• Hana Kovac

The importance of prevention

Current events in my close family reminded me of how utterly important prevention is. Health is the most valuable thing we have and, unfortunately, the majority of people recognize it too late. Did you know that you have a fundamental right to have FREE preventive check-up once per two years*? And are you aware that cancer and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world? These diseases are totally preventable and curable if treated early so you should consider to knock on your doctor's door even if you feel healthy. The sad true is that many diseases don't have symptoms. Our health is our own responsibility and preventing disease should be a high priority. Also, no one can argue that medical care is expensive, and preventing disease can help avoid a large financial loss.

Now, most of the doctors finally recognize that nutrition, exercise and sleep are crucial for optimal health. If you are reading this post you are probably aware of it as well. But if you want to be sure you will live disease-free well into your nineties, copy-paste this check list and print it out. Then go to your doctor and make sure he or she runs all tests.

Preventive Care Check-up List

Even before going to the doctor, check these four things:

1. Do you smoke? If yes, find a way to quit - get help from support groups or your doctor.

2. Drink only in moderation (and red wine is the most acceptable use of alcohol)

3. Eat a highly nutritious, balanced diet with lots of vegetables, mainly green leafy veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Most of your food should come from nature and not from a package.

4. Exercise.

5. See your doctor regularly for check-ups: your doctor should check your blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose level (tested while fasting), vitamin D level. He should also perform colorectal cancer screening for adults over 50, Diabetes (Type 2) screening for adults with high blood pressure, HIV screening for everyone ages 15 to 65, and other ages at increased risk, obesity screening and counselling (calculating your body mass index - BMI). This prevention checklist is very helpful - you just type your sex and age and the page gives you a list of all screenings recommended for your age group. Screening tests differ for men/women/pregnant women so check with your doctor which tests do you need.

Wishing you a happy healthy life!

*in Europe. Check your health care system or ask your doctor. And read this article.

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