This is a question that I often heard with my senior patients once they retired. It was usually phrased as I was healthy all my working life and now that I turned 65, I have all these issues. However, if only it were that simple. You see what most people do not realize is chronic disease (i.e. high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia or dyslipidemia), etc.) often are present several years before any symptoms or signs are experienced.
For example, high blood pressure (hypertension) is often called the silent killer because this disease can go undetected for years until someone ends up with a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure. Often individuals can feel normal with a blood pressure that is over 140/90. They may experience symptoms such as headache or blurred vision; but most have no idea that their blood pressure is elevated! Again, overtime, untreated high blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to serious complications (which can include hospitalization and even death).
We as adults practice some form of preventive maintenance all time, unfortunately, it not usually with our health. For example, we will routinely change the oil in our cars or rotate our tires, because it is easier and more cost effective to do these things every few months than to buy a new engine or four new tires. Why do we choose to treat our bodies which we cannot replace any differently?
One of the many lessons 2020 has taught us is the healthier you are, the better your body is equipped to fight off infections such as influenza or even COVID-19. It is time to get serious about our health for 2021. First establishing a relationship with a primary care provider is key, with this relationship, if you are healthy you may only need to be seen two to three times per year. However, with the appropriate screenings, if an underlying chronic disease is present, it can be addressed in its early stages and hopefully lead to an improved quality of life and a longer, (this is key – healthier life).
The time is now to get serious about your health. If you are looking for a primary care provider, we at Compassion Primary Care are here to help. Please contact us via the website at compassionprimarycare.com or call us at 813-669-3084.