During this month of heart health awareness I wanted to bring attention to the importance of having your annual physical, including lab work.
Many heart-related diseases like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis or diabetes (which increases your risk for heart disease) do not necessarily have symptoms or pain associated with them.
Most people find out they have these diseases because they went to their doctors for a checkup. The physical exam or the blood work came back with the positive finding for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes or other markers for heart disease. I wanted to show the importance of having a yearly checkup with lab work even if you are feeling fine.
Heart disease can be managed and even prevented in many cases by lifestyle factors like healthy eating, appropriate exercise, stress management and proper sleep.
It is important to have your annual checkup, and to talk to your doctor about your physical exam and your lab work.
If you consider these appointments like an empowerment checkup with your doctor, you can often start modifying your behavior before you get a diagnosis for heart disease or diabetes. It is always easier to reverse high cholesterol or high blood sugars before they get really high.
High cholesterol or high blood sugar levels are detected by blood tests. High cholesterol levels can create plaque leading to atherosclerosis. Blood pressure is checked as part of a physical exam during an office visit.
These are only a few diseases that can be found during your annual exam.
The message that I want you to get from this article is that you can and should take control of your health by partnering with your doctor and getting your annual physical and blood work every year.
Understanding your lab work empowers you to make lifestyle decisions that can positively impact your health.
Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.org
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