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Mercy Health explains the importance of Wellness & Preventative Screening

Posted at 10:28 AM, Jan 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-17 10:28:23-05

Many may think they only need to see their primary care provider if they’re sick, or for an annual physical. But preventative care is key to helping you live a healthier and happier life.

Kathryn Kozminski, MD, a family medicine provider with Mercy Health Physician Partners Hudsonville, discusses how your primary care provider can also help with preventive care and help you maintain a healthy life.

The most common practices people can do to create a healthy life for themselves are:
· Maintaining a healthy weight
· Eating a healthy diet
· Staying active and getting regular exercise
· Managing your blood pressure and cholesterol
· Getting the right amount of sleep
· Taking care of your mental health

However, managing a healthy lifestyle also means scheduling regular visits with the doctor. Every person should see their primary care physician every year for a wellness visit, especially if they have particular risk factors such as a chronic disease, obesity or a family history of a disease, additional screenings may be recommended.

Screenings are also a vital task for men and women preventative care for conditions such as cancer.

Starting at age 45 men should be screened for colon cancer. Men are also encouraged to have a conversation with their doctor to discuss their individual risk factors for prostate cancer and whether screening is appropriate for them.

Women should have a pap smear starting at age 21. Pap smears are recommended every 3 years from age 21-30 and every 5 years from age 30-65.

Mammograms are annual starting at age 40 – some women may need to start screening earlier depending on family history. Women should also be screened for colon cancer starting at age 45.

Annual wellness visits for children should also be years after the age of 2. Infant wellness visits are generally every two months after the newborn visit through age six months, then every three months until age 2.

Remember to take charge of your health by staying current on well-care visits, screenings, and immunizations. In turn, good health can decrease your risk of developing certain conditions. These include heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and injuries.

For people looking for a primary care provider, they can visit MercyHealth.com/PrimaryCare to find a provider near them. Patients can schedule online or call to schedule their next appointment.

This segment is sponsored by Mercy Health.