We all know someone who appeared to be healthy but suddenly died or developed a serious, fatal illness. Yet, yes, yet every one of these tragedies could have been prevented if the victim only knew that they were suffering from a dormant disease. The truth is that disease is rarely dormant, and illness is rarely isolated, my dear reader. In fact, most illnesses quietly begin an avalanche of health problems.
As we get older, one or more of our organs will start to fail before we are even well aware of it. My dear friend, you may have found your first gray hairs or have had a momentary lapse when trying to remember a phone number or someone’s name. But wait! these clues are not really the first signs of aging: by the time they occur, you are already well into the process. Greater changes have already started inside your body, and may be affecting your health in a number of ways. For instance, if you are diabetic, your elevated sugar levels are also damaging your blood circulation, your kidneys, your skin, your eyes, your heart, and even the neurons of your brain. These issues used to be considered as “independent yet related symptoms of disease or comorbidity”. But they all comprise the body’s aging code.
The key to prolonging good health and continuing to lead an active life is the ability to identify the aging parts of your body that may already be experiencing the ravages of dormant diseases, and treating them at the earliest possible opportunity. By doing so, you are literally reversing the aging process by breaking the aging code. The goal is to intimately know your health status so that you can predict and prevent all forms of dormant disease, including heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes. The single most effective way to do this is by combining early diagnosis with preventive anti-aging treatment. Life 2 life team.
The New Annual Check-up.
Many diseases are asymptomatic, or dormant, until they have progressed to their advance stages. For instance, Alzheimer disease, a disease that does not occur overnight. Heart disease, a condition that begins slowly and silently and progresses over the years. That is why a proactive approach to health care begins with a thorough annual check-up. This is critical important, my dear reader. An annual check-up or examination not only allows you the peace of mind knowing that you are in exellent health, it also creates a health baseline so that you can compare your exam results year after year.
Note: Unfortunately, Physicians are not trained to think of aging as the first stage of disease. Even enlightened ones, believe it or not, are unlikely to detect some of the most aggressive dormant diseases via a regular physical exam.
Diagnostic testing can pinpoint the aging code of every organs in the body. With these tools, most dormant diseases can be detected early and early detection, yes, allows for early treatment.
Talk to your Doctor about the following testing options:
1) Ankle-brachial index: Finds early and debilitating peripheral vascular disease, which is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
2) Brain electrical activity map (BEAM): Includes quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG), which is a computerized measurement of electrical patterns that reflect cortical activity or brain waves. It also measures the brain’s speed, voltage, rhythm, and synchrony. Do not worry! my dear reader, the procedure is painless and non-invasive.
3) Head-to-toe ultrasound: Provides a comprehensive view of the entire body better than a physical exam using ultrasound to help identity the underlying basis of age-related disease. Transcranial (brain) ultrasound: Measures blood flow in the eye blood vessels and middle cerebral arteries and detects aneurysm.
4) Carotid ultrasound: Helps detect carotid plaque that precedes stroke and functions as a surrogate marker for underlying coronary artery disease.
5) Echocardiogram and sometimes EKG: Detects damaged heart valves and changes/enlargements in ventricles and atria. It can predict early atrial fibrillation and forecast heart failure.
6) Abdominal/pancreas/kidney/thyroid ultrasound: Finds stones, nodules, cancer, fatty liver disease, and more.
7) Quantitative computerized tomography (QCT). These scans can detect the beginning stages of osteoporosis even in young individuals. This is superior, oh, yes, to the DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) used in most medical settings.
8) DEXA Body Fat Scan: Identifies thin but still obese patients.
9) Female breast/pelvic ultrasound: Detects cysts, cancer/pre-cancer, dense breast tissue, uterine enlargement, bladder size and function, fibroids, changes in ovaries, prominent endometrium, endometrial cancers, cervical changes, sarcomas, myosarcomas, and fluid collection due to advancing ovarian cancer.
10) Prostate ultrasound (male): Measures the size of the prostate, its nodules, calcifications. masses, bladder size and function, enlarged prostate, and abnormal growth in prostate/bladder.
