Preventive Healthcare - What, Why, How!
Preventative healthcare, or preventive care, these are measures that are adopted for prevention of chronic disease rather than disease treatment. Millions of people die every year due to man-aided environmental factors, poor lifestyle choices, and genetic susceptibility. Some of the leading causes for a majority of preventable deaths include:
- Cardiovascular disease,
- Chronic respiratory disease
- Infectious diseases.
While a genetic disposition to develop a certain disease cannot be avoided, delaying its occurrence or preventing its manifestation altogether is possible. With a constant rise in the number of people, especially young children, affected by chronic ailments, the preventive healthcare industry has gained a lot of momentum across the globe.
There has certainly been an increased focus on preventive care and holistic wellness which has marked a new step towards a better healthcare ecosystem in India. The rapid pace of social and technological changes have led to adverse lifestyle choices, resulting in deteriorating well-being among individuals. A surge has been seen in the occurrence of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, tobacco consumption, and asthma during this epidemic. Constantly changing weather conditions have also drastically affected illness patterns and have given rise to a number of seasonal and chronic conditions. However, consumers have now realized that most of these health risks can considerably be reduced through preventive care, which can begin right at home.
As awareness among consumers continues to rise, fueled by the increase in the consumption of information via Internet explosion, patients will continue to adopt preventive care as a necessary tool to help them lead a better lifestyle. Early diagnosis through home monitoring devices will enable patients to intervene earlier and respond to their health issues in a much better manner.
Primary prevention is your first line of defense. It is subdivided into vaccination and health counselling and includes all those steps that are taken to generate awareness about various diseases and its symptoms before they strike. Most parents cover this step for their infants and young kids, but it is essential to go back to primary prevention at every stage in life. Growing up, our bodies are constantly changing and leaving us vulnerable to new threats. Secondary prevention includes screening tests and monitoring overall health. This phase accounts for tests undertaken in laboratory and health-care settings to ascertain if a person is susceptible to any particular disease or is depicting any symptoms for a potential disease. Finally, tertiary prevention comprises disease management activities (fitness, nutrition, mental health) and the steps that are taken to rehabilitate those who have undergone interventional surgical procedures and are advised to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
A marked increase in the incidence of non-communicable diseases is another cause for concern and has consequently boosted preventive healthcare trends. Healthy changes in our daily routines and dietary habits can act as a good preventive measure. For example, eating a balanced meal and exercising regularly can help reduce extra body weight, which in turn will keep a number of fats and weight related conditions in check. Healthy living can be achieved with lifestyle changes and more importantly a stoic determination to do so. Going for a regular health checkup can also help identify the risk of diseases and preventive measures can be adopted before the onset of a disease.
Bhavya Arora: Clinical Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Pump Trainer with overall experience of 9 years in this profession. I did my post graduation in Clinical Nutrition from University of Glasgow. Specialization in counseling Celiac Patients with or without Type1 diabetes. Dedicated, sincere and diligent individual, accented with the knowledge of the field, having an inborn quantitative aptitude & determined to carve a successful and satisfying career in the industry.