I recently read an article in medscape and a doctor was quoted as saying:
I am no longer a physician; I deliver healthcare for a large provider. I don’t care for a patient; I care for a covered life as part of an insurance. Physicians have to pigeonhole a patient’s predicament into a very specific box for which they must enter a Current Procedural Terminology code. As individuals age, they also become more unique and less like one another. Checklists forced upon physicians ignore the unique needs of each patient. We have evidence-based protocols that say if everything else is equal, here’s what you should do. The problem is, everything else is never, ever equal.”
Everyone is unique and requires different things in order to age well. What works for another person may not work for you. In order for you to attain optimal health we must address what you eat & drink, your sleep, exercise, your toxin exposure, your mind, hormones, and what supplements you personally require. Each person has unique needs based on their genetics and lifestyle, along with what they are wiling to do and what their desired outcome is. This is what we call personalized medicine.
Traditional insurance simply does not allow for personalized medicine because they force the doctors to pigeonhole the patients into specicfic diagnosis and treat them in specific time frames. Insurances simply do not allow for them to be treated to an optimal level.
The bottom line is that insurances cover disease states, not true wellness.
I know that the state of our medical system is frustrating–for both patients and doctors. I can start changing the system by educating one person at a time and by being one of the doctors who has an innovative medical practice. I would love to see our medical system change to where this type of medical practice is prevalent and the medical system truly serves patients in an optimal manner. There are a lot of politics at play so it may be a a while. In the meantime, be aware and take control of your health.
A well functioning thyroid is critical for a healthy metabolism, good immune system, temperature regulation, and cell energy production. Unfortunately most doctors just test the TSH and do not look at the actual thyroid hormone levels (T3 and T4). Even if they do look at them, the doctors are happy if you are in the “normal” range, they do not realize that optimal values are different than normal values.
If you gain weight easily, or have a hard time losing weight, your thyroid may not be optimal. Thyroid imbalance can also present as dry skin or hair, constipation, hair loss, fatigue, or brain fog. You may also have swelling around the face and then a thickening in your arms and it may spread throughout the body. You may be sensitive to hot or cold, have brittle fingernails, have joint pain, etc.
If you think you may have a low thyroid, get your levels checked and your symptoms evaluated by a physician trained in bio-identical hormone balancing. Thyroid replacement can be done safely and naturally with the use of desiccated thyroid. Desiccated thyroid is a natural form of thyroid hormone. This type of thyroid replacement most closely replaces what your body is missing.
As you are sitting or standing there reading this, thoughts are going through your mind and you are starting to realize that there are things in your health that you wish to improve or change. And if you made this shift in your health you would feel better and have a more positive life. And, as you realize this, you also realize that often fear is the reason that you have not made this shift.
There are many fears that you may have: the fear of failure, the fear of who you would be if you did change, the fear of being ridiculed, or some other fear. No matter what your fear is, it stems from an internal dialogue. We all have a voice inside our head that talks to us. It is this voice that says you can’t do this, you will fail so don’t even start, or it says something else that hinders your progress.
If you wish to become healthier it involves hormone balancing, a healthy diet, regular exercise, good sleep, the right supplements, and minimizing toxin exposure. It also involves turning that little voice inside you to a more positive and helpful voice. It is the slight shifts in you that cause the huge results later on. If you know what to do to get started, then do it. If you don’t know what to do or need assistance with this in another way; ask for help.
I see many different types of women for hormonal issues and occasionally they have actually started bio-identical hormones but still did not feel optimal. It is extremely rare for them to have been put on Testosterone, and if they were it is usually a suboptimal dosing. This shows that there is a lot of misunderstanding about Testosterone –both with patients and with prescribing doctors.
Testosterone is a hormone that is present in both men and women. Obviously men have a higher amount in their blood than women, but it is still an important hormone for women to have. Many people think that it is only a hormone for sex drive and nothing could be further from the truth!! Testosterone is responsible for helping you heal, enhancing your mood, improving your focus and memory, helping your sleep, and giving you overall vitality. It has a few hundred functions in the body and without optimal Testosterone levels you will simply not feel like yourself.
