What is your doctor assessing for? IT MIGHT NOT BE WHAT YOU THINK...

What is the main thing a doctor is looking for? Did you go to the doctor who can answer your specific health questions and create a plan of action to meet your goals? Have you ever thought about what doctor is best for disease diagnosis and which is best to maximize your health? Chances are you haven't and this article dives into that topic. Picture the following story:

This is the year Ben decided he was going to get super healthy. He went to his GP and had his first physical in as long as he could remember. He told his doc he didn't feel like he had the vitality he once did, or have any semblance of energy in the morning. When asked about exercise Ben reported not doing any in the past 3 months because of the family, kids, being tired after work, being tired before work, etc. His weight, height, blood pressure and labs are measured and assessed. So far, everything looks pretty good claimed the doc. Ben got a call later in the week with the lab results.

Everything was perfect. He was a beacon of health. Keep it up and call back next year for a physical. 

So Ben was perfect? The beacon of health. Yet, why does he not feel vital? Why do some people have so much more energy? Why does Ben feel so old? 

Next, Ben decided to go check out this 'functional medicine' doctor his boss recommended. Ben brought his blood work, and also brought a healthy amount of skepticism. At the end of the visit Ben learned he slept like crap, ate like a 10 year old and appeared to have a massive energy problem (related to thyroid/adrenals). Now Ben was pretty upset at this point. This was exactly how he felt. It made so much sense. Why didn't his GP find any of this? It is the same blood work. How could he say I am perfect when this functional medicine doctor found all this in 5 minutes. What gives? 

I have run into this question a lot lately. People are confused after seeing me for the first time about why their GP did not find these things. A little back story, I use a lot of very basic lab assessment as part of the examination and the ranges I use are very narrow and represent ranges only the top 10% of healthy people achieve. So when someone comes in and is upset that their general practitioner didn't find these things they are often confused. This post will look to explain this, and no it isn't because your doctor doesn't care about you. 

The first question we need to ask ourselves is, 'what exactly is your doctor looking for?' The answer is NOT your maximum best health. They are looking for disease. They are looking for dysfunction leading to disease. They are looking to make sure your lab ranges are not out of range, of which would indicate a fast tract to disease. 

The next thing we must talk about is typical lab ranges. Lab ranges are set by taking 95% of the people getting tested and essentially eliminating the top 2.5% of values and the bottom 2.5% of values and leaving the middle 95% as the range. My first question: who is getting their blood tested? Usually, it is sick people or someone with an ailment getting tested. My second question: how often do the super healthy get tested? The answer is not as often as sick people. So the numbers are highly skewed and are reference ranges for disease. Not reference ranges of optimal health. 

I have even had cases where certain lab companies/hospitals do not have the optimal range, the top 10% of health range, within the lab range. One of the wildest cases I have seen involves the largest hospital group in South Dakota. They had a TSH (a thyroid function bio-marker) reference range with an upper limit >6.0. I start intervention and something to help optimize thyroid function at 2.0 or above. Can you imagine being told you are perfect and having a TSH score of 6? You would have massive fatigue and all the thyroid symptoms. To put in perspective, a major Thyroid Conference years ago found the perfect range for TSH is 0.7-0.9. Having an upper limit >6 indicates the whole state of South Dakota has a thyroid problem. Ever think of that? 

What is the main thing a doctor is looking for?

The main thing your GP is looking for is disease. It is their job to make sure you are not headed toward heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc. It is NOT their job to keep you healthy. Medicine is a system to identify catastrophic disease early enough to employ high level, end stage disease fighters like surgery, chemo and/or radiation. It is not a system to maximize health. This is what your doctor has been taught and this is their greatest asset to you. 

I started Bluestone Health Group as a way to combat this and blast a new path in medicine. My clinic looks to maximize health. The way we assess, tract and maintain health is all different. We measure at least 70 more body comp measurements than a typical doctor, and we do this at every visit. We run blood numbers every 3, 6 or 12 months to gauge patterns. We tract everything and look to find patterns years and decades before they would show up on a GP assessment. We use vitamins, minerals, amino acids, detoxification and lifestyle measures, etc to maximize function. The human body only needs a few dozen things to fully function. That's what we provide in the most clinical and scientific way. 

If you are looking to maximize your health then you must find a doctor who is maximizing people's health. You can't expect a doctor looking for disease patterns to maximize your health. You go see them when you suspect something major is affecting your health and you need to find out what it is. Find your health doctor, and if you are here in CT or NYC greater area come check us out. We are the most cutting edge body composition experts in the country. We maximize health exclusively. 

Strive for the top 1% of Health! 

-Dr. Kurt