Monday, July 13, 2015

Rant: Doctor, Doctor

With a birthday yesterday, and a recent visit to my physician, my health has taken center stage. The older we get, the more our health is of concern. In addition, when one's life revolves around eating and drinking, there are a number of potential health issues one should consider. These are not matters you often see mentioned on food and drink blogs. You're more likely to see pictures and descriptions of food porn and trophy wines, of restaurants and wine shops, of bakeries and wine tastings. Amidst all of this, we still need to consider our health, one of the most important elements of our lives.

For example, according to the CDC, about 35% of U.S. adults are obese and as of 2013, about 24% of the people in Massachusetts are considered obese, which increases your chance of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. It isn't easy when you dine out frequently to maintain a proper weight. It takes much discipline.

As another example, diabetes affects nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States but a quarter of Americans who have type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it. An additional 79 million (or one in three) American adults, have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes 7 to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications.

That example helps to point out a vital issue, early diagnosis. If caught early enough, Type 2 diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise, without the need for medication. Other medical conditions are similar, early detection often being key to preventing or curing an illness. You need to see a doctor regularly, to have yearly physicals. I know that many people, including myself, are reluctant to visit a doctor, but you have to get past that. It is too vital not to do it.

If you haven't had a physical in less than a year, then get to a doctor immediately to get a check up. The longer it has been since you last saw a doctor, the quicker you need to get a physical. I would prefer it if all my readers and friends lived long and healthy lives. There is no valid excuse to skip regular visits to a physician. It might feel like a pain having to go, but the potential consequences of failing to go could be literally deadly.

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