Primary care and primary prevention are measures taken to prevent the onset of a disease. This may involve activities to promote health by altering the impact of social and economic variables on health and providing information about behavioral and medical health issues.
It also involves counseling and risk-reduction strategies at the personal and community levels, as well as nutritional and dietary supplements, oral and dental hygiene education, and clinical preventive treatments.
Primary care physicians can raise public awareness about strategies to negate often preventable medical diseases and conditions. Primary care clinics are widely available across the state of Tennessee, including the Chattanooga, Cleveland, Hixson, Dunlap, and Sale Creek areas and maintaining regular primary care visits, while also following our comprehensive guide below, can help minimize many of these glaring issues. Many diseases strike unexpectedly. Their origins could be traced back to your family history or something in your genes over which you have no control. However, with good strategic and lifestyle modifications, a surprising number of health issues can be avoided.
Among these measures are the following:
- Monitor Your Blood Pressure:
When you visit your primary care physician, have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. Hypertension increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, both of which are primary causes of mortality.
Even minor weight loss can help many overweight people control or prevent high blood pressure.
- Check Your Cholesterol Levels:
When you take a cholesterol test, the results will reveal your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter.
It is important to have your cholesterol evaluated since your doctor will be able to advise you on how to maintain healthy levels, lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Monitor Your BMI Regularly:
Calculate your body mass index to see if you are at a healthy weight for your height (BMI).
The BMI scale consists of:
- Underweight: less than 18.5 lbs.
- 18-24.9: Normal
- > 25: Obese
Obese or overweight persons are more susceptible to acquiring serious health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, and breathing problems, If you are overweight or obese, your doctor or a nutritionist can assist you in achieving your optimal body mass.
- Control Your Blood Sugar Levels:
Reduce your consumption of soda, sweets, and sugary desserts, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
- Don’t Miss On Health Screenings And Vaccines:
It’s not an exaggeration to say that health screenings can save your life. They are aimed at detecting malignancies and other significant disorders early, allowing for more effective treatment.
Speak with your doctor about your immunization status. Children should, in general, obtain the recommended childhood vaccines. Adults should ensure that their immunizations are up to date. When traveling abroad, see your doctor regarding additional vaccines.
- Stop Smoking:
If you smoke, there is probably no single decision you can make that will benefit your health more than stopping.
Smokers are more prone than nonsmokers to suffer heart disease, many types of cancer, stroke, and other health problems. Furthermore, smoking raises your risk of dying from cancer.
- Safe Sex Practices:
Only have sexual contact with one partner who is having sex with only yourself. HIV and other sexually transmitted illnesses should be examined for both you and your partner.
If you do have sex with a new partner, make sure the partner has been tested and follow the measures listed below:
Use a latex or polyurethane condom during sex.
Need to get tested? Find STD testing in Hixson, TN today.
- Practice Good Food-Safety Measures:
Although the majority of food-borne infections are not dangerous, some can result in serious illnesses. Primary care physicians and hospitals will always advise you to practice good-food safety measures.
Food-borne pathogen infections can be avoided in your home by properly preparing and storing foods. The following practices will help kill bacteria found in food and prevent you from additional microbes into your food at home:
- Before preparing or serving, thoroughly rinse all meat, poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables under running water.
- You should wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling raw meat.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure that whole poultry is cooked to 180° F, roasts and steaks to 145° F, and ground meats to 160° F.
- Distinguish between raw and cooked foods. Do not use the same utensils or cutting boards that were used to prepare raw meat with cooked meat without washing them between usage.
- Safety Measures While Traveling:
If you are considering travel, consult your doctor to see if you require any immunizations. Consult your doctor about your vacation plans at least three months before you depart.
If you are traveling to an area where the insect-borne disease is present, bring and apply a DEET-containing insect repellent. Mosquitoes can transmit malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and other deadly illnesses in many tropical places.
Avoid obtaining unneeded vaccinations, vaccines, or tattoos when traveling. In some parts of the world, needles and syringes (even disposable ones) are reused.
- Personal Hygiene:
Always remember to follow these basic measures:
Wash your hands:
- You most likely wash your hands after using the restroom, before preparing or eating meals, and after gardening or performing other dirty jobs.
- After blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, feeding or stroking your pet, or visiting or caring for a sick person, you should also wash your hands.
- Make a lather with soap or cleanser and rub it into your palms, backs of your hands, and wrists. Make sure to clean your fingertips, between your fingers, and under your nails. Rinse with water properly.
Always cover your cough:
- Cough must be covered. When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and throw it away. If no tissues are available, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands.
If you’re still curious about what more you can do to help prevent many of these common diseases, talk to your local primary care doctor in Dunlap and Sale Creek today.
Joe Janeski is a blogger, web developer, and current Master’s student at the University of Pennsylvania. His areas of interest include medical research, computer science, and digital marketing. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking with his girlfriend and his two dogs, Arlo and Samson. He currently resides in Cleveland, TN and enjoys helping businesses amplify their online digital presence.
- (n.d.). “Prevention Tips For Common Fall, Winter Illnesses”. Retrieved from Mayoclinic.org:
- (n.d.). “How You Can Prevent Chronic Diseases”. Retrieved from Cdc.gov: https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/prevent/index.htm
- (n.d.). “Protect Yourself With Healthy Habits”. Retrieved from Sfcdcp.com: https://www.sfcdcp.org/communicable-disease/healthy-habits/#1511206262323-eeb71f7f-80f8
- (n.d.). “5 Common Health Problems You Can Prevent”. Retrieved from Keckmedicine.org:
Rhode, S. O. (n.d.). “Disease Prevention”. Retrieved from Health.ri.gov: https://health.ri.gov/disease/prevention/