Staying healthy in the new year

1/19/2018

Staying healthy is an important new year’s resolution, but most tend to bypass preventive exams and screenings that would keep them stronger longer. Just as infants and children need to follow an immunization timetable, adults should also regularly schedule certain medical tests. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to start.

The local experts at the Wound Healing Center see patients who have had their lifestyle altered by chronic wounds which often have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity and circulatory problems. They suggest adding the following screenings, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other health organizations, to your 2018 calendar:

  • Diabetes tests should be taken if you are overweight, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, as well as every three years after age 45.
  • A panel created by the American Diabetes Association recommends that every diabetic over age 50 be tested for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) which narrows leg arteries and reduces blood flow.
  • People with diabetes should have a comprehensive foot exam every time they visit their doctor (at least four times a year).
  • Cholesterol checks should be taken every five years beginning at 20 years of age. Smokers, diabetic patients and those with a family history of heart disease especially should check their cholesterol on a regular basis.
  • Colorectal cancer screenings should begin at age 50.
  • Women should begin biennial mammogram screenings at the age of 50, and younger women should ask their health care provider if a mammogram is right for them, based on age, family history, overall health and personal concerns.
  • Women should have a bone density test for osteoporosis at age 65.
  • Men should discuss having a prostate test and exam with their doctors by age 50 and by age 45 for those at high risk for prostate cancer such as African Americans and those with a family history.
  • Men and women should have their physician check for skin abnormalities when receiving a physical examination.
  • If you wear glasses, have a family history of vision problems or have a disease that puts you at risk for eye disease, such as diabetes, have your eyes checked frequently. A healthy adult with no vision problems should have an eye exam every five to 10 years between 20 and 30 years of age, and every two to four years between 40 and 65 years of age.

For more information about chronic wounds and if you might be at risk, contact the Wound Healing Center at the West Campus on 230 Deronda Street in Amery or 715-268-0175.

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