Dr. Michael F. Roizen
Just showing up isn’t what makes a
doctor visit valuable. The value is in actually getting a plan to stay healthy,
and then following it to live a longer and happier life. You can transform that all-too-often rushed
doctor's appointment to make sure you’re not in the 50% of patients who walk
out not knowing what to do next. We believe in a plan.
Step one: Partner up with your doc. We docs love
it when you become the world’s leading expert on you, your body, and your health. Knowing as much as possible about
any health conditions you have, and about treatment options, helps you make
Step two: Come prepared. Bring along a list of the drugs, supplements and
remedies you take, extra medical info (like X-rays or reports from other docs),
all your health insurance information, and a note pad and pencil (maybe a tape
recorder and/or a friend or relative).
Write down in advance any special questions you want answered.
Step three: Set health
goals with your doctor. Do you need to quit smoking? Lose 15 pounds? Lower blood
pressure or LDL cholesterol by 20 points? Spend 10 minutes a day chilling out
to ease stress? Set a real target, with a “done by” date. (Need to start
exercising? Not ready to walk for 30 minutes today? If you can get out the
door, down to the corner and back in 15 minutes, start there and do it every
day for a week. Next week, add a couple minutes. Get a walking buddy, or go to
www.EnforcerECoaching.com—there is a charge.)
Step four: Find out what to do at home. Would a home blood pressure monitor, a new
blood-sugar meter, a smart phone app that tracks your fruits and vegetables, or
headphones help you reach your goals?
Step five: Schedule a follow-up visit. It’s good to see how you are doing on your plan and
make midcourse corrections to your plan as indicated. You want to get to 5 "normals" as a
minimum (blood pressure, weight for height, LDL cholesterol, fasting blood
sugar, and absence of tobacco use) all with or without medications,whatever it
takes for you to hit your plan goals for this and each year. That's the real
value of the yearly check-up with your doc.
That check-up isn’t just to get a blessing (no cancer, whew), it is to
set targets and then ensure you have enough support to hit ‘em.
Reducing Colds With Bacteria:
Lurking in the 20-plus feet of your
intestines are trillions of bacteria, some good, some bad, and none good
looking! In fact, they make up between 40% and 60% of what you excrete (if
you’re typical) every day.
But don’t let that bug you! You have
more of these friends (we hope), 10 trillion, than you have of your own
cells. These microscopic creatures make
up your microbiome, the inner world of bugs (bacteria really) that swirl
through your digestive system in a sometimes friendly, sometimes adversarial
tango to promote immune strength, protect you from infection, help you control
your weight (or send it up, up, up), and ease digestive woes. And yes, they
battle the common cold too.
The one billion colds that afflict
North Americans every year may have met their match in the gut-dwelling bacterial
duo Lactobacillus rhamnosus (also in yogurt) and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. B12 (in fermented
milks, infant formula) and maybe in other probiotics.
When college kids (notoriously
susceptible to colds because of close living quarters, lack of sleep, and high
levels of stress) were given a daily supplement packing 1 billion of each of
those bacteria for 12 weeks, their colds were shortened by 2 days and they felt
34% better than kids who didn’t get the gut-strengthening buggers. So, opt for
probiotic supplements in hard-shelled capsules – they make it through your
stomach acid and bug that cold away!
Thanks for reading, Young Dr Mike.
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