To stay healthy in 2014, Vitals Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Todd Rosengart, advises a new approach to your health: Be proactive rather than reactive. Some common conditions like obesity and diabetes can be prevented, and other illnesses can be dealt with easier if detected early.
Below are 8 ways to stay on top of your health this year:
1. Make a list of all the physicians for each family member, including the physician name, specialty, address and phone number. This will help you reach out easily and quickly should the need arise.
2. Make sure you have the new insurance cards for the new year – consult your insurance website or other sources to understand your deductibles and co-pays, especially, if you have made changes with the new Healthcare Exchanges.
3. Check to see that all the medications you and your family take are up to date. If you’ve been taking the same medication for awhile, consult your doctor to see if new medications have come on the market that may be better for you and your condition.
4. Consider getting a flu shot if you haven’t already.
5. Update the list of vaccines that your kids have had and consult your pediatrician or family doctor to make appointments for vaccines if needed
6. If you still smoke (cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, or other tobacco products), quit now. It’s never too late – there are now many readily available nicotine replacement aids that can help you quit.
7. Create a plan to learn more about healthy eating and basic exercise programs. Then go out and put your plan in action. Strive to add new exercises or recipes in at least once a month so that you don’t get bored.
8. Make appointments for annual preventative exams. At a minimum, you should have a physical. If you’re a woman, you should also have a gynecologic examinations. Other screenings that you may need include:
– Skin scan. Consider screening exam with a dermatologist if you have a family history of melanoma or multiple unusual moles or other skin lesions
– Colonoscopy. Recommended if you’re over 50 years old or have a family history of colon cancer.
– Mammogram. Recommended for women over 40 years old or those with a family history of breast cancer.
– Prostate Check. Recommended for men over 45 years old.
– Lung Cancer Screening. If you have smoked at least one pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years and are 50-74 years old, you should be evaluated for low dose helical CT scan.
Read the Fox news piece, http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/12/31/health-care-tips-for-new-year that featured Dr. Todd Rosengart and have a healthy new year!