July 04, 2003
Many people avoid going to the doctor because they are afraid of what they might find out. Dr. Phil explains to his guests that ignorance is not bliss when it comes to their health and helps them take the first step in overcoming their fears.
Schedule a Physical Exam
Because he has a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, Dr. Phil knows the importance of regular check-ups and monitoring his health. He brought the cameras along during his recent visit with Dr. Thomas Diaz, who runs the Integrated Health and Longevity Center in Irving, Texas.
"Our practice is devoted to preventing, not just treating disease," explains Dr. Diaz. "The testing we do on our patients gives us a genetic blueprint that is unique to each patient. This allows us to create an individualized health plan designed to keep the patient feeling good, treat existing health issues and lower a patient's risk of developing diseases they are genetically predisposed to."
After reviewing Dr. Phil's test results, Dr. Diaz was able to devise a treatment plan for a sports-related ailment that has been nagging Dr. Phil for years.
Conquering Fear of the Unknown
Phillip smokes, has high blood pressure, and has suffered a heart attack, yet he refuses to go to the doctor. "I'm not a doctor person," says Phillip. "I don't like to hear results; it's scary to me. Why should I go when I feel good?"
Suzanne is overweight, smokes and gets little exercise. Ironically, she is a cardiac nurse. "I talk to patients every day about the importance of diet and exercise, and the dangers of smoking," says Suzanne. "Yet, I continue to follow these unhealthy patterns. I feel like a hypocrite."
To help Suzanne and Phillip get real about their health issues, Dr. Phil sent them to Dr. Diaz's clinic for a series of high-tech genetic tests.
"The results of their tests will allow me to design individualized plans that Suzanne and Phillip can follow for the rest of their lives," explains Dr. Diaz. "The plans will address their current health issues, and reduce their risk of developing diseases they may be genetically prone to developing in the future. This is truly personalized medicine."
"It's been hard, but I'm making progress," says Suzanne. "I quit smoking, I'm taking more calcium and vitamins, and I exercise. I feel much better. Even the people around me have noticed that I seem perkier and have more energy."
After four months on Dr. Diaz's plan, Phillip says, "I feel great! I exercise and have changed my diet to include more vegetables and fish." His wife Camille says she can't believe the change, explaining: "He takes all his vitamins and supplements, eats healthier, and has much more energy. He's bought into this, and wants to take preventative action."