By: Dr. Abdul Moosa
Society needs to think differently when it comes to healthcare. 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 healthcare 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:
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
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-patient relationship, which is the cornerstone of MDVIP (value in prevention). Call us to start a healthier life.