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TRUE PREVENTION vs EARLY DETECTION

TRUE PREVENTION vs EARLY DETECTION

I drove up to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s FLY IN at Oshkosh, WI on Saturday. I do enjoy looking at the older planes especially from the 1930’s. Some of my all time favorites are the Lockheed Electra, the plane Amelia Earhart flew (she was a student at Purdue and has a dorm named after her), and the plane that was made to spit fire.

I went with my doctor friend Jeff. Our patient Victor got us both a VIP pass, thank you Victor. We said hello to our other patient Steve. Steve helps sell the propeller packs that straps to your back. It’s so crazy to watch. I can’t even imagine a buzzing propeller strapped to my rear.  We had a lot fun.

It was interesting to watch the meticulous nature of rebuilding these old planes and maintaining them. Preventing something from breaking is the goal. Detecting damage is not what anyone wants to see.

We want prevention. The goal of prevention is knowing what to do so something does not break. Identifying a problem early still means it already happened. I think we were raised with genuine fear of illnesses. We’ve grown up watching TV commercials stating you need treatment, but not a lot was discussed about not getting sick in the first place.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released current information on death rates in the U.S. reported in the Wall Street Journal on July 23rd. Young and middle aged adults are dying at a faster rate than older Americans. Opioids are blamed for the younger death rate increase while middle aged death rates are from heat attacks.

Medscape is an online medical education resource. On July 9th, there was an article titled “Vitamins and Supplements are a waste of money.” They singled out Omega 3 oil pills as an example of not reversing heart artery damage. The Omega 3 oils helps prevent blot clot formation but is not going to reverse the damage. If we go after the true cause of arterial damage we will find that you can reverse damage with supplements. Arterial damage is most often caused from toxic metal exposure. Cadmium from tobacco and Mercury from the atmosphere are the two most common culprits.

Treatment is going to be in the form of removing these heavy metals as we are now in the early detection phase. How about real prevention so these toxic metals never built up in the first place?

It is a lot easier to prevent something than it is to fix it. We are talking about lifestyle changes for the rest of your life to prevent age related illnesses. Once you and I get an age related illness it takes double the effort to get back to optimal health.

I am going to start talking about prevention in the next few weeks and which tests are important based on age and lifestyle issues. Let’s say you worked in an area with a lot of industrial fumes. How do you prevent yourself from absorbing all those chemicals?

I do believe we are going to live to be much older than our parents. I like to joke that I am waiting for those giant assisted living buildings on the 49 bypass in Chesterton to put up a red flashing sign saying, “Brian we have a room for you”.  So if you and I are going to hit 100 years old I want to see us riding our bikes to the beach.  Yes the beach.  It will definitely be a sight to see.

Dr. McGuckin

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