Posts tagged ‘walk in clinic’

The importance of your yearly physical

Doctor holding up the disc of a stethoscopeHow old are you? Are you 20? Are you 30? What about 60? Are you properly taking care of your health?  Do you always get your annual physical? If not, are you aware of what might be happening to your health that you are not aware of?

Thinking about an annual physical may seem silly to someone in their 20’s and 30’s. They believe they are immortal and nothing bad will happen to their health until they get to be older. And in a way that is true, more elderly people have health problems than those that are younger. Age does not take away the importance of having a yearly check-up. Many people struggle financially to have health insurance and can’t afford the cost of an annual check-up. Money shouldn’t be an issue that stops you from taking care of your health. There are clinics all over that will do simple tests involving blood tests, blood pressure and checking heart rates. There are dental schools that offer low rates to have your teeth taken care of. Really, if you want to take care of yourself, you can find a way.

I discovered the importance of a yearly physical last year. I don’t consider myself old, I’m 59. Last June at my annual physical, my doctor ordered the usual tests. I had to have blood work, a pap smear and a mammogram. The mammogram showed breast cancer. The lump was very small. It was caught early because I had my yearly exam. My treatment has been minimal. I have several friends that have not been so lucky. Some have had mastectomies and chemo, others have passed on. The age didn’t matter.  One friend was only 37.

I also knew a firefighter who went for his annual physical. At his exam, the doctor noticed a weird heartbeat sound. He was sent for further tests. The tests showed he was on the verge of having an aortic aneurysm, which is what John Ritter passed away from. It’s always lethal when not caught.

This might sound like a lecture; I guess it is. It might not seem very important to keep up with your health. It might seem like a waste of time. I can assure you, it is not. You never know what is happening inside your body. An annual physical can show things starting before they become huge problems. Be proactive with your health. Don’t become a statistic.

Early Signs of Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus type 2In today’s world, diabetes is a health crisis.  And it’s becoming worse.  The fact is that diabetes affects 25.8 million Americans, with 7 million not even knowing that have this killer disease[1].  An astounding 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes means that the person’s blood glucose level is higher than normal, but not enough to be diagnosed as diabetic.  Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the US and the cost of treatment for diabetes run about $175 billion dollars per year.

When diabetes is diagnosed early, the chance of successful management of the disorder is very high.  When it’s diagnosed in the pre-diabetic stage, people could actually make enough changes to completely stop the advancement of the disorder!  Diabetes does not have to be a killing disease.

There are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.  These include being obese, having a body style where fat is stored in the abdomen, being physically inactive, having a family history of diabetes, being over age 45 or being African-American, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian American.  Even if you do not have one or more of the common risk factors for type 2 diabetes, you can still become diabetic.

Some early warning signs of diabetes include:

  1. Urinating often
  2. Feeling thirsty often
  3. Blurry vision
  4. Cuts or bruises that take a long time to heal
  5. Tingling or numbness in the hands
  6. Tingling or numbness in the feet
  7. Dry mouth
  8. Fatigue or being irritable
  9. Headaches
  10. Losing weight without trying
  11. Experiencing recurring skin or gum infections
  12. Having patches of darker skin

If you have some of these symptoms or if you have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, it’s best to make a doctor appointment.  He can do a simple blood sugar test, which will allow you to know whether your blood sugar level is too high.

If you find that your blood sugar level is too high or if you’re diagnosed with diabetes, it’s best to start making changes.  You will need to make dietary changes as well as changes to your physical activity level.  The highest risk factor for type 2 diabetes is being overweight, so reducing your weight can provide the most benefit.

 

[1]All facts pulled from: http://ndep.nih.gov/diabetes-facts/

Sunshine clinic is a walk in medical clinic located in Rockledge, Florida.