Every day people ask me amongst other things what supplements to take, and what exercise is best. The focus of this newsletter is “Getting back to Basics”.
While I recommend everyone take a high quality multivitamin/mineral supplement, and everyone not only live an active lifestyle, but schedule exercise, I feel our focus must be food. What we are and are not putting in our mouths is at the core of health and wellness.
By now, many of you have seen, or at least heard of the movie “Supersize Me”. Most of us agree, this movie was an example of very poor eating and lifestyle habits.
All of us must eat daily to survive. With every meal, snack and drink we have a choice to make. With every meal we should be asking ourselves “Is what I put in my mouth of high nutritional value, or not.
The quality of food does matter. “Let medicine be thy food and FOOD BE THY MEDICINE”.
Where does one start you may be thinking.
1. It is important to know exactly what in fact you are eating. Pick up a health journal here at the clinic. Record in writing, everything, (YES, EVERYTHING) that you put into your mouth. Quantities are important if the portions you are eating are more than the size of your fist. An analysis is best done on about 4 weeks of data.
2. Record also all medications, and supplements in your journal.
3. Keep track of the liquids throughout the day
4. Record hours of sleep including interruptions
Other helpful factors may also include:
5. Noting any emotions during the days or weeks of recording
6. Keeping track of the type and duration of exercise
7. Any symptoms that come up and/or change i.e.: bloating, pain etc.
Once the record keeping is complete, the analysis and the homework will begin. Schedule an appointment for an evaluation. Many patients have also elected to have a food sensitivity and food additive blood test done as part of their health evaluation. It is a blood test, and the results are specific to you. Other tests important in evaluating and setting up an individualized medication, supplement and wellness program include: annual breast and pap exam and a dexascan, or bone density test (for women), 12 hour fasting blood tests that include cholesterol, glucose, and thyroid levels, PSA (for men), blood pressure, height and weights. In single sexually active men and women who are not monogamous, sexually transmitted disease testing is also recommended. For women an annual review of birth control, and hormone replacement (bioidentical hormones) therapy too is important.
All the resulting information about you is then analyzed and an individualized health program is set up for you. Regular follow-up appointments are then scheduled to follow and monitor progress. For example, high cholesterol and blood pressure is monitored to minimize risk of heart attacks and stroke. Medications are reviewed for efficacy and dosing. As a person becomes healthier changes in medications and supplement doses are required in many cases. Also, monitoring for side effects and interactions has become more important. Advances in science shows us there are more potential interactions between food and drugs and supplements than we may even suspect.
Our life is a journey. And most of us truly believe the journey is a more enjoyable one when we have health. Most of us list health in our top 5 on the list of priorities, and yet most of us do not live a life consistently that reflects this priority. When we are young we take our health for granted. And as we age we do not put our resources, time and money, towards protecting and nurturing our health. And then in the twilight of our lives, we wonder as we are taking handfuls of medications that keep us alive, where is the joy, the ability to enjoy life to the fullest, the inability to drive a car anymore, to travel to other countries, to sleep, to have sexual intimacy, to eat the foods we love?
Currently there is a lot of talk of changing our social security plan, our pension plans, and our retirement accounts. But what are we doing daily for our health IRA’s? Are we investing in our health and wellness? Are you as healthy as you can and choose to be?
Call today for an appointment. We always make room for your referrals of family and friends. We look forward to serving your health care needs.
‘LIFE IS NOT MERELY LIVING BUT LIVING IN HEALTH’ – Martial, Epigrams