Tim Tonella, like most professionals living in major metropolitan areas, didn’t start a family until his 40s. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average age of first-time parents has been increasing steadily over the past three decades and bigger cities take that age even further.
With his first child on the way, Tim isn’t just interested in being around for his growing family as he enters middle age, he wants to have the stamina to keep up with them. “For me, this is deeper than exercising and eating right. I wanted to take it to the next level. I need to be here for my family.”
When certain recommendations are made for your health (whether it’s new medications or supplements or a new workout plan), it’s important to know the underlying reasoning. Understanding the various ways our organs work, how they can go wrong, and the biomarkers that alert us can help a person be more motivated, confident, and overall more successful in turning their health around for the better.
We can’t live without our kidneys. Luckily, we are born with two, and if one goes on an extended vacation the other can step up and do the job, but without both, we’re toast. The kidneys are responsible for filtering our blood and getting rid of all the harmful waste materials from the many daily processes our cells undergo. Urine is essentially filtered blood. When you drink fluid containing water, the water adds to your blood volume and your kidney adjusts how much is filtered to maintain a consistent blood pressure. That is why drinking a lot makes you go to the bathroom. Also, it’s why dehydration is so bad for you. Your body needs to get rid of waste in the blood, but it can’t continue taking from the blood volume without anything to replace it (water).
“But doctor, I don’t understand. I still feel sick.”
I hear this all the time in my office. A new patient comes in with complete blood work, a recent physical, medication and/or a supplement regimen, yet they still feel sick. Why? According to current research, the cause of their ailments may lie just beneath the surface of their standard blood work. If certain components of their health aren’t analyzed and addressed, it’s likely they’ll never reach their full health potential.
CNN recently featured an article about a 47-year-old family man who died of a heart attack while skiing with friends. He was not overweight, was an active individual, and had been previously informed by his doctor that his cholesterol was fine. Many people think that heart disease is a problem of the old and obese, but sudden heart problems can very well occur in younger individuals. Our Medical Director Murdoc Khaleghi weighs in below about heart disease, the risks, and the best ways to approach prevention.
When I was in medical school, I spent my summers working for a stonemason. By the end of each summer I had thick, grizzly calluses on my hands. The cause was clear: continual irritation to the area led the body to adapt by thickening the skin in order to prevent repetitive damage. Calluses did not attack me and they did not occur over night.
Chronic diseases occur in the same way. They are the result of the body’s own adaptive physiology straining to react to a continual stress over time. Dis-ease is a state of not being at ease or balance. Chronic dis-eases, such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune conditions, etc. do not occur over night, but are a process of time. The effects accumulate and eventually cause symptoms.