Are You Healthy?

Dr Flip Troiano MD, Greensquare Center
Everybody talks about health, but what is health? A Google search for "definition of health" returns 451 million citations. The "Oxford Dictionaries" say health is the state of being free from illness or injury, but this is too limiting. The World Health Organization takes a broader view; Health is not merely the absence of disease..." It is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being". This definition of health is more comprehensive and includes critically important issues.
Now that we have a definition for what health is, how do you translate this into your daily life. The first thing to ask is; "How am I doing now?"

 Do I feel good? Can I physically and mentally do the things I want to do? Am I competently managing the daily stress in my life? The answer to these questions gives you a snapshot of your current physical, mental and social well-being, but this picture does not always do a good job of telling you when your systems reserves are being depleted and what problems are coming in the future. A single frame from a movie may tell you what's happening right now but may not tell you what's going to happen in the next scene. If you're feeling good now, there may be very little indication that you are developing chronic problems that will manifest themselves in the future.

To be healthy you have to be concerned not only with present issues but with factors that will affect future well-being. Can you prevent the development of chronic diseases? If you already have a chronic disease can you slow the progression or possibly reverse its course? The answers to these questions are: Yes you can!
In order to do this, though, you need a more comprehensive preventative approach than what the medical system commonly provides. Currently, you get blood pressure meds to lower your high blood pressure, insulin or metformin to lower your high blood sugar, and cardiac catheterizations and stents to bypass your plaque. All of these interventions are extremely important, in fact can be lifesaving, when needed. Most of our chronic diseases, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases and cancers develop over years to decades. The more important question for each of you is: "Before I show overt signs and symptoms that need to be treated, is there a way to determine, that I have begun to develop a chronic disease and change the course while I'm still feeling good?
Genetics and environment both play important roles.

Your genetics are a baseline, but your environment plays a significant role in how your genes are actually expressed. If your environment leads to excess oxidative stress and you are nutritionally deficient in the factors that are needed to adequately breakdown toxins, how your DNA is actually expressed will change. Important environmental factors include sleep patterns, nutritional status, exercise patterns, stress, support systems, and exposures to toxins.
A person whose diet is overwhelmed by Omega 6 fats, excess carbohydrates, excess neuro-excitatory stimulants, i.e. aspartame from diet soda will be at a much higher risk of developing hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic immune disorders. A person raised in an environment exposed to heavy metals high levels of PCBs or other plastic will be in a much higher risk for developing heart disease and cancer.

Do you Exercise 5 times/week for 30 mins? This is important because doing so has been shown to decrease all-cause mortality by up to 30%. Specifically it reduces the risk of stroke by 25%, reduces the risk of heart attack and cardiac death by 40%., reduces high blood pressure by 10 to 15 mm Hg, reduces stress, reduces the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancer, and facilitates detoxification.1

Do you sleep 7 or more hours per night? This is important because not doing so is associated with neurological diseases: stroke, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease, slower brain cell repair and regeneration, childhood obesity, GERD heartburn, abnormal appetite regulation , increased high blood pressure and increased risk of developing high blood pressure, accelerated loss of visual short-term memories, and reduced testosterone production in young healthy males by 15%.2
Do you eat 9 servings of vegetables and whole Fruits per day? This is important because, with each 1-serving increase intake of fruits or vegetables research has shown an additional 4% lower risk for coronary heart disease. 3
Is you resting heart rate <=65? This is important because for every 10 bpm that your resting heart rate is more than 65 your risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death increases by 10 -20%.4
Is you fasting blood sugar less than 84? This is important because for every 1 point that you fasting morning blood sugar is above 84 your risk of developing diabetes within 10 years, increases by 6%.5

Not only is it important to feel good now, but it is extremely important to evaluate and monitor the internal signs that are early indicators of chronic disease. This can be accomplished with a thorough functional medicine evaluation.
The functional medicine, approach begins with a complete medical history that identifies when and how problems began and possible predisposing factors, both genetic and environmental. It continues with identifying current issues, environmental, nutritional, and potential toxins that either activate or perpetuate the problem. These are all evaluated in conjunction with important lifestyle issues, including nutritional status, quality and amount of exercise, sleep habits, life stresses, and support systems. This is followed by targeted laboratory testing to evaluate, hormones, energy production, the state of the immune system, the level of oxidative stress, neurotransmitters, digestion, nutrient deficiencies, and the ability to metabolize or detox normal byproducts or toxins. All of this forms the basis for individually tailored treatment plans that integrate medicines, nutritional supplements, vitamins, minerals, lifestyle modifications, botanicals, and other alternative treatments with the goal to prevent or slow the development of chronic diseases and to maintain health, the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.

Dr Flip Troiano MD, 6789 N Green Bay Rd, Greensquare Center - L2 Glendale, Wi 53209.

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