11) Scrotal ultrasound (male): Measures the size of testicles and epididymis, water in testicles, and provides information regarding infertility, cancer, hormonal changes, or calcifications.
The Point of Preventing Diseases.
I am very sorry to say that so many Health care Professionals still focus on treating disease once it is diagnosed. There are still not, I am afraid, getting the big picture and miss 90% of dormant disease. While early detection is key, prevention is equally important in guaranteeing a longer, healthier life.
A) Preventing Heart Attack and Stroke.
We can conclusively predict who is most likely to become the victim of a stroke or heart attack, even though the majority of patients who die of a sudden heart attack have few or no symptoms. For instance, a major study of 28,000 women at Boston’s Brigham and women’s Hospital provided conclusive evidence that painless inflammation of heart and blood vessels is a major trigger of heart attacks, even more so than high levels of inflammation are twice as likely as those with high cholesterol to die from heart attacks and strokes. See our post: How to prevent Heart Diseases? (in the Prevention category) for more informations.
B) Preventing Cancer.
While it is difficult for you to predict whether or not you will have cancer, there are certain universalities that you can become familiar with. Many in the medical community now believe that infections may be one cause of cancer. Some evidence suggests that milder antibiotics used to treat low-grade infections (such as doxycycline) could play a role in preventing cancer. This relationship shows why it is so important to protect your immune system: not just for fighting infection, but for modulating your overall risk for cancer. See our post: Cancer does not always mean a death sentence. (in the Anti-aging category).
Very Important! It is now well established that most of our hormones levels decrease with aging, while cancer risk increase with age. Many people getting cancer have low detectable hormone levels. While the main cause of cancer is aging, not natural hormone loss, restoring youthful hormone levels using bioidentical hormone therapy may confer life enhancing benefits for older adults.
C) Preventing Osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis (loss of bone density leading to weakening of the bones). Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose their strength and density, become fragile, weak, and brittle due to calcium loss, and the bone literally collapses on itself. When this occurs, the bones throughout the body, but primarily within the spinal column begin to weaken. Any change in your height or bone detoriation is considered abnormal, and certainly nothing that you should just “live with”, my dear friend.
Note: Your aging bones are affected by a host variables, including hormone loss, vitamins, and minerals, as well as age, weight, drug use, and genetics. Yet your future does not have to include a hip fracture, because osteoporosis and osteopenia are preventable and reversible.
Foods and Nutrients that support Healthy Bones.
You need to eat food rich in calcium to keep your bones strong. My dear friend, did you know that some of the healthiest food choices may be working against you? Hard to believe, isn’t? For instance, a diet high in animal protein washes calcium out of your blood so your bones do not get the chance to absorb this important nutrient. A purely vegetarian high-fiber diet is not the answer either. Too much fiber and not enough protein can bind important nutrients so that they are excreted before they get absorbed.
Leafy green vegetables such as Kale, collard greens, bok choy, parsley, mustard greens, and escarole are good sources of calcium. magnesium and vitamin K and so on…
D) Preventing Diabetes.
Diabetes is probably the easiest of the dormant diseases for you to predict, my dear friend. A sedentary life style paired with excess weight and the overconsumption of high-glycemic index foods is a recipe for disaster that can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Careful monitoring of your weight and your food choices will help you prevent diabetes. For futher informations, see our post: You are diabetic, so What! (in the Glucose management category).
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My dear reader. Even if you feel great, healthy. Disease processes like heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes may be silently underway, threatening to rob you of your future health. The key to living a long life unencumbered by disease is to identify aging parts of your body that may be experiencing decline before disease strikes and then take action to treat them. This can be accomplished with comprehensive annual check-ups that include advanced screening methods and thorough blood testing. By taking action early utilizing an integrative program of healthy diet, targeted nutrients, bioidentical hormones, and prescription therapies (as needed), you can ensure a bright healthy future free from the dormant diseases that rob aging adults of their healthy vigor.
For your Total health and Wellness. Rev. jm Galas, B.Msc