As we head into the New Year, it’s a perfect time to make some resolutions that will lead to a healthy and happy 2014. Let’s take a look at what you can do, actions you can take, that will positively impact your life for many years to come.
See a Primary Care Provider Annually
Seeing your doctor once a year to make sure you’re up-to-date on screening exams and vaccines is often put off. However, this once-a-year checkup can prevent illnesses from occurring or causing major problems. If you were born between 1945 and 1965 you should ask your doctor to screen you for Hepatitis C (a viral infection that can cause liver cancer). Also, everyone should be screened for HIV. You should talk to your doctor about how often you should be screened depending on your risk factors and, in some cases, perhaps take a one-a-day medication to prevent infection (called PrEP). Keep your vaccination status up-to-date to prevent illness by creating a long-term relationship with your primary
care provider, who will ensure that you are always
treated based on the newest guidelines.
Improving Your Sleep Will Improve Your Health
Good quality and adequate sleep is essential to good health. If you wake up tired, feel tired during the day, or wake up frequently during the night then you may have a condition called sleep apnea. This leads to decreased mental focus, weight gain, and may even worsen your risk for heart disease. Your medical provider can order a ‘sleep study’ that can be done at a center or in your own home and is performed over one or two nights. If you are found to have sleep apnea then getting it treated is life changing. In addition, certain treatments will stop you from snoring which will make those who share a bed with you happier too!
Allergies Aren’t Just During the Spring and Summer.
Typically we think of allergies as seasonal and related to pollen and outdoor activity, but there are also a number of causes of year-round allergy symptoms. The first place to look is where you sleep. Dust mites are a common cause of stuffy noses and coughs that go away through the day and returns after sleep. These tiny mites are invisible to the naked eye and live off of your dead skin cells. Washing your sheets once or twice a week and placing your pillows in the freezer for 24 hours can decrease your allergy symptoms. Dust mite covers on your pillows and mattress can help with allergies.