Preventative medicine is the area of medicine that's focused on preventing diseases and helping patients lead healthier lives, relying on health screenings and medical histories to help determine an individual's risks for developing specific diseases or medical conditions so a care plan can be developed to reduce those risks. A preventative care plan often includes changes in lifestyle, like losing weight, eating healthier, being more active or quitting smoking, in addition to medical options like medication. As part of an overall health strategy, preventative medicine can help patients understand their risk factors and address them early so they can enjoy better health and improved quality of life.
The best way to determine if you're at risk for serious medical issues is to have a preventative exam and consultation to help identify your risk factors for diseases. During the exam, you'll be asked to provide a complete personal and family medical history to look for potential risk factors that could increase your risk for diseases. You'll also have a physical exam including a blood pressure screening, and lab work including urine testing and blood testing will also be ordered, either during or before your visit. Other tests may also be ordered. Based on the data gathered from tests and your medical history, a risk profile can be developed that can help guide care to reduce specific health-related risks.
Today, there are dozens of health screenings available to help patients manage their risks and avoid serious diseases. The type and frequency of testing you may need will vary based on your personal and family medical history, your age, your gender and other factors. Several federal health agencies maintain guidelines providing recommendations for different types of health screenings. The best way to know which screenings could be beneficial for your needs is to schedule an office visit so you can be evaluated.
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