Orthopaedic Surgeon - Atlanta
3886 Princeton Lakes Way Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30331

Ask a mechanic how to keep a car running well and invariably the answer will be proper maintenance and care. The same holds true for any highly precise piece of machinery — even the human body.

As physicians, we often marvel at the complex beauty of the human body. With millions of chemical reactions occurring every second, it is amazing that serious problems do not occur more often. Thankfully, the body does a fantastic job of keeping everything running smoothly. Still, glitches can occur. When they do, sometimes the effects are immediately obvious. Other times they can be more subtle and indolent. In either case, the end result can be devastating.

The focus of our medical practice has always been on preventive medicine — to prevent disease rather than treat it after it has surfaced. We try to accomplish this by strongly advocating exercise, proper diet, nutritional supplementation, healthy sleep patterns and, of course, regular physician evaluations. In past issues we have discussed the importance of all except regular physical checkups. These are frequently overlooked, postponed and outright avoided by many people. However, the information gathered during the evaluation can be invaluable and can pinpoint areas of impending disease.

A typical checkup consists of three things: history taking, physical examination and diagnostic testing. A history of a person's past and present medical problems and symptoms helps to isolate areas of concern for further testing. A complete physical exam is essential to identify or exclude physical manifestations of disease. It should include prostate exams in men more than 40 years old and routine breast and pelvic exams in women. Diagnostic testing could include mammograms and other X-rays, treadmill stress tests and other tests of cardiovascular fitness, colon evaluations, pap tests, and, of course, laboratory analysis of blood and urine.

Although no single part of the checkup should be considered more important than the others, we have found that lab tests often provide the first indication of disease or trends that can lead to serious illness. We are particularly intrigued with the nutritional screening available from SpectraCell Laboratories. Their testing utilizes a technologically advanced process which measures intracellular activity of various nutrients. The analysis of blood routinely performed elsewhere measures levels of compounds in the serum which is the fluid portion of the blood minus the blood cells. Although generally reliable, these standard tests can be prone to errors due to such factors as the amount of protein in the blood or the overall fluid status of a patient. Also, the serum levels do not necessarily reflect whether the nutrient is actually performing as it should in the cells. For example, a person's serum blood test might be normal, but the amount within the cell may be insufficient for proper cell function. The SpectraCell test actually measures how well the cell functions as a result of a particular nutrient.

Why is it important to measure vitamin and mineral levels even when someone is taking vitamin supplements? It is possible that a person consuming vitamins may not be getting adequate levels in their cells. There are individual differences in the way people absorb nutrients and differences in the breakdown of these substances. Consequently, the amount of a vitamin needed by one person to ensure proper function can be very different from that of another.

If you want a vehicle to perform reliably, you must be certain that it is maintained properly. You must protect it from the elements and oxidation through routine washing and waxing. You must make sure it is fed the proper fuels and additives to make it run well. And certainly, you must make sure your vehicle receives the recommended maintenance and repairs to avoid dangerous equipment failures. It just makes sense to apply the same principle to your body, which is the most intricate "machine" you will own. The problem with this analogy is that people will often take better care of their cars than their bodies even though their cars needs only last a few years, but their bodies must literally last a lifetime.

We chose to become involved in Wellness International Network because we sensed that we shared a common philosophy with Ralph and Cathy Oats: a desire to improve the quality of people's lives. Certainly, it is not enough to live longer. We must all strive to live better as well. Toward this end, we recommend that you have your body checked regularly to ensure that protective substances are present to adequately protect you against damage and injury during the long journey ahead.

This article was prepared by an independent author(s). It has been reproduced in its entirety or as a collection of information gathered from multiple resources and research data. WIN is not liable for any inaccuracies found in any third party written articles or research.