Top ways to improve your health:
1. It goes without saying but overstating the obvious, stop or avoid negative health behaviors
- Excessive Alcohol use
- Mind alternating drugs
- Artificial Sweeteners – Aspartame (Nutrasweet), Saccharin, etc.
- Be Proactive and read You: The Owners Manual by Dr. Oz.
2. Exercise: Keep on the Move
- To reduce risk of many cancers and enhance overall health exercise at least 5 hours a week.
- Include both Aerobic (Walking, Running, Cycling) and Weight training exercise (Calisthenics, Pilates, Weights, etc.).
- Recent evidence shows that interval training (higher intensity followed by lower intensity) is a great way to increase your fitness and metabolic rate.Working with a trainer at least initially may be beneficial if you choose to do this type of training. The typical work to rest ratio is 2:1.i. Resources: iPhone app WorkoutMuse
- The ultimate goal is to maintain muscle mass, strength and bone mass into old age.
- Excellent exercise resource: Younger Next Year: A Guide to Living by Chris Crowley
3. Eat to live, don’t live to eat:
- Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup, refined Sugars, “Enriched” foods, and Trans-fats (hydrogenated fats).
- Anti-Aging diets keep insulin levels low by avoiding the above 4 items as well as limiting refined carbohydrates like breads and pastas. Eat protein with eachmeal or snack to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Avoid eating more than 30 carbs in any 2 to 3 hour period. Eat at least 1 gram of protein for every 2 grams of carbs at any meal or snack.
- Eat 9 servings a day of fresh fruit and vegetables. Organic foods are best because they have higher antioxidant levels (antioxidants are part of the plants defense against natural pests). Always use a fruit/vegetable wash to rinse off contaminants even if the food is organic.
- Fats: Consume at least 4 grams of omega 3 fats daily. Salmon, flaxseed powder, nuts, beans and squash are good sources. If you take fish oil, make sure it has been tested to be free of mercury and other contaminants. An additional tablespoon of olive oil and coconut oil daily is recommended (a simple way to do this is to make your own salad dressing combining olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh or dried herbs). Coconut oil is best ingested in the raw state as it may help with overall metabolism and immune function.
- Consume 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily. If you are eating the 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily you are already far ahead of the game. See this website to get specifics about the fiber content of foods: http://www.slrhc.org/healthinfo/dietaryfiber/fibercontentchart.html. If you choose to add a fiber supplement to your diet I recommend food based fibers like flaxseed powder which with 2 TBSP’s give you 3 grams fiber, 3 grams protein and around 3 grams of omega 3’s.
- To keep your metabolic rate higher, make sure to eat every 2 to 3 hours with 3 larger meals and 2 to 3 snacks per day. If you do not eat regularly your metabolic rate will decrease and make it even harder to maintain or to lose weight.
4. Become Resilient:
- We all know that chronic stress is bad for us. But why? More importantly, what can we do about it? For a complete blueprint of becoming stress hardy in everyday life see: You Can Beat the Odds. For free stress-busting audios listen or download at www.brendastockdale.com. After failing to lose weight with diet and exercise, one recent patient met her weight loss goals and normalized blood sugar levels with these free audios. For specific tips and time-tested skills to help decrease stress-induced hormonal changes and live life to its fullest, see Brenda or visit her website.
- Exercise, enjoy nature, take a walk, listen to peaceful music
- Write, paint, journal, draw, play music – express your inner emotions in a form or fashion that suits you.
- Maintain health insurance – if at least to have catastrophic coverage for major accidents or illnesses for some peace of mind.
5. Fuzzy Thinking? Inflammation? Fatigue? There’s more to your zzzz’s than meets the pillow:
Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night and try to be in bed before 11 p.m. for ideal melatonin and growth hormone release to repair while you sleep.
- Plan for sleep: Decide when you want to wake up and count backward about seven hours.
- Now take about a 15-minute period prior to begin winding down. Spend five minutes of relaxing into your sleep state with imagery and/or positive affirmations as you lie in bed.
- Keep your room cool and dark. Dim your lights before bed to avoid the stimulation caused by artificial light pollution–through TV, computers, and indoor lighting. Keep the bedroom as dark and electronic devices as far away from your bed as possible, especially cellphones.
- Naps aren’t just for kids anymore. Catnaps are shown to energize and improve overall mental function during the day. If you can’t take a nap, do a 5-minute Autogenic stress buster at www.brendastockdale.com. Or download to your iPod for listening anywhere.
6.Not all Supplements are created Equal:
- Medical studies continue to confirm that food based supplements like Juice Plus are the best.
What I value about Juice Plus is that actual research is done on the products themselves, notjust the individual ingredients. Synthetic multivitamins simply do not work as well and sometimes may even increase the risk of certain diseases because the ratios of vitamins are not as intended by nature. For more information about Juice Plus call Joan Eller at 770-532- 2485. For discount pricing and free Juice Plus for your children call Joan.
- Vitamin D3 – Adults and children should take 1000 to 2000 i.u. daily to aid bone health, immune function, decrease risk of certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, heart disease and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Check Vitamin D 25-OH levels. The ideal is between 40 to 60 for healthy children and adults. For those with bone loss the recommended level is 60 to 80.
- Other supplements are recommended on an individual needs. See our General health recommendation on our website for a full list of supplements. This list will be updated periodically. Periodic updates to this handout can be found at www.drmilton.net.
7. Labs and tests:
- Everyone should have an annual checkup with their physician. See below for other more specific recommendations.
