Sunday, January 15, 2006

preventive medicine

Preventive medicine, practiced while the patient is well, can help protect health in the future. The following recommendations for check-ups and preventive activities make good sense.
For Everyone:
1. Establish relations with a primary-care physician (for physical exams and routine care).
2. Don't smoke.
3. Drink alcohol in moderation (no more than five drinks a week; two drinks at a sitting).
4. Maintain a healthy diet (low fat, low salt, high fiber).
5. Exercise regularly, within safe limits.
6. Wear seat belts.
7. Minimize stress.
8. Avoid excess weight.
9. Watch for changing skin moles.
10. Obtain tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
11. Check hearing every five years.
12. Test for glaucoma every two years (unless there is a family history of glaucoma, then check yearly).
13. Check blood pressure at least every year.
14. Schedule basic physical exam every one to two years.
15. Secure a stool occult blood test every year.
16. Submit to a proctosigmoidoscopy (instrument used to view rectum and the lumen of sigmoid colon) every three to five years.
17. Undergo stress test before starting strenuous exercise program.
For Women Over Age 50:
1. Have breasts annually examined by a physician; perform breast self-exams monthly.
2. Have a mammogram every one to two years.
3. Have a digital rectal and pelvic exam every year.
4. Get a pap smear every year.
5. Discuss estrogen replacement therapy with physician.
6. Insure adequate calcium intake (1,200 to 1,500 mg per day).
7. Schedule an EKG every five years.
For Men Over Age 50:
1. Have digital rectal and prostate exam every year.
2. Schedule an EKG every five years.
Modern Maturity, AARP (Feb/March, 1987).

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