Have you ever wondered if the day would come in your lifetime that your medical treatment could be tailored to you with pin point accuracy? That day has arrived thanks to the completion of the human genome project in 2003. As a result, the research and discoveries are setting the stage for a very different type of medicine and lifestyle. It still has a long way to go, but the information is there to revolutionize the way Medicine is practiced. With new therapies available now and in the pipeline, it will truly be a brand-new world! It is exciting and one our practice is embracing.
In order to practice this way, we need to change the way we think about disease. There are single gene mutations that can cause horrific diseases, but it is far more common to have alterations in many genes and different body systems that cause symptoms and eventually lead to different diseases. Even more complex and confusing is that these systems may cause different issues in different areas of a person’s body over time. So, your physician needs to be skilled in genetics, but they also need to master the basic sciences and understand how one system impacts another. Should we treat adenomyosis, with a hysterectomy? Is there a bigger picture that should be addressed? Could it be avoided? I will address this topic in our next blog, but we should be addressing this and other conditions treating the cause or the process will continue and may come back years later and impact a different area of the body.
How can this type of medicine help you and why should it be the standard of care?
As mentioned, it can revolutionize the way we approach and treat active diseases and labels. However, it can be used to prevent disease. Metaphorically, if a table (the diseases a person is at risk of developing or has) takes 4 legs to stand and we can control or cut off three legs and cause the other leg to be weak and wobble, chances are, they will not develop the disease and the table can’t stand.
Can this type of medicine be used to maximize physical performance and customize workouts? Yes! It can be used to help a person design an optimal workout program specific to their unique genetics and sport. It can also help a person plan a routine so they are firing on all cylinders on gameday and limit the ups and downs athletes experience.
Can it help prevent injuries in athletics? Yes! You can minimize risks of concussions, tearing ligaments, tendons, cartilage or breaking a bone.
Simply put, this can be used to help people get ready for surgery and heal optimally after a procedure and reduce recovery time. It can help prevent allergic reactions, issues with medications, side effects not only by looking at your metabolic pathway, but other systems involved. It can help people optimize mental performance, improve metabolism and avoid a fad diet that is absolutely wrong and harmful for them. Sorry folks, fad diets and even healthy diets are only correct if they are customized to you. We are not that simple and one size does not fit all.
In our opinion, your health should be your number one priority. Unfortunately, whatever you value more or put above it can be lost and radically change if you do not have your health. Unfortunately, when these awful conditions happen, it usually impacts an entire family.
It is a new age in medicine and an exciting one. Our practice is committed to treating everyone as an individual and customizing their treatment according to their goals and conditions.
Dr. Ralph Waldo, MD