Although it may not be a topic that’s widely discussed or thought about, the importance of preventive medicine cannot be understated. Some people believe that going to the doctor whenever they feel ill is too invasive and will result in a large majority of unnecessary tests, but new studies show otherwise. In fact, these studies show that the earlier an illness is caught, the more likely it will be fully treatable and curable.
According to new studies, people who go see a doctor before any signs of illness begin to appear are less likely to develop diseases that cause serious health problems later on in life. The importance of preventative medicine is clear through these statistics: according to one study, eighty-five percent of all chronic diseases could be avoided by preventative care. This includes issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers.
Patients who go to see their doctor for a regular check-up and receive the appropriate preventative measures (such as vaccines) are less likely to develop these types of serious illnesses that can cause lasting damage. For example, say a person is in perfect health and goes to see a doctor for a simple check-up. Based on the results of the check-up, the doctor prescribes an annual flu shot, as well as regular cholesterol tests that are recommended for people whose family has struggled with high cholesterol issues.
If that same individual does not go to the doctor for a check-up, then they are more likely to not catch any warning signs if their cholesterol begins to rise. It may seem like a small problem, but left untreated high cholesterol can cause serious problems with the heart and other organs in the body.
Or take the flu shot example again. If people get sick before the flu season begins, they are more likely to get better before any other people get sick due to the virus. If no one else in the general population is sick yet because of said virus, then there will be fewer people than can pass it along. This will mean that an individual who has not received the vaccine is less likely to contract the illness.
In fact, according to a study by Harvard Medical School, these types of preventative actions have lowered the number of heart attacks and strokes in this country. In other words, taking a simple step such as going to see a doctor for a regular check-up can make a world of difference in one’s health. Even if there is nothing wrong, simply knowing is half the battle in treating a disease.
The importance of preventative medicine is not something that should be ignored. Although it can seem like a hassle to go to see a doctor for regular check-ups and tests every year, even if there isn’t an illness present, these simple steps can help avoid more problems down the road.