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Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022

A Realistic Resolution

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Be A Healthier You

You can’t make a serious resolution to be healthier in the new year without prioritizing your overall health and wellness. It might also be that you have already failed at a resolution just a few weeks into the new year. It’s not too late to turn your goals around. Knowing how to determine health goals and understanding health risks can better align your progress in creating a better you in 2022. The most realistic way to prioritize health and keep a resolution to be healthier is by scheduling a visit to a primary care physician – you know, the one you might be putting off or previously talked yourself out of.

The easiest way to get started is by scheduling an annual health check. During your visit, a clinician will take your vitals, perform a physical exam and have an important conversation to understand your family and medical history, social environment, medications and concerns. If you have access to your health records, have them handy, along with a list of your medications and supplements. Be in tune with your body and be ready to discuss any signs or symptoms you find concerning, especially any physical changes or pain you are experiencing. This visit will help you create goals and make necessary lifestyle changes to improve your health by gaining insight from a trusted health-care expert and partner.

If any necessary tests and screenings are needed, it is usually determined during the visit based on age, gender and family history. Your physician will recommend which screenings are required to assess your overall health and identify any life-threatening conditions. Prostate, breast and colon screenings are just a few that are important to take into consideration.

Based on the exam and screening results, you will know the next steps to take and if any additional care or treatment is needed. Prepare to ask questions and learn about your recommended lifestyle changes. This is your opportunity to commit to implementing simple, healthier changes. For example, a diabetes diagnosis might mean a diet plan in the new year that reduces your intake of sugar and carbohydrates. It may also mean adding a new medication to your daily regimen to help you control the disease.

Ask your physician for the results of your health check and when a followup visit is needed. Both are important in treating and monitoring conditions and tracking resolution milestones. Ask, ask, ask! Don’t be afraid to inquire about recommendations on attainable goals for creating a healthier new you.

Scheduling the visit is an important resolution and one that can be life-saving. By focusing on health information provided during the check-up, you will have an excellent guide for success with your resolutions. Resolving to eat better, exercise and reduce the stress in your life have tremendous benefits and make sense for your overall well-being. Deciding to make health and wellness a priority is worth celebrating daily, not just in the new year.

Cara Permenter, M.D., is a family medicine physician practicing at CHRISTUS Primary Care Partners-Shreveport. Dr. Permenter is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. She is dedicated to the wellness of the family unit, providing same-day sick visits, immunizations, sports physicals, adult annual exams, women’s health exams and managing chronic illnesses.

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