In my newest book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People, I teach people how to utilize these ten essentials that are necessary to live a happy and highly healthy life. Under The Essential of Self-Care, I’ve developed a list of what I call “The 10 Commandments of Preventive Medicine.” Here’s the first of what will be a ten-part series.
These “Ten Commandments,” which I’ve long suggested to my patients and to my radio and television audiences, target exclusively the physical wheel. I suspect we could identify several more commandments related to preventing disease, but these are an excellent start.
Commandment #1 = See a Primary Care Physician for Preventive Maintenance and Care
I broke down and purchased a car a few years ago. My 1979 pickup truck had finally died. It had been quite some time since I had purchased a vehicle, and it was a pleasant surprise to find that the newer cars come equipped with a maintenance schedule. When I looked at it, I was reminded of the preventive medicine schedules I used in my practice.
Most preventive medicine experts recommend a schedule by which adults and children should have certain types of preventive care—such as screening tests and immunizations. The timing of these services depends on your body’s “model” and “mileage” (that is, your sex and age).
Unfortunately, most adults and many children and adolescents have fallen way behind on their maintenance schedules. For example, colon cancer screening is recommended for everyone (male and female) over the age of fifty—but 59 percent in this age group have not been tested.
Everyone over the age of sixty-five should receive a single immunization against pneumococcal pneumonia and an annual flu shot—but more than a third of all Americans in this age group don’t get ﬂu shots, and more than 60 percent have never received the potentially life-saving pneumonia vaccine.
According to the latest statistics available, these two illnesses—inﬂuenza and pneumonia—were the eighth-leading cause of death in the U.S. , prematurely taking the lives of more than 56,000 people.
If you haven’t been taking routine care of your body, resolve to make an appointment with your primary care physician this year to find out which preventive services are recommended for you.
And then follow up by getting the recommended tests and immunizations.
You may not find a lot of surprises in this series—but the real questions are these:
Here are all 10 of the Preventive Medicine Commandments:
And, here are all 10 of the essentials that can be found in my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: