This opened a whole can of worms about living, life & health!
The question was put forward to Dr Alex on 'RadioRescue' on ‘The Best People We Know Show’, hosted by Deb Scott
LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT HERE
Dr Alex says: "This question is a great example of how to focus constructively on minimizing your risks. Many people follow ‘Health & Wellness’ advice. This is always a positive step, but sometimes you can focus better on what matters most to YOU, given your own risks, in a more preventative way… to get ahead of medical disease."
Here’s what we focused on:
Health Choices: It so transpires you're not, after all, just the net sum of your genes!!
The Question for DrAlex: Dr Alex, I’m 48 years old. I went to my doctor recently for a health check. I’m really anxious coz I put on quite a lot of weight over Christmas – far more than normal, and my mom, uncle, mom’s dad and one brother all have heart problems (some of the details left out here).
We’ve also got some diabetes in the family (which was late onset diabetes). My doctor said that I needed to worry more about my weight than before because my tummy has got bigger. I’m not sure what he meant. Now I’m even more anxious. Can you help me?
Dr Alex says:
We now know that many environmental and behavioural factors affect whether ‘our bad genes’ ever cause us any real damage. In other words, if we get educated and informed about what we need to guard against, we can use science to offset those risks to a greater or lesser degree.
Or put simply: we have the power to change the outcome!
We liked this question because it links up all those different facets of medicine.
It’s tempting to take bits of science that say ‘this is good for that’ and ‘that is good for this’, and jump around from one thing to another applying sticky plasters on our thorny problem. But that’s not a great way of approaching the issue!
A much better way is to take a comprehensive approach, methodically tackling every single element that may be relevant in a given situation.
Here’s what WE mean when we say ‘holistic’. We don’t just mean general (and usually low-specificity) natural health solutions. We mean looking at everything that might make a difference in a given situation, for a given person.
We mean comprehensive – looking at the situation from every angle, from mainstream medicine, to naturopathic medicine, to psychological medicine.
Our rationale is that the more ‘items’ you can tackle, the greater the likely ‘total positive effect’ of your preventive effort.
Or, put differently, we don’t think that just focusing on say cholesterol is enough, or that focusing on just cholesterol will ‘do it’ for everyone in helping them prevent heart disease.
No. We think the better way is to think of everything that science shows to be relevant in one way or another, and tackle all those things. Certainly not to jump from one thing to another!
And of course, in all those factors there will be some that are more likely to be relevant to this lady at this time than others! So in addressing this question, we mentioned in outline everything that we thought we should start to look into as far as the person asking the question was concerned.
- the possible relevance of estrogens/oestrogens
- eating habits and avoiding blood sugar roller-coastering
- and we spoke about addressing the tendency towards anxiety and stress…
The Key Issues Behind This Question:
Life Transitions, Menopausal Effects, Male & Female Fat Differences, Fat & Disease, Hereditary Risks, Personal Risk Minimization, Preventive Medicine, Bio-HRT, Blood Sugar Control, Diets, Eating Habits, Stress & Anxiety, Individuals.
The 'Take Home':
Your genes don’t work in isolation – and you can change most things that switch them on and off!
Learn about what is known to be relevant, then work out what’s relevant to you, and then work out how to alter your risk of disease by working on the things you can change!