How to get better health in 2018

Americans are increasingly retiring later, dying sooner, and are sicker in between. Despite the remarkable scientific advancements in the medical field, we are still a nation of chronically-ill people who too often die prematurely. It doesn’t have to be that way, however!

The “secret” to living a long and healthy life is to avoid the diseases that will rob you of good health and dig you an early grave. It’s not as difficult as you may think. It all boils down to identifying and eliminating your modifiable (changeable) risk factors that lead to these preventable, age-related diseases and conditions:

  • Asthenia (loss of energy & strength)
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic infections due to immunosenescence (deterioration of the immune system)
  • Neurodegeneration (cognitive decline, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease)
  • Bone fractures due to osteopenia or osteoporosis
  • Sarcopenia (loss of muscle that leads to frailty)
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure)
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure due to fatty liver disease
  • Loss of vision due to cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or retinopathy
  • Lung disease such as COPD
  • Metabolic syndrome and diabetes
  • Thrombosis (dangerous blood clots)

The first step is to insist that your doctor take the time to identify specific risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing the above diseases. By obtaining a thorough medical history, performing a complete physical examination, and ordering comprehensive bloodwork, the risk factors below can be detected:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Chronic psychological stress
  • Chronic systemic inflammation: Elevated inflammatory markers (CRP, fibrinogen, homocysteine)
  • Depression
  • Dysglycemia (elevated glucose, Hemoglobin A1, and/or insulin)
  • Dyslipidemia (elevated total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides, or low HDL)
  • Excess belly fat
  • Exposure to environmental toxins
  • Family history of heart disease, cancer, and/or Alzheimer’s
  • History of head injury
  • Hypertension
  • Insufficient hydration
  • Iron overload (elevated ferritin)
  • Lack of lifelong learning activities
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of social interaction
  • Lack of strength-training exercise
  • Low adrenal function (low DHEA-to-cortisol ratio)
  • Low educational level
  • Low grip strength
  • Low heart-rate variability
  • Low thyroid function (low Free T3-to-Reverse T3 ratio)
  • Low total lung capacity
  • Low vitamin B12
  • Low vitamin D
  • Oxidative stress (elevated 8-OHdG)
  • Poor diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle (prolonged sitting)
  • Sex hormone deficiency (low estrogen, progesterone, testosterone)
  • Tobacco use

Life goes by way too fast. For many, by the time they realize that they should have taken better care of their health, it’s too late. Too many people live in denial about their health until something catastrophic happens. Because your life is your most important asset, your health needs to be taken seriously. Sooner rather than later is when you should act regarding your health.

To get better health in 2018, call your doctor today and schedule an appointment. Be sure to print and bring a copy of this health blog with you. That way, your doctor will know exactly the kind of care you are expecting to receive from now on. It is the exact kind of medical care I have been providing to my patients since 1987.