On Your Health

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Achieve Success in Your Resolutions

By Dr. Melanie Marshall, family medicine doctor at INTEGRIS Family Care Northwest

Many people make New Year's resolutions, but very few achieve success. Dr. Melanie Marshall, a family medicine physician with INTEGRIS Family Care Northwest, suggests keeping it simple by resolving to take care of your health through preventative screenings. Make an appointment with your primary care doctor to create a plan to improve your overall wellness and conduct screens to rule out any underlying conditions you may have.
 New Year's resolutions are often a fun topic of conversation as the holidays draw to a close. It's a new year and a fresh start. Lose weight, get organized, spend less and save more, quit smoking and the list goes on and on. But how realistic is that resolution and how likely are we to achieve it? Studies show that 45% of Americans make New Year's resolutions; 75% will be maintained through the first week, 64% through the first month, and only 8% will achieve their resolution. With all of our good intentions, time often gets away from us and we never complete that resolution. So how can we be 100% successful in our resolution? Vow to take care of your health through preventative screenings and establishing a good health care team. Do so early in the year and then sit back and enjoy the rest of the year with the satisfaction of success. Set an appointment with a primary care physician for your good old annual physical. Expect screens of your blood pressure and blood work to monitor for diabetes, high cholesterol, thyroid disorder and more. One of the great accomplishments of modern medicine is to prevent disease and treat it in it's earliest stages for best success. Depending on your age and gender, your primary care physician will recommend screening tests such as a bone density scan for osteoporosis, a mammogram, pap smear, prostate exam and colonoscopy. Also you will be counseled regarding immunizations against devastating and sometimes deadly disease such as an annual flu shot, shingles and pneumonia vaccine, as well as a Tdap booster, which protects us against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also known as whooping cough. The knowledge that you are healthy and protected against disease can in itself provide a great sense of relief and help to decrease that daily stress that so often affects us. Finally, take 15 minutes of time for just you and reflect on stress reduction and how to make yourself healthy. You are now 100% successful in your New Year's resolution and on your way to a happy, healthier life.

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