Important health reminders

As your partner in health, we help you understand how to get the care you need to prevent disease so you can live your life to your fullest. Here are four things you can do to help keep you and your family healthy. 

1. Keep your heart healthy

Adults, teens and even kids can have high blood pressure, which is a big factor in heart disease. Most doctors recommend that blood pressure should be 140/90 or lower. Help keep your heart healthy by eating more fruits and vegetables, getting active, managing stress, quitting smoking and drinking in moderation, if you drink alcohol.

2. Breathe easier – control asthma

Summer is here. Don’t let asthma get it in the way of enjoying the sunshine. Outdoor allergies, sports and even humidity can trigger an asthma attack. If you have asthma, ask your doctor for an asthma action plan and learn to avoid your triggers. To control asthma, take long-term medicines even when you feel better. Take quick-relief medicines only when needed. A case manager can also help you manage your care.

3. Fight cancer

The earlier cancer is found the easier it is to treat. That’s why it’s important to know if your family is at risk for these common cancers and when your family needs screenings.

Breast cancer

Mammograms can detect changes in your breasts long before you can see or feel anything. Most women need a mammogram after age 50. Women with high risk should begin at age 30 or at their doctor’s direction. If your family has a history of breast cancer, ask your doctor when to begin screenings. Remember, you can get breast cancer even if there’s no family history.

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer can be preventable if you get a routine Pap test. This test finds abnormal cells on the cervix that can often be treated before cancer develops. Women should get this screening starting at age 21 or the beginning of sexual activity. Women under 30 should have a Pap test every year, and those ages 30-65 should be checked every two to three years.

Colon cancer

Colon cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Routine screening is important for people ages 50+ because often there are no symptoms. If you have a family history of cancer or polyps, your doctor may screen earlier. A colonoscopy is the best option because it looks at your entire colon.

4. Know your BMI

Your body mass index (BMI) tells you how much body fat you have. It is a quick and painless way of screening for potential health problems. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is healthy for adults. If your BMI is 25 or over, you’re at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and more.

For children, having too much or too little body fat can also lead to various diseases and health risks. Ask about your child’s BMI percentile at their next doctor’s appointment.