Nearly all forms of healthcare can be broken down into one of two different categories: proactive and reactive. Unfortunately, most Americans focus strictly on reactive healthcare, only visiting the doctor’s office when a problem arises. While this may seem like the best course of action, many health and wellness experts are now stressing the importance of proactive healthcare.
The Basics of Proactive vs Reactive
Reactive healthcare involves reacting to an adverse disease, injury, condition or symptom. If you wake up one morning with a fever and body aches, for instance, you may react by visiting the doctor. Depending on the doc’s diagnosis, he or she may prescribe you with antibiotics to help your body fight the infection. Both you and the doctor are reacting to the symptoms.
Proactive healthcare differs from reactive in the sense that action is taking before symptoms manifest. Rather than waiting until you feel the symptoms of the cold or flu virus, you can take a proactive approach towards your health by boosting your immune system with vitamin C, antioxidants, and by drinking plenty of fluids.
Healthcare in the US costs an estimated $3 trillion annually, which is roughly the twice as much as other developed nations. The cost of surgeries, prescription drugs, and other forms of treatment continues to rise, placing a heavy financial burden on Americans and their families. While there’s no way to completely eliminate these costs, there are ways to reduce it, one of which is through proactive healthcare.
Focusing your efforts on proactive healthcare can drastically reduce these costs, however. The average cost of an ER visit in 2013 was just over $2,100 – a cost that can often be avoided through lifestyle changes. A recent study found kidney stones to be among the most expensive and common reasons for ER visits. Doctors say kidney stones are often preventable, though, through dietary and lifestyle changes.
So, how can you take a more a proactive approach towards your healthcare?
Proactive Healthcare Tips:
- Schedule an appoint with your chiropractor for a spinal adjustment.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to a wide variety of adverse conditions if left unchecked.
- Don’t smoke.
- Wash fruits and vegetables purchased at the supermarket to clean off any pesticide residue.
- Maintain a physically active lifestyle.
- Strive for a solid 7-8 hours of restful sleep per night.
- Get regular “checkups” at your physician.