New year, new you: Doctor emphasizes keeping up on yearly appointments

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — New year, new goals, new you: 2020 is here and many people have made commitments to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

“To start the year off on the what, on the right foot and really think about taking care of your health and you being in control,” said Dr. Elizabeth Bradely, medical director for the Center of Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

But sometimes we don’t always know where to start or how to keep it going. Bradley emphasized making appointments early and staying on top of screenings like mammograms.

“The recommendation now is to do it every year starting at age 40. Some women may get a baseline sooner if they’re at high risk.”

Other important testings like colonoscopies are encouraged. Pap smears as well.

“We start at age 21 or if you’ve been sexually active for three years, you would start up to three years from then so it depends on the age for that and you would go until the age of 65.”

Bradley recommends keeping up with annual physicals.

“More importantly its annually to do what? To check the blood pressure because that’s a very asymptomatic symptom we may have.”

It’s a great time to also check blood sugar and immunizations.

Of course, there’s also the “New Year, New Diet” resolution. There is a lot of controversy surrounding which diet is the best.

“We know that whole food, non-processed, more plant-based tends to be the healthiest.”

Dieting is not just for the waistline.

“As your starting to decrease a lot of processed foods and a lot of high sugar carb food you actually start to see inflammation go down. We’ve seen a lot of patients and their pain, their fibromyalgia pain has gone down,” Bradley said.

Doctors have also seen positive changes in sleep and mood. But it’s not always easy to maintain a new way of eating.

“Exercise is probably the most important thing to accommodate for the fluctuation in how much we’re eating.”

Bradley said including other people in the process can help too.

“Making a commitment to yourself and telling other people because that will always help you be accountable.”

Most importantly, doctor Bradley emphasized getting in touch with your body, so that in 2020 you can be the best you.

“You have to know yourself more than anyone because I always tell my patients you have to live in your body. You know what’s right what feels normal.”