BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuPreventive health careAll adults should visit their health care provider from time to time, even when they are healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:Screen for diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes High blood pressureBlood pressure is a measurement of the force exerted against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood to your body. Hypertension is the ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article DiabetesDiabetes is a long-term (chronic) disease in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Look for future disease risks, such as high cholesterol and obesity Discuss alcohol use and safe drinking and tips on how to quit smoking Alcohol use and safe drinkingAlcohol use involves drinking beer, wine, or hard liquor.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Tips on how to quit smokingThere are many ways to quit smoking. There are also resources to help you. Family members, friends, and co-workers may be supportive. But to be su...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Encourage a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy eating and exercise ExercisePhysical activity -- which includes an active lifestyle and routine exercise -- plus eating well, is the best way to stay healthy.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Update vaccinations Update vaccinationsVaccines are used to boost your immune system and prevent serious, life-threatening diseases.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Maintain a relationship with your provider in case of illness Discuss medicines or supplements that you are takingWHY PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE IS IMPORTANTEven if you feel fine, you should still see your provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future. For example, the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels also may not have any symptoms in the early stages. A simple blood test can check for these conditions.Below are some of the tests that may be done or scheduled:Blood pressure Blood sugar Blood sugarA blood sugar test measures the amount of a sugar called glucose in a sample of your blood. Glucose is a major source of energy for most cells of the...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Cholesterol (blood) Cholesterol (blood)Cholesterol is a soft, wax-like substance found in all parts of the body. Your body needs a little bit of cholesterol to work properly. But too muc...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Colon cancer screening test Colon cancer screeningColon cancer screening can detect polyps and early cancers in the large intestine. This type of screening can find problems that can be treated befo...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Depression screening Genetic testing for breast cancer or ovarian cancer in certain women Genetic testingThe BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene test is a blood test that can tell you if you have a higher risk of getting cancer. The name BRCA comes from the first two ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article HIV test HIV testIn general, testing for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a 2-step process that involves a screening test and follow-up tests.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Mammogram MammogramA mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breasts. It is used to find breast tumors and cancer.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Osteoporosis screening Osteoporosis screeningA bone mineral density (BMD) test measures how much calcium and other types of minerals are in an area of your bone. This test helps your health care...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Pap smear Pap smearThe Pap test checks for cervical cancer. Cells scraped from the opening of the cervix are examined under a microscope. The cervix is the lower part...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted diseasesChlamydiaChlamydia is an infection. It is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. It is most often spread through sexual contact.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article GonorrheaGonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI).Read Article Now Book Mark Article SyphilisSyphilis is a bacterial infection that is most often spread through sexual contact.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Your provider can recommend how often you might want to schedule a visit.How often you might want to schedule a ...Even if you feel fine, you should still see your health care provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future. ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Another part of preventive health is learning to recognize changes in your body that may not be normal. This is so you can see your provider right away. Changes may include:A lump anywhere on your body Losing weight without trying Losing weight without tryingUnexplained weight loss is a decrease in body weight, when you did not try to lose the weight on your own. Many people gain and lose weight. Uninten...Read Article Now Book Mark Article A lasting fever FeverFever is the temporary increase in the body's temperature in response to a disease or illness. A child has a fever when the temperature is at or abov...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article A cough that does not go away Body aches and pains that do not go away Changes or blood in your stools Skin changes or sores that do not go away or get worse Other changes or symptoms that are new or do not go awayWHAT YOU CAN DO TO STAY HEALTHYIn addition to seeing your provider for regular checkups, there are things you can do to stay healthy and help lower your risk for diseases. If you already have a health condition, taking these steps can help you manage it. Don't smoke or use tobacco. Exercise at least 150 minutes a week (2 hours and 30 minutes). ExerciseYou know exercise is good for you. It can help you lose weight, relieve stress, and boost your mood. You also know it helps prevent heart disease a...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Eat healthy foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat or nonfat dairy. Eat healthy foodsBy following the US Department of Agriculture's food guide, called MyPlate, you can make healthier food choices. The newest guide encourages you to ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation (no more than 2 drinks a day for men and no more than 1 drink a day for women). Maintain a healthy weight. Healthy weightWhether it is healthy or unhealthy, a habit is something you do without having to think about it. People who succeed at weight loss, turn healthy ea...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Always use seatbelts, and use car seats if you have children. Don't use illegal drugs. Practice safer sex.Safer sexSafe sex means taking steps before and during sex that can prevent you from getting an infection, or from giving an infection to your partner....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Open ReferencesReferencesAtkins D, Barton M. The periodic health examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 12.Campos-Outcalt D. Preventive health care. Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 7.HealthCare.org website. Preventive care benefits for adults. www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-adults/. Accessed May 4, 2021.AllVideoImagesTogPhysical activity - preventive medicine - illustration Physical activity contributes to health by reducing the heart rate, decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease, and reducing the amount of bone loss that is associated with age and osteoporosis. Physical activity also helps the body use calories more efficiently, thereby helping in weight loss and maintenance. It can increase basal metabolic rate, reduces appetite, and helps in the reduction of body fat. Physical activity - preventive medicineillustrationPhysical activity - preventive medicine - illustration Physical activity contributes to health by reducing the heart rate, decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease, and reducing the amount of bone loss that is associated with age and osteoporosis. Physical activity also helps the body use calories more efficiently, thereby helping in weight loss and maintenance. It can increase basal metabolic rate, reduces appetite, and helps in the reduction of body fat. Physical activity - preventive medicineillustrationA Closer Look Heart-healthy diet(In-Depth)Viral hepatitis(Alt. Medicine)Alcohol use disorders(In-Depth)Breast cancer(Alt. Medicine)Weight control and diet(In-Depth)Travel to developing countries(In-Depth)Tai chi(Alt. Medicine)Food poisoning(Alt. Medicine)Breast cancer(In-Depth)Smoking(In-Depth)Talking to your MD Angina - what to ask your doctor Heart attack - what to ask your doctorSelf Care How to choose a health planHealth risks of alcohol use Cholesterol - drug treatmentHelping your teen with depressionPrediabetesDeciding to quit drinking alcoholManaging your depression - teensCervical cancer - screening and preventionRecognizing teen depressionResponsible drinking Tests for Preventive health care Bone mineral density testBlood sugar testBreast MRI scanMammogramProstate-specific antigen (PSA) blood testVDRL testTesticular self-examStress echocardiographyStool guaiac testHPV DNA testRelated Information Review Date: 1/16/2021 Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. 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