"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
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According to Dr. Reldan, a good start includes sleeping the recommended seven to eight hours each night, as sleep is essential to health. It is also very important to treat sleep-disordered breathing. Avoid fast food and fat calories. Instead, eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, organic whenever possible. Learn the ingredients of everything you eat -- and if the ingredients include chemicals that you've never heard of, realize that this is probably not something you should be voluntarily putting in to your body! Dr. Reldan also stresses the importance of abstaining from the use of tobacco, and alcohol should be consumed only in moderation. Exercise at least one hour daily.
Especially in San Diego, it is imperative that you use sunscreen whenever you're going to be outdoors -- even if it's only for a few minutes, and even if the sun doesn't appear to be shining at all. (This is because the harmful rays that cause skin cancer are just as destructive to your skin on a cloudy day as they are when there's not a cloud in the sky.) The sunscreen you use should have the highest SPF rating possible, such as #70, and it should contain Avobenzone and/or Ecamsule (Mexoryl SX). Never use tanning beds!
It is important to check your Vitamin D level in order to determine if you need a Vitamin D supplement -- it should be greater than 30.
The recommended guidelines for checkups are as follows:
Some other important tests and screenings that people need to be aware of include:
Keep your immunizations up to date, including:
For up-to-date and accurate information and immunizations and vaccinations, the web site of the Immunization Action Coalition is strongly recommended. Their "Ask the Experts" section is particularly informative; it is comprised of literally thousands of questions and answers about immunization and viral hepatitis which have appeared in their periodicals over the years.
One of the simplest and most underrated ways to prevent getting sick in the first place is to wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently (rubbing both hands together vigorously for 30 seconds.) Equally effective is the use of an antibacterial handwash, such as Purell. Again, it is essential that you rub both hands together for a good 30 seconds. This minimizes your susceptibility to acquired infections.
Do not share towels, plates, cutlery, or drinks with strangers or with loved ones. People with early infections may not yet manifest any symptoms, but can still be contagious.
Remember to discard nasal sprays, inhalers, and eye drops used during an infection. Get a new one at the end of your illness for future use! Also remember to discard any medicines at their expiration date and replace with a new one. This could be life-saving.
Use sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
Use ear protection around loud noise, and in cold water, such as Mack's earplugs (lowers decibels by 22).
An excellent resource for patients to obtain accurate and timely medical information is the Patient Information section of the UpToDate web site, found at http://www.uptodate.com/patients/index.html.
If you're concerned about the ever-increasing cost of prescription drugs, don't forget that many high-cost drugs have name-brand and/or generic alternatives in the same category that are equally effective, yet considerably less expensive. The Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs web site is a free resource which allows you to look up medications in a particular class to find the safest and most affordable generic alternatives available.
Most importantly, focus on good health and happy moments. Life is all about love.