- MMG (mammogram) or MRI or Thermography (though not recognized as a standard-of-care test, it can be used as a supplement) for breast cancer screening beginning at age 40 to 50 depending upon your family and personal risk factors. (If you are doing a MMG then avoid deodorants and lotions the day of the test as they might contain aluminum, which could mimic an abnormal result.)
- PAP test regularly for women. (Try to schedule your exam for 10 to 20 days after the first day of your period. Abstain from sex, baths and tampon use 2 days before hand. If you have vaginal dryness it is okay to apply a prescription estrogen based cream or lubricant before your exam.)
- Eye exam by an Ophthalmologist every 2 to 5 years.
- Dental visits every 6 months.
- Dermatologist checks every year or more frequently if at risk. I saw a patient nottoo long ago who went to the dermatologist for a suspicious spot that ended upbeing fine, yet basal cell cancer was found in a completely different area that she was not concerned about. The point is to have an expert check our skin periodically. (Clean off any nail polish prior to your visit to avoid missing any melanoma that may be present under the nails. Also avoid aspirin the day of your exam incase a biopsy needs to be done so that bleeding will be less. If you are taking any prescription blood thinners be sure to let the dermatologist know. Ask your partner or a close friend to help you check your skin beforehand and circle any troublesome areas with a marker. It may be hard to find what is worrying you in different lighting or because it is in a hard to find area.)
- Cardiologist: Echocardiogram and Stress test at age 50 for screening or earlier if having symptoms. Heart CT’s are a hot topic right now however my main concern is the radiation exposure. There is no radiation exposure with Echo and Stress Testing. For more information about cardiovascular testing and supplement recommendations see www.drsinatra.com.
- Colonoscopy at age 50 for screening or earlier if there is a family history of colon cancer. (Avoid iron supplements for 2 weeks before your exam. Eliminate red meat and raw vegetables for several days before your exam – the tough fibers can be difficult to clear from your system. Avoid grape juice or foods that contain red or purple dyes as this can mimic blood in the stool.)
- Bone Density using DEXA scanning to assess for bone loss. The earlier it is found the easier it is to reverse or stop. I generally recommend having this done beginning at age 40 for a baseline measure to compare to later.
- AMAS blood testing is done at our office, which measures an antibody in the blood that can indicate the presence of numerous types of cancers. For more info see www.oncolabinc.com. More specific cancer screening and genetic testing can be done. For personalized testing consult with your doctor.
- We offer comprehensive physicals including physical examination, blood testing, body weight analysis and EKGs at Advanced Medicine. See below formore information.
- Know your BMI (for an online calculator click here); Waist size is very important (Suck in and measure your waist at your belly button. It should ideally be
less than half your height – roughly 40 inches for men, 37 inches for women), blood pressure (ideal is 115/75 but there is a wide range of normal. You
definitely want your blood pressure less than 135/85). Resting heart rate (Close to 60 is ideal, but may be lower in highly trained athletes).
- Blood Testing – Analyzing the Laboratory Evidence: Vitamin D 25-OH, B12 and Folate levels (Also can check Homocysteine and Methylmalonic acid to measure metabolic effectiveness of B12 and Folate), Cholesterol (The ratio of LDL/HDL at 2 or less is ideal), Blood sugar and Insulin levels (Using the HOMA model – The Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA) estimates steady state beta cell function (%B) and insulin sensitivity (%S), as percentages of a normal reference population. – you can estimate your degree of insulin resistance, which is a major contributor to aging. If you use the calculator on your own the desired range is less than 1), Vitamin D level, Homocysteine, C-Reactive Protein (To measure background inflammation in your body – less than 1 is ideal), Thyroid levels, Adrenal and Ovarian Hormone testing (Aging is closely linked to loss of hormone levels, so many choose to supplement with natural bio-identical hormones and restore them to a more youthful level.), Genetic testing if you are at risk for certain diseases based upon family and environmental history, Toxicity and Nutritional testing per specific needs.
8. How Martha Stewart can save your life — Organize your health records.
- At Advanced Medicine we will always give you a copy of your office notes and labs or tests to maintain a copy at home. You may want to keep your records electronically.
- Know your family history, previous surgeries and serious health issues, the medications you take and what you are allergic to. Keep a 1 page list with all this in your purse or wallet in case of an emergency, or to give to any physician you are seeing for the first time.
- Program into your cell phone an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact with emergency contacts, previous surgeries, health conditions, medications taken,allergies.
- Designate someone you trust who will honor your wishes concerning medical care as your Power of Attorney should you be unable to make medical decisions (i.e. injury with head trauma, coma, etc.)
- Always check your prescription before leaving the pharmacy to make sure you have the right medication and the correct dose.
- Many brand name medications are more stable than generics and often have coupons available online. Check the manufacturers website for any coupons
for your specific medications.
10. Yearly check-off list:
- Annual office Visit
- See all items under #7
11. Physicals: Include comprehensive physical examinations, height, weight, body composition analysis, and blood pressure as well as testing described below.
- Executive Panels for men and women.
- Includes EKG, and basic lab testing including Complete Blood Count Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, Cholesterol levels, PSA for men and CA-125 for women, Urinalysis.
- Includes the above plus Thyroid testing
- Includes the above plus Comprehensive Cholesterol measures, Homocysteine, C-Reactive Protein, Fibrinogen, Comprehensive Hormone levels (Estradiol, Progesterone, Testosterone, DHEA, Cortisol), and Vitamin D.
- Additional testing can include AMAS for cancer screening or other specialized testing considering your individual health history and goals.