As the holiday season is winding down we hope many of our readers had a wonderful time with family and friends. New Years Eve is the farewell of 2014, and HELLO to 2015. At Back in Line we always encourage our patients to set goals that improve their quality of life. It doesn't have to be unrealistic goals, but goals to be incredibly mindful of and diligent in 2015. Many people of course go to the weight loss, which for many American's.... isn't a bad idea, in fact a vital and necessary goal to improve quality of life, however, so many people fall short in achieving that goal. MAYBE a shift in perspective on how to set healthy goals. Maybe reducing sugar intake by 25%.... trust us, that's not a hard one. Start reading your food labels and you'll be SHOCKED by how much sugar is in so many household condiments and foods we eat daily. Sugar is a major cause of inflammation. If we could tell all of our fibromyalgia patients to cut gluten (another sugar) for 30 days before they come seek out Functional Medicine/Alternatives for treating their chronic pain, we know the more than 20% of those patients would see a significant reduction in their pain ALMOST OVERNIGHT!.
One of our big initiatives in 2015 at Back in Line is making Health CONTAGIOUS. We plan on achieving this in a variety of ways, from free events, to 21-day salad and smoothie challenges, to "public service announcements" such as this, we are eager to help spread the word about various ways to be healthy, and share your HEALTH with others. We believe the healthcare market is changing at an alarming rate. In many ways, we actually can appreciate this shift in how healthcare is being utilized and sought out. For instance, in the high deductible world, you can go set at your PCP's office, wait to see the doctor, get an RX for what sounds like an "xyz" condition, and be on your way. That bill can range from $250-$1000 depending on the cost of the prescription, and if you need to follow-up. We feel that a good/better utilization of our patients money maybe doing more active therapies and really spreading how long that $250-$1000 to help them FEEL AND BE better. For instance, $250 may get you 5-8 adjustments at Back in Line, $500 would get you acupuncture, adjustments, and sauna treatments for colds/coughs/flu like symptoms or even several treatments of Trigger Point Dry Needling for muscle spasms and sprains/strains. We want our consumers to critically think about how they spend and value their healthcare dollars. Don't get us wrong, we also believe their absolutely is a time and place for medication, but most musclo-skeletal injuries/pain can be treated with active therapy that chiropractors and physical therapists use on a daily basis.
NOW -- ONTO THE SUGAR TOPIC.
We are under the belief that prevention is your best tool. Often times when I (Dr. CJ) start evaluating a patients' past blood testing and results we can see a trend and actually predict certain diseases may arise. The biggest two that we do like to monitor and check are fasting blood sugars (or more ideally, an A1C) and a lipid panel. I have actually viewed a patient that has become Type II diabetic within a 5 year period. The fasting blood sugars went from 89, 98, 110, 129, and the last reading that the patient EVEN knew something could be wrong was when his blood sugar was at 199. HE was SHOCKED. In my opinion, when we see trends like that we know (esp with such large jumps between each year!). Between the 3-4th year, he was also placed on a statin drug for his lipid panel. His total cholesterol was 212.... many statin drugs actually make the person more likely to develop Type II diabetes but the patient was never explained this. (to the defense of his PCP, we CANNOT BLAME the primary care doctors.... they are being required to spend less and less time with patients and their job isn't to explain how diet/lifestyle can prevent/reverse diseases. They are there to diagnose WHEN a disease is present, and what medication can reduce the burden of the disease. Many of us (and yes, I get caught up in this as well) would love our PCPs to share this information, but honestly, in the world of supply and demand.... our PCP's cannot manage that much time with each patient. It's already hard enough to see your PCP... imagine if they actually had the time to see each patient for 15-30minutes ? It would take you months to get in to be seen. THE OWNERSHIP COMES DOWN TO THE PATIENT AND THE PATIENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO OWN THEIR OWN HEALTH AND HEALTH STATUS.
Three diseases that are hugely on the rise are:
Pre-diabetes/Diabetes (sugar in the blood)
Dislipidemia (cholesterol panel)
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Typically correlated with these three are also the increased waist line and overweight/obesity.
