I recently saw that February is “National Self-Check Month,” so I decided to do some peeking and see exactly what the self-check experts thought that should entail.
The objective of National Self-Check Month is to remind people to “take charge of their health.”
They provided reminders such as quitting smoking, getting regular exercise, limiting alcohol consumption, losing weight, reducing stress, and doing breast self-exams, but I didn’t see a whole lot of “taking charge.”
Then I got to the diet part, and they were suggesting…wait for it…My Plate!
OK, that’s it—I’m done. If you’ve been a reader of mine for even a short time, you know exactly what I think of My Plate and if you’ve forgotten, I’ll put a little summary at the end of this blog for you.
What taking charge of your health should look like
Taking charge of your health should mean playing an active, decisive role in both the treatment of illness and the prevention of disease!
That includes making fully informed decisions that you are comfortable with.
If you have a health concern that requires care, then here are 8 questions that you should be asking your doctor or healthcare provider:
1- Why is this test necessary?
Although tests are crucial in the diagnostic process, not every single test is necessary every single time it’s recommended.
Plus some tests (especially x-rays and invasive tests such as scoping) can expose you to potentially dangerous radiation and infection.
Many times there are safer alternatives, such as breast thermography instead of mammogram.
2- Why did you choose this medication for me?
Often times there are several medications that may help with a given condition, and medications are certainly not “one size fits all.”
An important point is that some medications are stronger than others, and frequently a milder medication can do the job. Antibiotics and pain medications are perfect examples here.
3- What are the potential side effects of this medication?
This is a biggie. Doctors may be aware of the common side effects of certain drugs, but there is always a chance of other more serious reactions.
Ask to see if the package insert (or look it up online) if you have doubts and READ it—before taking the medication.
4- Are there safer or natural alternatives I can try?
I have a perfect example of this in my own life.
I injured my right shoulder in karate back in 2008. The orthopedist I consulted prescribed anti-inflammatories and pain meds.
After seeing little to no improvement, I discontinued the drugs and began ultrasound therapy with my chiropractor. Within a couple of months I was fine (and have been since then).
5- What dietary changes would you recommend?
Nothing on this planet impacts your health more than your diet, and nutritional deficiencies are a root cause for most illness and disease.
Doctors receive very little training in nutrition in medical school, but that does not mean they can’t do research or refer you to a nutritionist (like yours truly).
If you are told that your diet makes no difference, see that as a big red flag.
6- What are my alternatives to surgery?
Like it or not, many surgeries simply are not necessary.
Some that carry the highest risk for being unnecessary include C-section, knee and hip replacements, cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), back surgery and hysterectomy.
7- Can I get a second opinion?
It has been said that two heads are better than one, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting additional opinions when you’re talking about something as serious and life changing as surgery!
If your request for another opinion is met with resistance or hostility, take that as a sign.
8- What is my prognosis?
If you are considering any kind of treatment, you’ve got to find out what you can expect down the road!
Will you have limitations? Is there a chance of recurrence? Will other body systems or processes be affected? Is this a permanent fix or just symptom-masking?
A classic example here is gallbladder removal. I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve spoken to who were told that they would be just fine without their gallbladder.
Yeah, you’ll be “fine” if you don’t mind having trouble digesting fats (and risking being deficient in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K), belching after eating and having anything-but-normal BMs.
You better do your part too!
I’ve given you some valid points to discuss with your doctor, but don’t think you’re off the hook.
Because you better do your part to help create good health and prevent disease!
Health begins in your gut, so here are the 2 most crucial things you can do to pamper your precious gut so it can protect you:
1- Have a real, whole foods diet
A real whole foods diet is by far THE MOST significant step you can take to ensure that you will not only have a pulse for many years to come, but that you also will be more likely to enjoy those years with better health and high energy, instead of being sick, tired, medicated and in pain.
If you need a little help in the food choice department, then check out my Great Taste No Pain health system.
Great Taste No Pain is not a “diet,” but a healthy eating lifestyle that encourages more efficient digestion and better nutrient absorption.
The key behind Great Taste No Pain’s effectiveness lies in the specific combinations of foods—pairing foods together in meals that are much easier for your system to break down.
When you make your body’s job easier, that can pave the way for smoother digestion as well as less gas, bloating, constipation and acid reflux!
This is what eradicated my IBS 30 years ago, and I’ve been completely symptom- and medication-free since that time.
2- Nurture your gut microbes
The beneficial microbes that reside in your gut are truly your body's gold.
Your microbiome aids digestion and nutrient absorption, encourages healthy cholesterol levels, and even supports mental health (because 90 percent of your body’s serotonin is manufactured in your gut)!
Plus, most of your immune system is housed in your gut.
Unfortunately, factors such as medications, stress, refined carbs and sugars and tap water can all reduce the level of friendly bacteria in your microbiome—and leave you more vulnerable to disease.
But you can help counteract these factors with a potent, high quality probiotic supplement like Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula.
Super Shield contains 13 strains of well-studied, effective probiotic bacteria that support sound digestion, help maintain gut wall integrity and encourage sharp immune system functioning.
Now you are on a path to truly taking charge of your health for life!
To your health,
PS: Here is a summary of my concerns with the MyPlate dietary advice:
- They advise limiting all saturated fats in favor of vegetable oils, ignoring the fact that your body needs saturated fats, and most vegetable oils are rancid.
- They recommend 6 servings of grains per day, seemingly unaware that all grains turn to sugar upon digestion. Sugar triggers arterial inflammation and causes heart disease, causes imbalance your gut microbiome, feeds cancer cells, causes obesity and raises your Type 2 diabetes risk.
- They suggest limiting added sugar intake to 50 grams—which is 4 tablespoons! No one should be eating 4 tablespoons of sugar every day.
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Quinoa has a high glycemic index, so this whole grain doesn’t turn to sugar like highly processed grains do. It won’t spike your blood sugar, either.
Does Quinoa or millet turn to sugar upon digestion?