The key to prolonging good health and leading a vibrant and active life is the ability to identify the aging parts of your body and halt silent diseases early. When I refer to silent diseases, I am talking about the the early stages of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer.
By the time you notice symptoms, greater changes have already started that may be affecting your health in many ways. For instance, by the time you are diagnosed with diabetes, your elevated blood sugar levels are already damaging your blood vessels, kidneys, skin, eyes, heart and neurons in your brain.
The goal is to identify these processes early, so you can prevent their progression. The single most important way to do this is by combining early diagnosis with preventive anti-aging treatments. By doing so, you are literally reversing the aging process.
Because these chronic diseases are silent until they have progressed to their advanced stages, the proactive approach to health begins with a thorough annual check-up. Not only does this annual examination provide some peace of mind that you are in good health, it provides a health baseline so you can compare your results year after year.
If you have not been getting annual examinations from you physician, we encourage you to schedule an appointment. Make this an annual practice.
Treatment versus Prevention:
While early detection is key, prevention is equally important in offering a longer, healthier life. Many health care professionals have time solely to focus on treating disease once it is diagnosed. Don't miss the opportunity to stop disease progression and reverse chronic disease early. By focusing on preventive treatment, patients can avoid unexpected illness and premature death.
In addition to the conventional labs that are ordered during your annual examination, you might consider some of the following:
- Ankle-brachial index: This test finds early and debilitating peripheral vascular disease, which is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Carotid ultrasound: Helps detect carotid plaque that precedes stroke and functions as a surrogate marker for underlying coronary artery disease.
- DEXA Body Fat Scan: Identifies the "skinny fat" body type. These patients are not obese, in fact they have a normal to even low Body Mass Index (BMI) but have dangerous fat deposits in muscle and/or organs putting them at the same health risk as obese individuals.
- NMR LipoProfile: This is a newer test which is a better predictor of cardiovascular risk. We will talk more about the science behind this test in an upcoming article.
We will also cover Integrative therapies such as dietary supplements, healthy food selections, bioidentical hormones, and prescription drugs that can be combined to prevent and reverse the degenerative diseases associated with aging.
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