HealthGAINS: The Importance Of Personalization In Healthcare

HealthGAINSPhoto Credit: Courtesy of HealthGAINSImagine if you, your family members, friends, coworkers, and everyone else you know had to buy the same things. You’d wear the same clothes, eat the same foods, listen to the same music, watch the same movies, and so on.

How would you feel about that loss of individuality?

For most of Western medical history, this has been the way everything from gout to heart disease has been treated. Every patient more or less receives the same diagnostic tests, the same medications for the same disorders, and the same types of care within hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities.

The problem, as anyone who has ever tried an off-the-rack gown or suit will attest, is that our bodies are all made a little differently. They form and function individually as we age and due to circumstance and history, are affected by different and unique maladies. More to the point, everyone’s genetic makeup is unique, and genes can respond to treatments in different ways. Indeed, most prescription medications are ineffective for certain people.

Even two people who outwardly seem the same could be very unalike on an internal and genetic level. For instance, picture two men who are both 60 years old, with the same ethnic identity, height, and weight. Despite those similarities, one might feel healthy and vibrant almost all of the time, while the other might frequently feel run-down and listless. Why should those two individuals be treated in the same way?

Fortunately, personalized medicine is on the rise. In essence, it’s the tailoring of therapies and treatments to a patient’s specific physical condition, medical history, and other factors that influence recovery outcomes.

The Danger of Only Treating Symptoms

A good way to think about personalized medicine is to draw an analogy between your body and your car. Consider if, when driving to pick up your child from school, you began to hear an odd, clanking sound coming from the engine. Some might try to pop the hood and diagnose the problem on their own, but with so many electronic components and computer systems involved in modern cars, many would instead opt to take their car to a professional.

Now imagine if your mechanic fixed the sound, washed their hands, and returned the car back to you. If you are anything like most consumers, you might want to know what the cause of the sound actually was. If the mechanic were to explain that he didn’t know what caused it, but that he thinks he fixed it, you might leave wondering whether or not the actual issue was addressed and whether or not you would have to return again.

Medicine is very similar in that, for the majority of modern Western medical history, the focus has been on only addressing symptoms instead of devoting time and resources to finding the actual root causes of our health issues. This focus on symptoms folds complex symptoms into larger, simpler diagnoses which offer a good option for treating the many instead of providing an excellent and specific protocol for addressing your individual needs.

This approach has led many to suffer needlessly as they have to almost meet certain criteria to advance to the next level of diagnostic testing, which can lead to not only the persistence of these symptoms but oftentimes a worsening of the underlying condition because it was never actually addressed in the first place. Comprehensive, personalized care seeks to correct this by providing patients with a holistic view of their health and symptoms and looks to use a type of pincer maneuver not only to provide relief from the symptoms but also to treat the underlying cause, effectively stopping the recurrence of those symptoms going forward.

Your health is endlessly complex; symptoms sometimes appear in combinations, making them hard for patients to describe. Thus, people often tell doctors they feel out of shape or achy, but they can’t pinpoint particular issues. Even more complicated is when doctors attempt to treat these patients, they can run into even more complications due to the fact that many diseases and injuries share symptoms, making it even more difficult to precisely pinpoint the offender or offenders within the body causing these symptoms to occur.

What’s more, when people experience painful symptoms, it usually means they already have developed a certain disorder, making treatment more time-sensitive than if the issue had been caught (and treated) early on. That is why it’s so important to find a doctor or medical team that can evaluate the entire picture of your health and provides precise solutions to overcome your maladies.

Diagnostic ExamPhoto Credit: ShutterstockA Personalized Approach to Medicine

Personalized medicine aims to find and address the origins of medical disorders before those disorders can transpire. It also seeks to treat medical problems in ways that are comprehensive and lasting.

This type of medical care often begins with a wide range of diagnostic exams. Doctors review these tests in great detail to locate the source of a patient’s medical issues. Equipped with this in-depth knowledge, the medical experts can find just the right solution.

Potential solutions are numerous. They can involve some combination of hormone treatments, peptide therapies, herbal remedies, prescription medications, lifestyle and diet changes, and counseling.

These days, we have more knowledge than ever before about how genes affect health and how they respond to various treatments. As a result, we’re developing ever more potent therapeutics. The study of genetics also helps doctors to make more accurate diagnoses and create better disease prevention plans.

Furthermore, precision medicine involves finding out what patients want in terms of their physical condition and lifestyle. For instance, maybe you’re interested in a toned physique, deeper sleep, greater powers of concentration, more stamina throughout the day, or certain other goals.

When your physician is aware of those goals, it can influence the type of treatment she or he recommends for you. By contrast, a uniform approach to medicine doesn’t consider an individual’s desires and personal objectives.

As the name suggests, precision medicine involves precise dosages of medications, amounts that are carefully chosen for your body and your current condition. When practicing this type of medicine, your doctor might also figure out which side effects you’re the most susceptible to. That way, she or he can avoid prescribing you something that causes those side effects.

Additionally, your personalized medicine practitioner might set you up with a coach. That professional could give you encouragement and helpful strategies on the road to wellness. Such advice and inspiration often help patients stick to their recovery plans, leading to better outcomes.

As alluded to earlier, preventing diseases is one of the most important benefits of personalized care. As you might imagine, disease prevention is highly complex and involves an array of tactics. One method, which is becoming more and more prevalent, is examining patients’ genetics to predict which diseases they’re most likely to develop.

With this knowledge, a doctor can watch for the signs of a particular disease at its earliest and most treatable stage. This medical professional can also work with the patient to develop a lifestyle plan that helps to slow the disease or keeps it from occurring altogether.

Blood TestPhoto Credit: ShutterstockPersonalized Medical Care and Anti-Aging Techniques

Personalized medicine is especially important and becomes even more so as we age. That’s because each person experiences the effects of aging at a different rate and in a somewhat different manner, due to the molecular changes that are unique to his or her body, the environment they find themselves in, and what activities they engage in.

With advances in medicine occurring at an unprecedented pace, it’s now possible to create a more complete picture of a person’s health in a much shorter amount of time. Comprehensive blood testing is one aspect of this new type of medical care. Through a careful evaluation of the biomarkers within the blood, our medical team can evaluate precisely where many often-overlooked contributors to your health, like hormone levels, match up against well-understood standards of health and fitness.

Imagine the benefit your health can have if you’re able to identify key factors that cause the heart to age at a faster rate early on instead of waiting for years of plaque and cholesterol to cause symptoms to manifest.

What if, instead of struggling with the uncomfortable, often debilitating effects of menopause or andropause, you were able to identify deficiencies early on. You could essentially avoid many of the symptoms of these age-related issues like hot flashes, weight gain, and depression. With an accurate picture of what the body is going through, you could easily divine safe, effective treatment options that would allow you to improve or maintain your quality of life well into your later years.

With the use of innovative, medically supervised treatments like hormone and peptide therapy, many of the most inconvenient and annoying symptoms related to aging can be effectively managed. At HealthGAINS, because we focus on providing tailor-made solutions for each patient, the care and benefit you receive as a patient is ideally suited for you.

We understand better than most what works for one person isn’t necessarily what will work for another. By providing unique and customized solutions, patients who undertake these therapies almost always experience faster, more dramatic improvements to their health because each program was developed just for, and only for them.

In the end, precise, personalized healthcare allows medical teams like ours to predict and control patient outcomes much more accurately than what was often capable in years past. Our commitment to providing our patients with the most precise care possible is why we’ve been able to continue improving the lives of our patients and why we continue to research new, innovative ways of providing care and comfort to them and their families.