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             The Key to Improve Health and Wellness Starts with Prevention

By Daria Majzoubi, MD


As our understanding of disease states improves, prevention has become a much more integral part of practicing medicine and delivering health care to our patients, lending even more validity to the adage: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It is our opportunity to prevent or reduce the risk of many life-threatening diseases, and modern medicine has provided us with the tools to do so. Research has shown that there are opportunities to reduce the risk of strokes and cardiovascular disease, which remain the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. Working with your physician, you could significantly reduce the risk of developing such diseases by simply reducing risk factors such as smoking, a poor diet, high blood pressure (equal to or greater than140/90), high Cholesterol (LDL>130), being overweight/obese (a body mass index greater than 25), physical inactivity, alcohol use, diabetes and periodontal disease. In addition, there are over-the-counter supplements, which have proven effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as stroke and dementia, include the use of daily baby aspirin (81 mg) and Omega 3 fish oils, with DHA/EPA, (at least 3g daily). There are also effective screening tools for detecting the early signs of cancer in patients, such as breast cancer in women with yearly mammograms starting at age 40, prostate cancer in men with a digital rectal exam starting at age 40-50, colon cancer with a colonoscopy by age 50 and cervical cancer in women with a “PAP” smear starting at age 21, or one year after their initial sexual encounter. Diabetic screening should begin by age 45 with a “fasting glucose” level, and screening for depression as well as sleep abnormalities including Sleep apnea should also be done upon your primary care physician’s recommendation. Aside from childhood immunizations, vaccines have also proven effective in preventing not only infectious diseases in adults such as Influenza, bacterial meningitis, community-acquired pneumonia and “shingles” (Zoster), but also cervical cancer with HPV vaccinations for young females as well as for young men, as their potential carriers. Now that you have been screened for all preventable diseases and you have modified all of your risk factors, what else can you do to live healthier? Here is where the concept of “Wellness” comes in, which has gained much attention recently among patients and health care providers, whether holistic or traditional. Wellness goes beyond concrete measures to be healthy, but rather it reinforces the ancient art of medicine, which involves the concept of connecting our mind to our body and higher consciousness or spirit. It is relearning how to listen to our bodies. Society, work, our parents and even our friends often reinforce us not to listen to what our body is trying to tell us. If we have a headache, for example, we are encouraged to just take a pill; if we are not hungry, society teaches us to eat in order to feel better; work and family life sometimes prevents us from having adequate rest. Our body usually knows what it needs or when something is wrong; the problem is that we usually do not listen to the warning signs. One way to begin to listen to that voice within us, or to our premonitions, is to have some regular private time with ourselves in order to reconnect with ourselves away from the outside world, any soothing or calming activity that can reconnect us to our inner being. This helps us to “reboot” ourselves back to a more pure state. Prayers and meditations be it secular or religious, in the privacy of our own chamber, can foster a personal and private relationship with our self, the universe and a higher being. Harmony between body, mind and spirit is an evolutionary process which begins when we allow our higher sense of being to reconnect to all three elements within us, for they are all parts of our whole being. This harmony is essential in achieving ultimate health and wellness in our lives.

Dr. Majzoubi is a Board-certified Family Physician, who is currently in private practice at Maj Medical Clinic, located at 5109 W. Goshen Ave. in Visalia, California. He may be reached by calling (559)740-7989.

Dr. Majzoubi earned his medical degree from Chicago Medical School, completed his internship at George Washington University in Washington D.C., and his residency at Northwestern University in Illinois. He is a Primary Care physician who practices medicine with a holistic approach. Dr. Majzoubi has written several health articles and health columns in recent years, as well as coauthered the Book "Blueprints in Family Medicine”, published in 2002.