HOWEVER -- IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND that 1/3 of the "normal" BMI/weight population is still insulin-resistant or becoming pre-diabetic/diabetic so it's important that we do not dismiss the population that "looks" healthy based on their weight. I also have seen people that are overweight but have a perfect blood pressure, a low A1C, and normal blood pressure. While the BIG 3, the patient is safe, we do know that being overweight has plenty of long term health consequences as well, so we do not dismiss the patient's preventative care if we can't find anything in the blood work.
The cost of having an elevated A1C (which is a 3month avg for your blood sugars/sugar on the cell wall) or fasting blood sugars is essential to prevention is staggering.
$245 billion: Total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2012
$176 billion for direct medical costs
$69 billion in reduced productivity -
See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/#sthash.CbdG7wcf.dpuf
AND THAT'S JUST RELATED TO DIABETES! IMAGINE IF YOU HAVE HIGH CHOLESTEROL AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.... IT'S EVEN GREATER! The time has come... the BEST investment HANDS DOWN, is in preventative measures. The excuse, I can't afford to be healthy....IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE -- you can't afford NOT to be healthy. You don't have to sell your home in order to achieve this. The irony, is that so much of lifestyle medicine comes from behavior!
WALKING MORE AND REDUCING SUGAR ARE FREE FREE FREE for all of us!
Want to start meditating for stress?
Want to dedicate more time to scripture and prayer?
Want to shift how you grocery shop?
Start eating a nutritious breakfast (for many, this is what propagated diabetes in the first place)
Begin walking or increased physical activity 3x/week
Decreasing gluten and other processed foods
CUT POP/SUGARY DRINKS
Increase veggie's and fruits in your diet
ARE SOME OF THE LEAST EXPENSIVE AND HIGHEST, LITERALLY, THE HIGHEST likelihood to positively impact and your health.
For those patients adding lifestyle and wanting supplements and nutrition to prevent disease processes we do offer a variety of supplements. We also encourage monitoring of these levels to make sure diet/lifestyle/nutrition is working in reducing the burden and actually PREVENTING the disease.
Berberine and grape seed Extract -- have been PROVEN to improve liver function, lower blood glucose levels, and support healthy blood pressure. We carry a product from Ortho Molecular called CM Core that can aid in this process. HOWEVER, we strongly believe lifestyle medicine (those things the patient has to do own their own) is far superior than relying on the "all-natural" band-aid.
Feel free to talk with us more if this is something you would like to be evaluated and get a risk assessment done in 2015.
**Baseline Prevention Screen Includes:
Lipid Panel* (VAP is ideal and most accurate and determining actual cardiovascular risk... ask your PCP to run CPT codes 83701, 84478)
Blood Pressure Reading
Past Health History (cardiovascular disease, etc)
Family Medical History
Health Goal Discussion
Action Plan -- lifestyle changes including Diet/Exercise/Nutritional Supplements if warranted
*lab costs are separate, many people prefer their PCP to run the labs and we review with the patient, or we can also order these labs on the patient. MOST INSURANCES PAY IF THESE HAVE NOT BEEN RUN IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS. We have no financial gain in ordering these labs other than how to interpret them from the prevention model. We enjoy seeing patient specific data to give each patient the individualized care they deserve. Recent blood work needs to be done within the past 45 days to be relevant for review. In some cases, a patient will need to be referred to a PCP if health status is too deteriorated and medications are necessary to regain or reduce burden while lifestyle modifications are being made. It is important that every patient understands this aspect of the BASIC PREVENTION REVIEW.
For those with excellent blood panels and wanting to take a step further we can also ADD-ON:
96 IgG food intolerance testing ($200)
MicroNutrient Testing ($200)
*insurance does not pay for these panels - they are considered preventative
We would also like to encourage you and others to ATTEND OUR FREE events in 2015. Most of them are on lifestyle medicine and how you can enjoy these activities with your loved ones.... YES -- BEING HEALTHY IS HUGELY CONTAGIOUS!!!
Back in Line BLOG
Drs. Nate, CJ, and Hannah will take turns sharing information they stumble across from certain research, publications, or may just post a quick healthy tidbit to keep you motivated to leading a happier, healthier lifestyle!