The Importance of Preventive Care
Almost everyone has heard the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This can be especially true when it comes to preventive health care. Maintaining or improving your health is important, so a focus on regular preventive care, along with following your doctor’s advice can help you stay healthy. Preventive care can help you avoid potentially serious health conditions and/or obtain early diagnosis and treatment. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) note that chronic diseases cause 70% of American deaths each year. Many of these medical conditions can be prevented or slowed when they are identified and treated early.
What is Preventive Care?
Preventive care focuses on maintaining your health and establishing your baseline health status. This can include immunizations such flu and pneumonia shots or for diseases like measles, physical evaluations, lab work, x-rays and medically appropriate health screenings.
Dr. Kaur, as a board-certified medical professional in internal medicine, consistently recommends taking steps toward preventive care to catch any major medical issues before it’s too late. Preventive care can take many forms. These are as simple as a self-breast exam, self-testicular exam, and of course, diet and exercise. We routinely advocate living a life with regular exercise, dietary restrictions, and proper amounts of sleep because these habits have been proven to help keep people healthy.
Common types of preventive care procedures include:
- Blood pressure screening
- Cholesterol screening
- Type 2 diabetes screen for adults 40 to 70 who are obese or overweight
- Diet counseling for adults who are at higher risk for chronic disease
- Hepatitis C screen for those at higher risk and one time for those born between 1945 and 1965
- Immunizations for diphtheria, influenza, pertussis, tetanus, pneumococcal pneumonia, shingles and more
- Statin prevention medication for adults over 40 at high risk
- Tobacco use screening and cessation intervention
We recommend additional screenings to determine accurately whether there are any medical issues to be concerned about. Some symptoms related to serious medical conditions can go unnoticed, and most people often don’t think of preventive measures until they succumb to illness. VIVAA’s expert, professional and courteous staff members works with Dr. Kaur to recommend many screening procedures, such as:
- Mammography: X-ray imaging of the breast to determine if there are cancerous tumors that are hard to detect.
- Colonoscopy: A long, flexible tube called a colonoscope is inserted into the rectum to detect abnormalities in the colon and rectum. This is a common procedure for screening for colon cancer
- PAP smears: The cervix is examined, cell samples are collected and examined under a microscope to check for cervical cancer
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm scan: An abdominal aortic aneurysm is defined as a widening of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. A screening helps determine if there is any bulging or dilation in the aorta to prevent it from expanding and rupturing
- Lung cancer screening: For high-risk adults 55-80 who are heavy smokers or have quit within the last 15 years
All of these screenings can give plenty of information about your current health situation, so it’s important to get them performed by professionals promptly and avoid problems in the future. The primary care services we offer can address these preventive care measures to make sure you’re taking all the right strides towards good overall health. The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurance companies to pay for most preventive health screenings. That means you won’t have a co-pay or incur an additional cost for these services.
During your preventive care visit, Dr. Kaur will determine what tests or screens are appropriate for you based on factors such as your age, gender, overall health status, personal health history and your current symptoms or chronic health concerns.
Our goal is to provide each patient with customized health plans tailored to their needs. All of our doctors on-staff believe in the good doctor-patient relationship that is necessary for effective care. VIVAA continuously operates in a compassionate, unrushed atmosphere that allows each patient the right amount of time to address all of their health issues. We promise to adequately support and encourage an active, healthy lifestyle while still taking preventive care measures to ensure any medical problems will not fly in under the radar. Our staff members are here to help you modify your current lifestyle for the better and remain a reliable resource for preventive care screenings.
The Benefits of Preventive Care
Initiating treatment or lifestyle changes before a chronic condition starts or while it is still in its early stages keeps you healthier and allows you to recover more quickly from illnesses. You will also have lower medical expenses in the long run because your symptoms will be more manageable and require less treatment. An organization called the Trust for America’s Health estimates that the average patient will get a return of $5.60 for every $1 spent on preventive health care.
Difference Between Preventive Care and Diagnostic Care?
Essentially, preventive care detects health problems before symptoms develop, while diagnostic care is ordered to determine the cause of symptoms you already have. VIVAA administers preventive care when you have no symptoms, normally during a routine physical. Some types of tests, such as colonoscopies, must be scheduled. Diagnostic care may result if a preventive screening detects abnormal results. The line between these types of care can be blurred with the same procedure being classified differently depending on the situation. Screening for high blood pressure is preventive in some cases but becomes diagnostic, for example, when a patient comes in with symptoms or has an established condition of elevated blood pressure.
Early prevention is critical to crafting effective, long-term plans and nip medical issues in the bud. So, if your goal is to focus on your overall health, you need the help of experienced medical professionals that you can find here. Call or stop by VIVAA’s center in Issaquah or Bellevue, WA, and our staff members will be happy to assist you with any concerns and answer any questions you may have about primary care services.