Society needs to think differently when it comes to health care. Most people wait to see a doctor when something bothers them. As the old adage goes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This should be the new mantra. As a Family Physician for the past 23 years, I have grown
Society needs to think differently when it comes to health care. Most people wait to see a doctor when something bothers them. As the old adage goes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This should be the new mantra. As a Family Physician for the past 23 years, I have grown older with my patients and have seen how preventive measures help people live a healthier lifestyle. With the advent of newer technology, advanced lab tests, and access to more comprehensive genetic information, we can personalize health care physicals to identify potential diseases and chart a new course.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about 750,000 people will have a heart attack each year, with 250,000 being repeat attacks. In 2010, the AHA published 7 Essentials for heart health that would prevent 80% of heart attacks! Five of those were lifestyle changes: do not smoke, keep BMI <25, 150 minutes of exercise a week, diet with less sugar, more fish and vegetables, less than 3/4 tsp. salt/day, and increased fiber rich grains.
The current blood work done in routine physicals does not address inflammation. This is the root cause in the majority of heart attacks. In fact, a study done by Cleveland Heart Institute shows that an increase in one particular inflammatory marker indicates a 30% increase in the risk of heart conditions in the next 3 years!
Because I have preventive knowledge and kept up with the latest studies, these are the rules I have lived by:
1. Diet/Food: Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet, with reduced salt intake and avoidance of sugary drinks reduces the incidence of heart attacks, strokes and certain cancers. Recent studies show even diet drinks may increase the incidence of cancer
2. Exercise daily for about 40 minutes. Try to get 10,000 steps a day.
3. Sleep: Try to get about 7 hours of sleep. If you snore or have sleep apnea, the risk of heart attack or stroke is doubled.
4. Hydration: 75% of U.S. population is dehydrated. We need to avoid excess caffeine drinks, which cause this problem for the sake of giving us energy. Whereas proper diet, exercise and adequate sleep will give you natural energy. Our bodily functions and the repair of tissues are impaired by a lack of water.
5. Vitamins and supplements: There is much debate about the benefits of vitamins. I believe in taking them because we do not get enough in our diet. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to problems. Very low vitamin D has been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers and dementia’s. Low B12 causes fatigue, memory problems and nerve damage. Personalized pharmaceutical grade vitamin supplementation is the best choice rather than one size fits all and they have to be taken at certain times to help the body. Prescription medications can also deplete the body of certain vitamins.
This is the only body you have and taking care of it from an earlier age will reap benefits in the “golden years.” Having the right physician who can spend quality time listening to your concerns, ordering the customized tests based on your history and fully explaining the results makes for a better partnership. We need to take back the true doctor-patients relationship, which is the cornerstone of MDVIP (value in prevention). Call us to start a healthier life.
Dr. Abdul Moosa is a family physician with focus on preventive Medicine in La Porte, TX, serving the Bay area for 24 years. He is the associate clinical professor, Family Medicine for Baylor College of Medicine, Houston and UTMB, Galveston. He also is the Medical Director at Bay shore Advanced Wound Center in Pasadena and Lymphedema & Wound Care Institute in Clearlake. He recently opened a second medical office in Friendswood.
Previously Published in the Health & Wellness Magazine with Popular Demand