Replacing your Testosterone with a bio-identical replacement hormone is a big part of regaining your vitality. Eating a healthy low sugar whole food diet, minimizing your toxin exposures, reducing your stress, and taking bio-identical hormones all work together to ensure that you live longer feeling young and vital. If you are feeling tired, depressed, have aches and pains, can’t sleep well, have brain fog, or feel less than vital; you will want to get your Testosterone and other hormones checked by a hormone specialist.
Today’s world is fast paced and paying attention to your health while taking care of life’s other necessary tasks is getting more difficult. Both men and women are finding it more and more challenging to maintain optimum health. Maintaining optimal health is the best line of defense in staying ahead today.
Optimal health involves getting the right nutritional advice, getting your hormones balanced, getting on a fitness program, and dealing with emotional issues; among other things.
You can not easily achieve optimal health working with a typical doctor’s office: you get an appointment of 15 minutes or less, it can take a month to even get that appointment, and you might see a physician’s assistant instead of your physician. I know this because I tried my hardest to provide my patients with the guidance needed to achieve optimal health in that environment and it could not be done–despite working 12 hour days.
A concierge medical practice is the answer. It allows your physician to provide longer appointment times, same day appointments with your doctor when needed, non urgent appointments within a week of calling for the appointment, and personal direct access to your physician; among many other benefits. Concierge medicine is about you and your doctor having a relationship which allows you to work together so that you may achieve the health that you desire.
Have you had a holiday season with no stress? You may have to go back in time to when you were a child to get that memory. When I was a kid the holidays were all about fun and I did not have to worry about shopping, wrapping, or cooking. I am sure that no matter how you grew up, you did not have the same stress during the holidays that you do now.
So how do you get through the next month or two and come out unscathed? The first thing to do is to sit down and look at your calendar and block off time for you. Block at least a night a week (a full day is better) where you have no plans. That means absolutely no plans. When people invite you to something you answer NO. You already have something scheduled- have an appointment with you. An easy thing to do on a daily basis is to take a minute and take 6-10 deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose very slowly then out through your mouth very slowly. Focus on your breath. Turn off the news, it just contributes to stress. Focus on the good things in your life instead.
Buy gifts for those close to you that will appreciate the gift and that you want to buy for. If you find yourself stressing about buying gifts then change what you do. You can choose to donate to a charity on their behalf or choose to buy something for people throughout the year and not do all of your gift buying and giving during December. Make a choice about what you want to do and that greatly decreases the stress.
No matter what you decide to do you will do the right thing for you. You will find yourself focusing on relationships and the meaning of the Christmas season. You will start the New Year in a more refreshed state than you have before.
Many people come to me wanting to make a change in their health. The first thing that we must all do in order to change is to realize that where we are today is a direct result of decisions as far back as fifty years ago, and as recently as yesterday. We are personally responsible for the way our life turned out, and we are equally responsible for steering it in the future.
Taking responsibility gives us the power to change things. No matter what is done to us or around us, we are ultimately responsible for our actions. Take a moment and really embrace the power that you have when you take full personal responsibility for where you are. It can be hard to swallow this concept at first but it really makes a lot of sense. You can always control you–this is an empowering concept!
Every decision you make is important. If you eat a bag of chips today instead of eating vegetables, you may have a heart attack later in life and not have the energy to play with your grand kids. If you choose to watch TV or sleep late instead of exercising, you may develop diabetes later and deteriorate slowly the last decade of your life. If you choose to let your hormones stay out of balance, you may develop dementia or osteoporosis later in life.
There is no right or wrong to what you choose, simply results. You get to decide what results you wish to have. If you truly wish to be healthy, this realization empowers you to make small positive choices on a regular basis that will result in you feeling and looking healthier.
This is not about being perfect! This is about making choices and having the realization that the daily small choices we make are what really matter and we control each and every one of these choices!! When you make 80% – 90% of your daily choices based on the fact that you choose to be healthy, then you will be on the path to health. Even if 10-20% of the time you may have made a choice that was not in the interest of health, the 80-90% of the time where you made the healthy choice will win out. Over time you will feel more energetic, think more clearly, and look younger!
