By: Emily Oberg
Being healthy isn't as simple as it seems. How our bodies function and perform has to do with more than just what we eat, how often we work out, and how much water we drink. It has to do with our body fat percentage, the time of day we eat, what time we go to sleep every night, how much sunlight we get, how much fat we eat, what foods we combine, our blood type, our genes and DNA, our genetic predispositions and so much more.
In modern, Western medicine, doctors are taught how to TREAT illness and disease but not how to PREVENT it so that we don't get sick in the first place. This is one of the many flaws of the medical system of today, and why so many people end up spending thousands of dollars treating themselves after the fact, when they really could have just made some small and simple changes to their lifestyle. Sure, the invention of modern medicine can be incredibly helpful and is needed at times, but what if you were able to live your life in a way that made it so that you never needed to take prescription medicine, or undergo intensive treatments to feel well again? This to me, is much more fascinating and effective than slapping a band aid or a pill on a deep-rooted issue.
Preventative medicine is exactly this, it works to prevent disease by ensuring we have a healthy day to day lifestyle and avoid illness causing habits, foods, chemicals and more. So much of what we do is based on habits, and when we create healthy habits for ourselves, we're able to optimize our health and bodies before its too late to fix. Recently, I started going to Monarch Health in Los Angeles which is a full service wellness destination. It includes everything from a full gym, personal training, recovery services, IV vitamin drips, an infrared sauna, cold plunge as well as an in house doctor who will review your current health condition with a body composition analysis and blood panels which can show us what's happening inside of our bodies.
Some of the blood tests that I got include:
Thyroid & Hormones:
Total T4 and T3
-Fasting lipid profile
-Comprehensive metabolic panel
-Complete blood cell count
Vitamins & Minerals:
-Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E & K, Folic Acid, Iron
You don't need to belong to a fancy gym to get this done. You can get these blood panels from any doctor or blood lab and then review them with your practitioner. Quest Diagnostics allows you to order labs directly online and visit one of their labs which can be another convenient option for those without health care.
The reason why I'm so fascinated by wellness and taking care of myself in the first place is because I truly believe in preventing illness through lifestyle and diet, habits and practices. Preventative care is key to feeling good and being able to fully enjoy life without the stress and worry of being sick. We can't be fully well unless we look at what's going on inside. Sure, someone may be thin, but they might not be eating enough— which can be extremely detrimental to your hormones and can negatively affect fertility. Someone can look "fit" but may be taking dangerous drugs to get that way, which can wreak havoc on our internal organs. Looks can be deceiving, and we need to be in tuned with our bodies to get a better sense of what it's lacking.
I myself am guilty of focusing on my external health over my internal health. I though that if I looked good, it didn’t matter what was going on inside of my body. I used to be too stressed, didn't sleep as much as I should have, ate unhealthy foods too often and worked out too much while eating too little. This was a vicious cycle that eventually affected my body in negative ways, leading to a diagnosis of an incurable autoimmune disease. It’s not something that I have ever spoken about before, and I'm not sure that I'll ever open up about it, but the news was heartbreaking to say the least. Bad news when it comes to your health is difficult for anyone to bear, and if you’re someone like me who’s entire life and career revolves around health- even more so. The diagnosis dramatically changed the way I eat and how I treat my body and is something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. Since then, I've been much more aware of how to listen to my body and truly connect with it. I'm incredibly lucky that I was in a position to manage my condition, and that I was able to get the care I needed.
It’s my hope that people figure out what's going on before it's too late and before they need care that they aren't financially or physically able to get. This is why I have found such a deep passion for health and started this platform in the first place. It's important that we use our voice as much as we can to spread our knowledge in the hopes that it might help someone who needs it.
This health journey is so much more than a vanity project. It's about feeling your best. Health is not about how you look on the outside, but how long you are going to live, the quality of life you're going to have and the type of genes and predispositions you're going to pass onto your children and their children. Life is short and while we must enjoy it fully and not restrict or limit ourselves, we must also take care of our bodies, hearts and minds before it’s too late.