Sometimes it is tricky to navigate the steps necessary to take control of your health. The healthcare system can seem overwhelming with the undaunting list of tasks to complete each year for our health check. Focusing on preventative care allows you to take a proactive stance for your health and can help you to stay on a healthier track. Preventative care allows you to get screened for chronic medical conditions and can identify risk factors before the disease starts. This ensures that you get access to prompt medical treatment if necessary. Focusing on regular preventive care can help you and your family stay healthier, can increase your lifespan and reduce overall medical expenses.

Here are some key preventative areas to discuss with your provider.

Annual Check-up

  • Review of medical history and current health status
    • Annual check-up (1 per calendar year): This is when your Primary Care Provider (PCP) checks all areas of your health—physical, as well as emotional. This can help detect any health concerns early before they become major medical problems.
    • Additional primary care visits: Most health plans will cover you for 1 annual check-up with your doctor. Other visits during the same calendar year will likely not be covered as preventive. For example, if you have flu symptoms and need to see your doctor—that is not a covered preventive care visit.

  • Comprehensive Head-to-Toe Physical Examination
    • Height, Weight, Waist Circumference, Body mass index (BMI) assessment – BMI is an estimate of your body fat based on your height and weight. It provides a quick way to learn if you are at a healthy weight.
    • Blood pressure screening- Keeping your blood pressure in check is an important part of maintaining good health.
    • Lab Work & Diagnostic Testing
      • Complete blood count- includes hemoglobin, platelets.
      • Chemistry panel- includes blood glucose level. If you are overweight or have any risk factors for diabetes, your blood  glucose and Hemoglobin A1C should be checked. The American Diabetes Association recommends that all adults, beginning at age 45, should be tested for diabetes — regardless of weight.
      • Lipid Panel – screening lipid panel (cholesterol test) is recommended every 4 to 6 years, according to the American Heart Association. Your provider may check more frequently if you have risk factors for heart disease. Abnormal cholesterol levels increase the risk for heart disease and strokes.
      • Urinalysis (UA)
      • Further Lab Work & Diagnostic testing warranted based on symptoms.
    • Immunization Review and Administration- Routine vaccination is an essential preventative care at every age. It is important to stay on schedule. The CDC website has the schedule for all age groups at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html.

  • Specialist Visits
    • Visits to a specialist (gastroenterologist, orthopedist, neurologist, podiatrist, etc. may be needed for any condition that need further evaluation and treatment

  • Cancer Screenings for adults – Breast, colorectal, cervical, lung, prostate and other screenings based on identified risk factors.Breast – Mammogram – Starting at age 40 or sooner if there is a family history of breast cancer or abnormalities detected.Gyn- Cervical Cancer Screening beginning at age 21. Women in their 20’s should get a Pap smear every three years. Women between the ages of 30-65 should get a Pap smear every 5 years with HPV co-testing. Colorectal – Colonoscopy (typically 1 per every 10 years, usually after the age of 50) or may be done earlier if you have risk factors or family history.

  • Mental Health Screen
    • It is important to discuss any mental health concerns with your primary care provider. Your primary care provider may use a mental health screening tools to identify the need for further evaluation. The tools can provide the necessary information need to determine if you need to see a mental health provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions.

Send us a message at adaptivehealthlifestyle if you are having difficulties with keeping on track of your health check-up and any medical conditions. You will work with a licensed nurse practitioner to help you navigate your health journey and help you achieve your personal health and wellness goals.