Embrace the fact that we are personally responsible for where we are and that we are capable of changing the future. Do not feel self pity, guilt, or regret!! Feel the strength and power in knowing that you can, and will, change for the better!!
Optimal health is basically when you are able to have the energy and vitality to enjoy your life in the manner that makes you happy. Everyone has a different definition of what happiness is. Thus, everyone has different optimal levels of mind and body fitness. You simply need to decide at what level of functioning you are happy with-what allows you to do the things that you enjoy. It is not about being perfect, it is about feeling balanced and alive.
In order to have optimal health it is important to address your nutrition (diet, supplements, and food allergies), sleep, exercise, stress, toxin exposure, and your hormone levels. There is no magic fix to achieving optimal health. It takes time and a desire on your part to achieve optimal health as well as a willingness to spend money on yourself. As a physician, it takes me spending time getting to know your unique needs and desires.
My goal as a physician is to aide you in achieving a fulfilling life: living well and not deteriorating for years before you leave this Earth. This takes team work and patience by both of us. It takes ongoing communication—I want to know if there are any issues or concerns that you have.
Together we will focus on you making progress over time and not on being perfect. That is the path to optimal health and a fulfilling life!!
Do you get tired more easily? Feel older than your chronological age?? Lack the energy to do the things you want to do??
Fatigue, feeling tired, is a common complaint. You want to get a work up for this as it can be caused by many things: sleep apnea, heart issues, anemia, infections, poor water intake, poor nutrition, lung issues, etc. It is important to have your physician, who knows you well, evaluate you to make sure everything is OK.
The problem arises when your evaluation is “normal” and there is no apparent cause of your fatigue. This is where anti depressants are often prescribed (sometimes they are needed but generally they are not). This is when you really should think about a hormonal imbalance causing your issues—especially if you are between 35 and 55 years old. Of course, hormonal imbalances can affect men and women younger or older than this.
Most people think of low thyroid as a cause of fatigue and it can be overlooked by physicians when the levels are “normal” but not optimal. However, low Testosterone in men and women is more often missed in traditional office settings and is a common cause of fatigue, as well as brain fog, muscle mass loss, loss of overall vitality, etc. Men are typically not treated until their Testosterone levels are critically low, and then they are only offered synthetic replacements and their Testosterone levels are not even brought up to optimal levels. Women are generally not even treated at all for low Testosterone in a traditional medical setting. Medical training programs forget that women need Testosterone too, just at lower levels than men.
The long term risks of not correcting low Testosterone is bone loss (osteoporosis), dementia, possible increased heart disease risk, etc. plus an overall decrease in vitality and energy. If you feel that you may have a hormonal imbalance and you have not gotten the help you need, you naturally want that help.
Cholesterol is in every cell of your body. Why would the human body be designed with the use of cholesterol in every cell if it were bad for us?? Why would studies show that higher cholesterol i.e. above 250 is associated with a lower overall death rate than those with lower cholesterol i.e. under 200??
Cholesterol is a necessary substance for your body. It is used by the body to build your steroid hormones among other things. These hormones include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and cortisol. Cholesterol is also needed in order to make Vitamin D. Cholesterol is so important to your body that you only get 1/4 of it through diet and the rest is actually made by your liver!
What the researchers are finding out is that it is not the cholesterol that causes your arteries to clog, rather it is inflammation in your body that changes the cholesterol from good to evil. If you can decrease the inflammation in your body, you decrease your risk of heart disease!! Just lowering your total cholesterol number is not the answer. To lower inflammation requires a customized diet that generally includes low carbohydrates (max 60 g/day), avoiding gluten, etc. (notice that statin drugs are not mentioned as a treatment!)
We know that optimizing your hormone levels helps you to reduce heart disease. When you adjust your lifestyle and balance your hormones with bio-identical hormones you feel and look better plus reduce your risk of heart disease, among other things.