One troubling fact about healthcare in the United States is that many people don’t seek medical care until their health is in crisis, causing them to receive care in the emergency room. These emergency visits could have been often prevented with preventative care such as vaccinations and early intervention. Preventive care has proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce disease and lessen the financial cost of medical care. During the last decade, healthcare reforms have made many forms of Bastrop preventive health care more accessible. Below are some of the most impactful and universal preventative care services.
Diabetes is a chronic health problem affecting more than 100 million Americans. When left uncontrolled, diabetes can cause complications like vision loss, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, and amputations. Unfortunately, many people with diabetes don’t know they have the health problem because there are no obvious symptoms. But with early diagnosis or detection of prediabetes, minimally invasive treatments like lifestyle changes in diet and physical activity can help reverse the problem. Diabetes screening is important for anyone, especially those with an elevated risk of the disease, like Latinos, African Americans, and American Indians.
Blood pressure tests
A blood pressure test is an important screening method to identify risk factors for diseases in adults. Specialists recommend screening for abnormal blood pressure every three to five years for most adults. But adults over 40 years of age should get annual blood pressure tests. Regular blood pressure tests reduce heart failure, stroke, and coronary heart disease incidents.
Low blood pressure screenings lead to a reduction in heart failure, cerebrovascular events, and overall mortality.
It is important to test your cholesterol levels every four to six years to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease can cause strokes or heart attacks, but when detected early, it can be prevented with lifestyle changes or medication. You may need frequent cholesterol tests if you have hypertension, diabetes, or a family history of high cholesterol.
There are various tests to screen for cancer, but mammograms and colonoscopies are among the most common cancer screenings. Mammograms take about 20 minutes and can detect breast cancer before it spreads to other body parts that are difficult to treat. These screenings allow for early detection and treatment, helping women survive breast cancer.
Colonoscopies are performed to detect early signs of colorectal cancer, which is cancer of the colon and rectum. Like breast cancer, early disease detection is crucial for successful treatment. Colonoscopies are not the only way to screen for colorectal cancer; tests like stool tests or CT colonography might be more appropriate depending on a person’s risk factors.
Sexually transmitted infections are common and treatable, but social stigma can influence someone’s decision to take an STI screening. When undetected and untreated, STIs cause poor health outcomes, including serious illness and loss of fertility. Therefore sexually active individuals must take an STI test every three months to a year, depending on risk factors.