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Preventive Medicine Specialist

Ryan Dominguez, MD

Family Medicine Physician & Hormone Specialist located in San Diego, La Jolla, CA

G. Ryan Dominguez, MD is a board certified physician who offers many aspects of preventive care to his patients. Dr. Dominguez and his staff serve residents throughout the greater area of San Diego, California, including those who live in La Jolla.

Preventive Medicine Q & A

What Are Different Aspects of Preventive Care?

Preventive care can help patients in many ways. Preventive care not only addresses existing health care issues, but it can also help patients prevent new health problems from occurring. Preventive care includes monitoring a person’s weight and general health condition so that subtle signs and symptoms can be immediately addressed. This reduces the risk of an illness making an unexpected appearance by the time it reaches an advanced stage and therefore can be difficult to treat. Preventive care also allows a provider to help patients make substantial lifestyle changes that can strengthen their immune system and improve overall health and wellbeing. By identifying areas of potential risk, doctors can also guide patients in reducing this risk and improving how their body’s metabolism functions, providing protection against future illnesses or conditions.

What Are the Benefits of Preventive Care?

The benefits of preventive care include early intervention as well as prevention. Signs that the body is changing gives the doctor an opportunity to address these changes before they become a real health concern. If the doctor diagnoses a condition while it is still in the earliest stages, the doctor is able to choose from a wider array of treatment options. This allows the doctor to have a much higher chance of controlling and eliminating the disease. When a condition is diagnosed in later stages, it can be much more difficult to treat.

How Often Should Wellness Exams Be Scheduled?

Doctors often recommend scheduling wellness exams on a yearly basis. As the body changes with age, many people confuse subtle abnormalities with simple signs of aging rather than the underlying cause or effect of a health problem. During a wellness exam, the doctor may request a battery of tests to check a variety of bodily functions, including heart rate and blood glucose levels. As physicians perform wellness exams, they will be watching for any visible or palpable signs that an illness is present. Doctors will also ask a list of questions and use the information provided by the patient to determine if there is a potential risk of any new health problems that may develop over the coming year. Primary care physicians can offer suggestions and recommendations that will help each patient reduce these risks.

What Are Some Common Health Screenings Provided at Wellness Exams?

Preventive care includes many health screenings that are used to identify possible risks to a person's health. Blood glucose tests can determine fluctuations in the amount of insulin that is being produced by the body. Stress tests are used to determine how healthy the heart and lungs are. Prostate exams are used to determine a man's risk of cancer, while mammograms and pap smears are excellent at uncovering potential reproductive health problems in women. During a wellness exam, doctors can use these tests and others to determine whether substantial changes have occurred within the body that might indicate a potential illness. This gives them extra time to find a way to prevent the condition or treat the current problems.

Certain health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and arthritis appear gradually over time. These chronic health conditions are commonly unnoticed and untreated until a patient undergoes a wellness exam with his or her physician. Many times patients will not associate their signs and symptoms with real health conditions until their doctor uncovers the underlying causes of these conditions. By uncovering many of these conditions in their earliest stages, the doctor and patient can work together to establish healthier lifestyle patterns that may prevent the conditions from getting worse. They may even be able to reverse the effects that have already occurred.

Why Are Wellness Exams Important?

Wellness exams are extremely important in order to maintain good health. A primary care physician who performs wellness exams often looks for possible health concerns that many people don't consider. During a wellness exam, the doctor will check a person's blood pressure, heart rate, weight, blood sugar levels, and many other bodily functions. The doctor will also talk to the patient about any health concerns they may have about specific health issues or symptoms they may be experiencing. Wellness exams are designed to help a person maintain their health and prevent illnesses from causing any disruptions in their quality of life.