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Poor Health: Time To Shut It Down!!

Bottom line is this:  we have to take responsibility for our own poor health.  When the lab results and imaging show debilitating conditions, some terminal, patients ramble on in disbelief, partly, but mostly in disgust knowing that they saw signs and felt symptoms but chose not to do anything about it.  Its especially hard for them to accept when they know for a fact that their condition was preventable.  Its difficult for me because I have to be the bearer of bad news; I have to look into their eyes knowing that their blood pressure is high and their heart rate is elevated in response to being so terrified at what I am about to say.  They have a feeling that its likely bad news because they all

Tim Lanier

think back on the times when they felt a pain or saw a change that they blew off hoping that it would just go away and not be anything serious.


It’s sad that we are not compelled to take action until signs and symptoms become unbearable.  We actually torment ourselves by trying to live through the pain or deal with the changes that we know are completely abnormal, afraid of what the Physician or Practitioner will say.  It’s unfortunate that all they are actually doing is postponing the inevitable- having a strong feeling that the news will be bad, they instead wait until the news becomes horrific.  If only they realized that bad news now may be good news in a sense that it allows the patient to reverse, improve, or cure a condition because it was found in time.  Sadly though, in fear of hearing the bad news, the condition is allowed to worsen often to a level of no return and a terminal outcome. 

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We need to change this and here’s how we will do so:

  • Find and secure a primary care provider.  I am astounded by just how many people don’t have a PCP! How can you know what changes are necessary to maintain optimal health if you don’t have a PCP to direct you?


  • Commit to diagnostic testing.  Lab work is a must at least one time a year if not more especially if you have a history of a condition, if you have family members that have had a certain condition (like breast cancer, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.), or if you currently have a condition that 

requires periodic testing to determine if the condition is better or worse and if the current treatment is the right one or if a change should be made for a more effective treatment.  Even for routine diagnostic testing like mammograms, colonoscopies or Cologuard tests, pap smears, and prostate checks, it is very important to stay current and not miss having these tests completed.  Testing has saved countless lives by detecting problems early enough to treat.​​

  • Eat better.  Fried foods, high fat foods, foods high in salt, extra carbs, and a ton of sweets all contribute to many of the conditions that I fight against for my patients every day.  High cholesterol leads to cardiac disease and stroke.  High salt intake leads to high blood pressure which is deadly to kidneys as high blood pressure is the kidney’s worst enemy.  Extra carbs lead to an accumulation of glucose (sugar that our bodies use for energy) which, if you’re not exercising enough and if your activity level isn’t high enough to burn that glucose off, will turn into fat causing obesity and diabetes.  The same applies to excess sweets.

  • Listen to your body.  When you feel something abnormal or notice a change that doesn’t seem right, stop hoping that it improves or goes away on its own and get it checked.  I can’t tell you how many times patients tell me that they should’ve just come to see me when unfavorable test results are revealed.   It is so devastating when a patient learns of a debilitating condition that could have been avoided if they had only listened to their body.

  • Exercise regularly.  It can’t be just a stroll.  It has to be an activity that causes moderate to high cardiac exertion.  When I recommend exercise to patients, the overwhelming solution that I hear is that they will start going for walks.  While that’s a good start, there has to be a steady increase in the rigor of the regimen.  Our bodies are smart and will adapt to the same exercise regimen which will cause a plateau effect where the body no longer experiences gains.  We walk every day in life, therefore our bodies are used to it and the effects will probably be minimal unless the walk is brisk.  It’s a start, and Rome wasn’t built in a day, but at some point sooner rather than later, there must be an increase in exertion.

We have to stop writing our own death sentences.  Poor choices conclude with poor outcomes.  We can change this trend by following these 5 steps to live a longer, healthier life for ourselves and our loved ones.

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