besides regular exercise, adequate amounts of sleep, and a healthy diet, one of the most important things to remember for ourselves is consistent, regular preventative maintenance, such as regular health screenings. Having health screenings that include physical exams and other tests often help to detect issues before they start!

Annual and consistent exams and tests can help find issues before they start. But, regular exams also can help find issues early. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are improving your chances for treatment and cure.

Make an appointment with your regular health care provider or Primary Care Physician (If you don’t have one, please give us a call). We will have good recommendations, often depending on your current health, age, past medical problems, etc. Essential exams, screenings, and vaccinations that are common include cholesterol tests, colorectal cancer screenings, high blood pressure checks, skin cancer checks, and hearing/vision testing.

Luckily, preventative care is available at every stage of life. Along with health screenings, some of the additional ways to prevent illness include avoiding tobacco use, exercising regularly, getting vaccinations, and seeing a doctor on a regular basis.

Today many people go without needed preventive care, often because of financial issues. Families with or without insurance may put off or delay care due to copayments and deductibles. Although most people underuse preventive services, individuals experiencing social, economic, or environmental disadvantages are even less likely to use these services. Examples of obstacles include lack of access to quality and affordable health care, lack of access to healthy food choices, unsafe environments, and a lack of educational and employment opportunities.

Deterring and avoiding disease, in general, is key to improving the country’s health and getting rising health costs under control.  Today’s kids need to grow up in communities, homes, and families that nurture their healthy development, while adults are productive and healthy. Businesses benefit because healthier employees lead to lower long-term health care costs. In addition, companies that offer a healthy, productive, solid, consistent workforce can be more attractive places for families to live and for businesses to locate.

So, there is work to be done as consumers, but the benefits we will reap are great and will only get better. Eliminating cost-sharing for certain preventive services increases the likelihood that preventive services will be used. Preventing disease before it starts is critical to helping people live longer, healthier lives and keeping health care costs down. Preventive services can also help those in early stages of disease keep from getting sicker.

In closing, there are two case examples from the CDC:

“Joe Smith always considered himself to be a healthy individual. As far as he was concerned, he ate the right foods and exercised enough. As a result of the ACA, Joe learned that his health care insurance plan was now offering free diabetes screenings. Since he could get a screening during lunch, Joe decided that it couldn’t hurt to take part. To Joe’s surprise, the results of his weight and blood tests showed that he was pre-diabetic with a blood sugar level of 101. As a result of the test, Joe met with his health care provider and learned about the types of foods he should be eating, as well as suggestions for improving his exercise regimen. After five months of the new diet and exercise program, Joe was able to lose 24 pounds and reduce his blood sugar so that he is no longer considered pre-diabetic.”

“Judy Davis, an independent consultant was living a fast-paced life. As a single mother with two small children, she focused all her energy on her work and family. Although her kids ate well-balanced meals, she relied on coffee and cigarettes. Her only exercise was running after her kids. As a result of the ACA, Judy learned that she was eligible for free preventive services with her private health care plan. This included screenings for breast cancer. After a mammogram, her doctor told her that there was a sizable lump in her breast and recommended a biopsy. Results confirmed that Judy had breast cancer. After a lumpectomy and many months of radiation, Judy decided to change her lifestyle to make sure she would be around to watch her children grow up. Judy quit smoking, began eating healthy and started exercising. As a result of catching her cancer early, when it was more easily treatable, Judy has a new lease on life and is now cancer-free.”

If you have questions, please give us a call at 409-986-5521 or schedule your appointment using our online scheduler.


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