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Treating Health Management Like Wealth Management: June 15, 2013

In times of sickness, we realize there is nothing more valuable than good health- but doctors find people do a better job investing in their wealth, than they do in their wellness.

“Most people have people have hired accountants and other people to help them with their finances, make sure they’re developing that nest egg so when they retire they have a lot of wealth. How many people have hired a health manager?” says Dr. Sal Lacagnina, VP health & wellness with Lee Memorial Health System.

Hiring a health manager can be as simple as establishing with a family doctor. Someone who monitors your health, tracks medical conditions and is a gatekeeper to specialists. Most common health issues that plague the general population rarely develop overnight.

“There may be underlying problems developing and you can catch them early. Or you may have significant risk factors, that if worked on with lifestyle changes can be decreased and lower your risk for chronic illnesses,” says Dr. Lacagnina.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is schedule a yearly physical.

“We spend the better part of an hour together and we talk about all things that pertain to my health. My physical well being any problems that I might have, any that I might anticipate,” says Jeff Steffel, gets annual physicals.

“I have a blood test before I have my physical and they tell me if I have a problem with my cholesterol,” says John Humphrey.

Even adults with healthy routines, shouldn’t skip the checkup.

“We see a lot of people who develop a certain body style or body habits, but they may be developing significant problems especially related to cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Lacagnina.

But it’s obesity that may have earned the top spot in health management.

“Being overweight or obese is one of the significant risk factors for all of the chronic illnesses: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, muscular skeletal problems, depression,” says Dr. Lacagnina.

Putting in time now, could payoff with more years to enjoy your health dividends.