Genetic Testing Needed in Routine Health Care

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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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Seasonal eating; shift your diet to reflect the bounty of nature’s harvest

As we enter the autumn season, it’s a great time to start thinking about shifting our diets to reflect the bounty of nature’s harvest available in the fall. By focusing on seasonal eating, we can become more in tune with nature, with our body’s’ needs, and on doing what’s best for the environment. 

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Optimal Ferritin Levels May Surprise You

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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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Fertility and Preconception Planning

If you’re a woman thinking about starting a family or actively trying, it can be a strange time. After spending your whole adult life trying not to get pregnant, it can seem as if once you start trying things will go off without a hitch-and they often do. But when it comes to optimizing your and your future baby’s health, it can be a bit more complicated than ditching the birth control and taking a prenatal.

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