Genetic Testing Needed in Routine Health Care

Cells

As many of you know, throughout my career in medicine, preventive medicine, identifying and reducing the risk of disease, has been ​my passion.​ Genomics, or the study of a person’s genes, has become a game-changer in the field of preventive medicine, not solely because of what health complications may affect our futures, but mainly because of what is happening in our bodies today. Research shows that genetic testing may be a more sensitive indicator of health than family history, personal history, exams, or imaging studies. For this reason, I feel strongly that genetic testing should be a part of routine health care.

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Our Changing Climate, Our Health

There are significant impacts of climate change on the brain, heart and gut

The next time you see your physician, consider discussing the impact that climate change and environmental hazards are having on your health. While the interactions of human health and the environment are complex, we are seeing dynamic and interacting forces that span from the level of personal to global. One of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals, The Lancet​, has referred to climate change as the “​biggest global health threat of the 21st century​.”

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Optimal Ferritin Levels May Surprise You

Optimal Ferritin Levels Blog Image

Often patients express worry that their ferritin levels are too low, when, in fact, I am concerned about the opposite.

Ferritin is a large protein molecule, and while its role is complex and still unclear, ferritin is generally considered a surrogate marker for total iron storage in the body and often acts as a biomarker of health. Optimal ferritin levels and reference ranges are not currently well defined, but what are considered “normal levels” may actually be too high, and some researchers are advocating for a change in what is considered normal. While we still don’t know the “optimal” numbers, aiming for below the 50 percentile is most likely healthier (20-40 for women, 50-70 for men). Ferritin specialist William R. Ware, PhD, suggests that we should aim even lower for some patient populations (those with cardiometabolic disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver, etc.).

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Preventive Integrative Medicine, the Ideal Approach to Care

How could this have been prevented? This is a question I have been asked hundreds of times throughout my training and over the course of my career. As a resident learning about surgical procedure as pertains to obstetrics and gynecology, I clearly recall thinking beyond the surgery to how the need for the surgery may have been prevented. It was during this time that I decided to switch my concentration to family medicine, which would allow me to further focus on prevention.

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7 Ways to Make Seasonal Allergies Less Annoying

Stinging Nettle

Ah-choo!

Many of us will be spending time outdoors with our families this summer, but the beautiful blooming flowers and trees producing airborne pollen may put a damper on our plans, as they cause sniffing and sneezing. While seasonal allergies are a reality and affect about 35 million Americans, there are proactive and integrative approaches you can take to lessen your symptoms and fully appreciate summer’s splendor.

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