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What is Preventive Medicine?

Preventive medicine aims to reduce the risk factors that can lead to the development and profession of diseases. They are medical practices used by physicians to avert and avoid disease to keep their patients healthy. It takes a proactive approach by preventing a person from getting sick in the first place. Preventive medicine is a very broad field that is not limited to the boundaries of a single ailment, age group or body part. It focuses on the entire system and your body’s natural defenses to maintain good health and overall wellbeing. This article looks at the different levels of preventive medicine, importance, disease prevention, and awareness.

Classes of Preventive Medicine

  • Primary Prevention

Preventive medicine can be practiced in the clinic setting where physicians administer immunizations and provide counseling for unhealthy habits. They help their patients benefit from lifestyle changes by getting early immunizations and routine checkups with the doctor. Preventive medicine may also include non-clinical life choices such as exercising daily and eating a balanced diet to prevent illnesses and create a sense of overall wellbeing. Health promotion activities aim at maintaining personal hygiene and taking protective measures to keep you healthy.

  • Secondary Prevention

Secondary preventive medicine focuses on latent diseases and prevents the progression of the asymptomatic disease to symptomatic disease. Diseases can be classified as primary or secondary depending on the symptoms of the disease. Generally, primary prevention addresses the root cause of injury or illness while secondary prevention aims to detect the disease at an early stage and provide treatment to prevent it from becoming symptomatic. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment help in the containment of the disease and preventing it from spreading to other individuals. It also reduces the chances of disability from the disease and prevents potential future complications.

  • Tertiary Prevention

Tertiary preventive medicine focuses on physical, mental, and social rehabilitation to minimize the damage caused by symptomatic disease. The primary objective of tertiary prevention is to maximize the remaining functions and capabilities of a patient who is already disabled. It is quite different from secondary prevention as it aims to prevent disability. Other goals of tertiary preventive medicine are to stop the progression and complications from the disease, prevent pain and damage, and restore the normal health and function of individuals affected by the disease.

  • Screening

Screening is a strategy used to identify the presence of undiagnosed disease in individuals showing no signs or symptoms. People with the unrecognized symptomatic disease may be required to take screening tests for an earlier diagnosis. Screening is designed to enable earlier intervention to reduce mortality rates and progression of a disease.

Benefits of Preventive Medicine

Preventive medicine reduces the cost of health care by preventing the progression of diseases before they demand emergency room care. Prevention of chronic illnesses involves taking selfcare measures such as having a consistent exercise routine, eating a healthy diet, and giving up unhealthy behaviors such as drinking and smoking cessation. It is imperative to see your doctor for regular checkups as it helps in early diagnosis and prompt treatment of an underlying illness. Screening tests can help prevent the development of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and infections that can be prevented through vaccination.

Disease Prevention and Awareness

The primary goal of preventive medicine is to perform an early diagnosis and prompt treatment to stop the progression of diseases. Creating awareness about the need for preventive medicine can help save lives and reduce the costs of health care. Doctors and other physicians may discuss the benefits and side effects of certain medications with their patients to encourage adherence. Medical adherence is the extent to which a patient follows medical advice and prescribed medications.

Preventive medicine involves setting up a reminder system comprised of frequent follow-up visits, electronic alerts, and call centers that help doctors keep track of their patients’ health. Prevention is an important field of medicine that not only protects you from getting ill but also helps keep down the costs of health care.

Preventive medicine prevents the onset of diseases by enhancing resistance to the effects of exposures that can lead to disease. Immunizations and lifestyle modifications are beneficial especially for young children as they boost their immune system to fight against any disease-causing micro-organisms. Preventive medicine promotes early intervention by preventing complications and further progression from the disease. Creating awareness about the need for preventive medicine can help reduce the cost of health care and save lives as it takes a proactive approach to prevent an individual from getting sick in the first place.

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