The reader question of the week: Does bio-identical hormone replacement therapy really work? Yes it does! I spoke with three of last week’s hormone replacement therapy patients the day after Christmas. They reported better sleep, less fatigue, better memory, and an overall feeling that getting older wasn’t going to be as bad as expected. Magic? If replacing the hormones that your body produced when it was younger is magic, then yes, it qualifies as magic. Some people are okay with getting older naturally. I feel better feeling younger naturally. You make the call.
My family was fortunate to wake up to a white Christmas. Weather Underground says there is a chance we will wake up to a white New Year’s Day. Snow or no, the New Year offers a chance to change the status quo. We all have areas that need improvement. I’d like to offer three suggestions regarding your healthcare.
- Become more involved in your personal health. Blow the dust off the scales, take a reading, and then educate yourself on your numbers. Type the letters BMI into a Google search box. One of the top hits will be a link to the National Institute of Health’s Body Mass Index calculator. Enter your height and weight and see where you stand. A BMI of 25 of greater puts you at increased risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and diabetes. Dropping your BMI into the normal range in most cases will decrease the prescription medications you need to manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar (diabetes). Tired of taking so many medications? Change your eating habits. Most adults need approximately 1500 calories per day to maintain weight. Many adults consume 500 to 1000 additional calories per day. Want to gain one pound per week? An extra 500 calories per day will do the trick. Make a New Year’s resolution to take an active role in your health.
- Become more involved in your personal health. Schedule an annual visit with your doctor and ask how you can decrease your health risk. Annual visits are designed for just that purpose. If you don’t ask questions, you won’t receive answers. Most physicians are inundated with visits from sick patients and will welcome the opportunity to keep you on the well side of the waiting room.
- Become more involved in your personal health. Have a health problem or a new onset of symptoms? Do your homework. Internet research from reputable sources such as WebMD can be a good start to your question list before you see your doctor. And before you go, don’t forget to do a web search on your doctor. Make sure their credentials are in order. Don’t be afraid to ask about their Continuing Medical Education hours and topics they reviewed over the past year. Patients sometimes have more information about a particular condition than the doctor. In medical school I was taught that medical knowledge doubles every five years. That means that some of what I learned in school is either wrong or outdated. Don’t be afraid to offer your doctor the opportunity to research a topic and get back to you with an answer.
We all have an opportunity to change. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks if you take the time. Resolve to become more involved in your personal health!
Happy New Year from the Doctors Rath and the staff of Fusion Medical Spa!
Disclaimer: Dr Stephen Rath, MD, DABA is a board certified anesthesiologist as well as the owner and medical director of Fusion Medical Spa located in Ruidoso, NM. He isn’t an expert on healthcare reform, but he has a few ideas regarding reforming local medical care. Comments or questions? His email address is: DrRath@FusionMedicalSpa.net.