Conventional vs Precision Medicine

You may look healthy on the outside, the model of health, in fact: all muscles and green juice. Each human being is, however, a complex mix of genes, hormones, lifestyle, family history and environment. Health is not a surface phenomenon. At the cellular level, long before symptoms appear, that healthy-looking workout buddy may be en route to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis or another of the so-called “diseases of aging.”

Jim Fixx, the running guru, athlete and author of “The Complete Book of Running,” passed away unexpectedly at the age of 52. The epitome of health had a heart attack while out on a jog. The insidious thing about heart disease, the nation's leading cause of death (as well as other chronic diseases) is that early stages can be so veiled that doctors will not detect them. It can take decades for arteriosclerosis to clog the arteries, narrow the stream of blood and reduce nourishment of the heart muscle to the point where heart disease symptoms finally appear.

One in three American adults is obese; one in ten Americans has Type 2 diabetes; seven out of every ten deaths in this country are caused by chronic disease. According to data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all adults—117 million people—have one or more chronic health conditions. Two of these chronic diseases, heart disease and cancer, together account for nearly 48% of all deaths. Waiting for visible signs of disease – “getting sick” – is not the way to stay healthy.

Conventional Medicine is “disease-centric.” Apart from the annual check-up, folks schedule doctors’ appointments when they are ill. Spending on chronic illness is accelerating, with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis currently accounting for 75% of the $2.6 trillion annual U.S. healthcare budget. If disease-centric medicine is failing to provide many of us with a life of optimal health and wellbeing, prevention must be re-addressed with vigor, creativity, individualized care and 21st-century science. This is, in a nutshell, Precision Medicine.

You may look healthy on the outside, the model of health, in fact: all muscles and green juice. Each human being is, however, a complex mix of genes, hormones, lifestyle, family history and environment. Health is not a surface phenomenon. At the cellular level, long before symptoms appear, that healthy-looking workout buddy may be en route to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis or another of the so-called “diseases of aging.”

Jim Fixx, the running guru, athlete and author of “The Complete Book of Running,” passed away unexpectedly at the age of 52. The epitome of health had a heart attack while out on a jog. The insidious thing about heart disease, the nation's leading cause of death (as well as other chronic diseases) is that early stages can be so veiled that doctors will not detect them. It can take decades for arteriosclerosis to clog the arteries, narrow the stream of blood and reduce nourishment of the heart muscle to the point where heart disease symptoms finally appear.

Precision Medicine flips conventional, disease-centric medicine on its head. Precisionists treat disease, of course, but their underlying philosophy, protocols and science are both deeper and broader than the treatment of disease: deeper because a Precisionist health exam drills down into your cells; deeper, too, because Precision Medicine is not “one size fits all.” Medicine, hormone optimization, nutritional supplements and other lifestyle recommendations are designed for a population of one, and one only: YOU. This is the very essence of “precision” in Precision Medicine. And despite the seeming paradox, Precision Medicine also broadens the conventional medical approach by eliminating walls that separate medical specialties. The Precisionist examines your health as a whole, taking full note that the body is composed of integrated, interacting systems. Low levels of the hormone testosterone, for instance, not only impact the libido (as a plethora of romantic, tropical-beach-type ads inform us) but also impact heart, muscle and bone. The patient’s inquiry of a Precision Medicine physician is not simply “make me better”; it is also a determined “and how do I stay healthy..for life ?”

We gather a substantial amount of your health data, and thoroughly review it, before you ever set foot in our offices. We obtain and review blood work, hormones, bone and body composition, carbohydrate metabolism, inflammation and other biomarkers. We collect detailed family background and lifestyle information. We review, with your permission, your prior medical records. We schedule a “telemedicine” appointment, by phone, to ensure that you will arrive for your first visit with a substantial understanding of your lab results and their implications. When you DO come, armed with knowledge, to the office, your actual physical exam will take approximately three hours. You will work with a team of specialists – doctor, physician associate, exercise physiologist and nutritionist – to create a program designed to get and keep you healthy. For life.

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