Dr. Gil Fernandez takes Mark Irwin's blood pressure during a regular check-up.
For Mark Irwin of Fordland, it had been almost two years since his last exam.
“I recommend annual physical exams to keep track of any changes in your health from year to year,” says Dr. Gil Fernandez, Mark’s primary care physician.
Mark says it was a good thing he went to see Dr. Fernandez.
“I found out I was at risk for type 2 diabetes,” says Mark. “And I had high blood pressure, which put me at risk for heart disease and stroke.”
Mark began taking blood pressure medicine and made some lifestyle changes immediately. As a business owner and salesman, Mark would eat on the road, sometimes drinking up to 12 cans of soda a day and eating a lot of sweets.
“My wife attended diabetes education classes with me, and we plan to go on a grocery store tour. Now we plan our meals ahead of time,” says Mark, who has started exercising regularly.
“It is more important to prevent disease rather than treat disease,” says Dr. Fernandez, who says Mark is taking the right steps to improve his health.
“I had no clue anything was wrong,” says Mark.
“It’s important to have a primary care physician,” says Dr. Fernandez. “We can recommend appropriate screenings based on age, family history and other risk factors, and guide the patient toward the appropriate specialist, if necessary.”
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