The New Year always brings thoughts of renewal, wellness and adopting a healthier lifestyle. Most journeys are full of pitfalls, stumbles and the occasional setback and the journey to better health is no different. But one thing you can do this year is to stay on top of medical issues that crop up, while also being proactive. So in the spirit of starting the year off on the right foot, here are a few health-related matters to keep in mind.
1) The flu shot
Remember, it’s not too late to get your flu shot for the season. This year, thousands of Americans will contract the flu virus and many of them will become extremely sick. Contrary to popular belief, the flu virus is not an insignificant illness. At its worst, the flu virus can lead to hospitalization. So as flu season falls upon us, think about getting the vaccine for both yourself and your family members. It’s a quick, easy and simple way to proactively stay protected.
2) Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a little-known nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. It helps with the formation of DNA and promotes maintenance of the central nervous system. Vitamin B12 can also prevent anemia which is known to cause tiredness and fatigue.
The vast majority of us obtain enough vitamin B12 from the foods we eat but others will have trouble absorbing it. If you think you are vitamin B12 deficient, speak to your doctor about getting your B12 level tested.
3) Coughs, colds and the sniffles
The coming year will inevitably have days when you’re stuck with a cough, a cold or a minor chest infection. Although self-limiting in nature, these illnesses can sometimes hit you hard. In general, coughs and colds will resolve with a little TLC: plenty of fluids, rest and pain control if required. But for those nagging colds that linger or cause extreme symptoms such as a high fever, nausea or dehydration, then we suggest a trip to your local urgent care center. From the testing process to diagnosis, urgent care centers are able to respond with basic treatment options for many routine infections.
4) Annual physical
When was the last time you had your blood pressure checked? Do you know what your cholesterol level is or your BMI? If you don’t have answers to these questions then you might be due for an annual physical. These exams are a great tool to help you stay in good health. By checking your vitals, blood pressure and weight, you’ll get an overall picture of how you’re doing health-wise. It’s also a good opportunity for your doctor to spot any potential future health problems. So start the year off with a clean bill of health!
5) Joint care
Over 300 joints in the human body work together to give us the ability walk, run, jump and move with ease. Joints are true unsung heroes. But every so often, illnesses like arthritis, infections or even a dislocation can affect the way your joints work. If you run into any problems with your joints such as injury, infection or abnormal swelling then don’t put off a trip to see your doctor. It’s important to catch joint problems early on.
6) Visiting an urgent care clinic for those times when you’re not able to access your primary physician
There will be times when your primary doctor is unavailable, when appointments are booked solid or when you’re not able to see them in a reasonable period of time. For these occasions, keep your urgent care center in mind. Staying healthy is best done when you can deal with issues that come up, right away. So whether it’s an annual physical, a flu vaccine, an infection or even minor surgical procedures, urgent care centers are a great resource to use.
Taking care of the small aspects of your health matters. Deal with minor issues right away and stay proactive where you can.
Whatever your goals may be for the upcoming year, we wish you and your family a healthy and happy 2019!