Maintenance is a part of life and consistency is key. We tune up our cars, mow our lawns, cut our hair, paint our houses, and the list goes on. However, we often neglect to maintain the most important thing of all: our bodies. Consider these 4 medical procedures everyone should be having regularly to maintain good health and vitality.
1. Dental exam
Dentists recommend at least one dental exam per year, which includes a tooth cleaning and identifying any gum inflammation or bone loss. Additionally, the dentist can identify if other procedures like fillings, crowns, or root canals need to take place to maintain proper bite and function. Studies have also shown neglecting routine dental care and allowing gum inflammation to fester can affect heart health.
Check in with a family physician once a year to assess overall health and wellness. During a routine physical, a doctor can use a stethoscope to listen to the heart, lungs, and abdomen as well as observe the appearance and color of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat. Additional assessments of balance/reflexes, pulse, and extremities can provide more clues about a person's current state of health. Many health problems could be detected and handled in a timely manner if a physical exam is conducted annually.
3. Blood glucose
With diabetes being diagnosed at alarming levels, it's imperative to have blood glucose levels checked annually, or more frequently depending on family history. Fasting blood glucose levels should be below 105 mg/dL for people without diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. If lab results show elevated blood glucose levels, a healthcare professional can make diet, exercise, or possibly medication recommendations to stabilize glucose levels. Untreated diabetes can result in long-term complications like cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, blindness, limb amputation, or even death.
4. Cholesterol screening
Cholesterol levels are vital to know whether a person is at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States. A simple blood test can detect whether levels are too high or too low. Lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad type) can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Current guidelines suggest health cholesterol levels should be below 200 mg/dL. This annual screening should be taken to heart and not avoided.
So maintain health and peace of mind by taking the time to schedule these 4 simple medical procedures today.