We hate to have to give an unpleasant diagnosis to any of our members.
And in countless cases over the years, we’ve heard the heartbreaking responses, “If only I’d known,” “I had no idea,” or, “What could I have done differently?”
Sometimes people — unknowingly — make lifestyle choices that lead to disease, and sometimes they just seem to have the genetic or environmental deck stacked against them. Is there anything they can do differently to reach a better outcome?
This is a huge question in medicine, and one we take very seriously in our practice. We want to give our members the best tools possible to take control of their health.
One of the most powerful tools we have to offer our members is awareness.
Grow Your Awareness To Increase Your Power
It’s easy to feel like we’re stuck with our genetics, environment, or family history. Conventional wisdom says that if our dad and granddad had heart attacks, we probably will too.
But what if that’s not the case? Medicine and technology have advanced to the point that we can get incredibly informative sneak peeks inside our own bodies and discover what’s going on.
And it’s not just for the sake of knowing.
Once we understand what’s going on inside our bodies, we have the power to make choices that change the direction our bodies are headed in. Once we have awareness, we can decide to actively stack the deck in our favor.
For many conditions, like heart disease and certain cancers, there are steps we can take to help prevent them from developing down the road. Regular screening and baseline blood work will help us to be more aware of what’s going on in our bodies and what choices we can make to alter our outcomes.
The exciting thing is, as we continue to evolve medically and technologically, the power of our choice increases. And the first choice we can make right now is to be aware of what’s going on with our bodies.
The Power of Regular Screenings
Have you ever heard the phrase “You don’t know what you don’t know”?
The same concept applies to our health. We like to tweak the phrase to say, “We’re not aware until we are.”
If you’re not aware of a potential health issue, you can’t do anything about it. But once you’re aware, you have the power to take action if you choose. In many cases, if you take the right actions at the right time, you can slow or reverse the progression of disease.
There are many measures we can take to help reduce the possibility of one day asking, “What could I have done differently?” So many tests today can provide the insights we need to take control of our health.
One major practice we recommend at least once per year is getting your routine baseline blood work. This will tell you if anything is beginning to change with your health, like rising cholesterol or blood sugar abnormalities.
An annual physical will also provide insights into your health, screening thoroughly for heart disease, skin cancer, and other issues.
Another amazing screening tool now available is the GRAIL Galleri test. This simple blood draw can identify indicators of cancer in the body that may otherwise go undetected or ignored with traditional screening tools.
Comprehensive testing lets us know whether something in the body needs our attention.
Sometimes people are afraid of testing because they’re nervous about finding an issue. But not testing for something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It just denies you the power to change it.
By testing regularly, you can keep many minor issues from becoming major ones. When you discover a problem, you and your doctor can work together to develop a strategy for addressing it.
Shift Your Health Outcomes Through Awareness
In the past, we had a member in his early 50s come in for some routine blood work. His heart scan looked great, his cholesterol medication was working beautifully, and his routine blood work was in good shape across the board.
But we always want to be sure.
We added one additional test — an inflammation profile — and the results really surprised us. The test showed that this otherwise healthy young man had high levels of inflammation in his blood vessels.
That’s something we never would have caught if we hadn’t tested adequately and dug a little deeper. If we’d never known about it, this member would likely have been on track for heart disease — and possibly a heart attack — in the next 10 years.
He would have been left wondering, “What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently?”
We began to discuss adding some anti-inflammatory medications to his regimen. But as we continued our discussion, he started to come up with additional steps he could take outside of medication. He proposed certain lifestyle changes he could commit to making, including losing a significant amount of weight, drinking less alcohol, and managing his stress levels.
All of these changes came from him, from his awareness of his body’s needs.
He never would have made these commitments if he hadn’t been aware of the problem in the first place. He never would have realized that some of his habits, which didn’t seem detrimental at the time, could be contributing to future disease.
Awareness is empowering. Because if you don’t know there’s a problem, why would you change anything?
We’re Here To Support You
One of the most exciting realities in medicine today is how much choice we have in our health outcomes. Our level of control directly correlates with our level of awareness.
At Griffin Concierge Medical, it’s our mission to provide every member with the awareness of what’s going on in their body so that if there’s an area of concern, they have the choice and the power to change something if they wish.