Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note, where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
This is the last Doctor’s Note of 2020, and I want to share some of my thoughts about healthcare in 2021 and how to navigate it as patients.
This year seems to have been a huge wake up call in the importance of taking care of your own health and how to do so.
One thing I can’t get over is that the United States is the most advanced country in the world, and COVID-19 has hit us the hardest.
The main reason for this is obesity. Another huge reason is low Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D actually concentrates in fat, and when it’s stored away in fat you can’t access it.
There is also poor gut function and poor immune function in our bodies that has contributed to how we have done with COVID-19. And of course diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
These are lifestyle diseases.
More Common Sense In Medicine
It’s amazing to me that we can be so advanced that we developed a vaccine at warp speed, and how little attention we pay to the basics.
We haven’t looked at the important things, like keeping your immune system functioning well.
Why hasn’t anyone with authority been yelling about how you should be taking Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Zinc? Why a trusted figure like Dr. Fauci isn’t preaching this, I’ll never know. As well as some of the early interventions that help with this disease.
We’re missing common sense in medicine, and that is what I want to focus on in 2021.
A good family doctor has to have some common sense. When things are serious, and when they aren’t.
We haven’t focused on prevention. It’s common sense to prevent something, not just treat it. But that’s not how our medical system works.
What we want to do is prevent that illness from happening in the first place.
It’s about the lifestyle changes we always talk about. It’s about nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, quality sleep, and hormonal management as you age.
We’ve been forced to do so much telemedicine these last 6 months. About ¼ of the patients I see everyday I know are going to be telemedicine through the phone or Zoom. It’s a huge part of medicine in the future. It’s convenient, and less expensive for the patients.
I like to lay hands on patients at least once a year. You can tell more when you’re looking into someone’s eyes. That’s why I don’t use EMR systems. I don’t want to be typing something, or searching for a code, when a patient is trying to tell me something. I don’t use a computer at all. I’m actually listening to them.
But for routine things like refills, common concerns, or if someone is sick, telemedicine is an amazing option. I can tell what they need and call it in, or just talk with them about their concerns. I think telemedicine is a great thing. I think it’s the future.
The Old and The New
I’m extremely old school in many ways. I still use paper charts. I’m progressive in many other ways though.
Nowadays, it’s hard to be healthy unless you know what you’re doing!
You have to take it upon yourself. What to eat, and what to avoid.
Medicine has become very monetized for sure. It’s been taken over by insurance companies, government, and healthcare executives who want more money.
I want to get back to common sense and apply it to my patients.
I see patients everyday, and have for 36 years. After that amount of time you get a good feeling for what works and what doesn’t. What is serious and what isn’t. And I’m very progressive in the anti-aging field.
Again, it’s back to basics:
- Balancing hormones
- Managing stress
Note: Stress is a toxin!
50 years ago the average adult male was 160 pounds. The average female was 115 pounds. Now it’s 30-40 pounds north of that.
The new normal is fat, and you’ve seen what that causes. It causes immune disorders and diabetes. Back in the day, you didn’t see a lot of diabetes. Now it’s mostly what we treat as family doctors.
What ends up happening is we pile medicines on top of medicines on patients.
Back in the fifties primary care doctors mostly treated infections. That’s why our lifespans are so much higher now than they were 100 years ago. A lot of that is because of antibiotics.
Health spans have actually gone down though. If you look at an average 65 year old, they don’t get around too well. They are on an average of 5 medications. They don’t feel well. They’re usually grumpy and depressed. They don’t move, and aren’t athletic.
We’ve become much more unhealthy.
A Few Things I’m Doing in 2021
I love intermittent fasting. I do it almost everyday. It makes me feel more energetic. I had gained some belly fat this year (probably due to stress), and intermittent fasting helped me get it off. I’m going to double down on monitoring my sleep patterns. Getting a good night’s rest really impacts the way I feel. I’ve also changed some of my exercise patterns.
I eat cleaner, and definitely take more supplements.
I want to focus this year on having more energy and hurting less in my joints.
As far as our clinic goes, I’m going to continue looking into hormones, inflammatory markers, and gut health. I love ordering CT calcium scores and Cleveland Heart Panels to assess risk of heart disease.
We’re going to add more tools to treat diabetes and obesity.
I’m going to continue learning more about vitamins and supplements and anti-aging strategies.
A big part of that is always going to be hormones. Remember, as your hormones decline you decline in every way.
As always, thank you for your trust this year and every year. My team and I appreciate it and value it more than you know.
Here’s to a healthy and happy 2021.