You know you need to visit a doctor when you get sick or injured, but do you know who you should see to prevent disease from developing in the first place? The answer is a preventive medicine physician – a doctor who is experienced in helping patients take a proactive approach, rather than the traditional reactive approach to medicine.
Preventive medicine physicians focus on helping patients to actively maintain total health and wellness. For example, if you had a screening for diabetes and your blood-glucose numbers were high, the doctor would give you specific steps to take (such as dietary changes) in order to prevent diabetes from developing. If you then did not develop diabetes later on, that is what a preventive medicine physician does.
Prevention is the key here, so nutrition, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding stress as much as possible, and getting enough exercise are this doctor’s focus for you. Let’s talk about what you should expect from seeing a preventive medicine doctor, and where you can go in South Florida and Central Florida to see this type of specialist to move toward the goal of optimum health.
Screening Patients for Early Signs of Illnesses
Screening is essential to detect potential problems early, so they can be treated before they can develop into more serious conditions. A few common screening tests include:
- Cholesterol: Keeping your good cholesterol (HDL) high and your bad cholesterol (LDL) low can help to prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Fecal occult blood test: This is done to identify signs of colorectal cancer.
- Pap smear test: A gynecologist usually performs this test to check for certain cellular changes that can indicate the presence or risk of cervical cancer. If you are a woman and you do not have an OB/GYN, your preventive medicine physician’s office can perform this test for you.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: This is a blood test that is conducted to identify and prevent benign prostatatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer in men.
- Mammogram: This is a special X-ray technology that is performed on women to screen for breast cancer.
- Colonoscopy: This is one of the only types of screening tests that are also preventive. This is performed to screen for colon cancer, and to physically remove any colon polyps (which can be precancerous) that are found during the test.
- Blood glucose test: This is a blood test that is screened for signs of diabetes and pre-diabetes.
Advice to Correct Unhealthy Habits
Your preventive medicine physician will counsel you in how to correct certain unhealthy habits and lifestyle choices. This may relate to your nutrition, diet, physical activity, weight, and habits such as smoking and drinking.
Lifestyle changes and dietary modifications can help prevent conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Preventive Medicine Physicians in South Florida and Central Florida
If you would like to start taking a proactive approach to maintaining your overall health and wellness, see a preventive medicine physician at Palm Medical Centers. Our doctors have many convenient locations throughout South Florida and Central Florida.
Contact our friendly staff today to schedule an appointment with one of our preventive medicine physicians by calling (833) 500-PALM (7256) or by filling out our online contact form. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!