Collaborating with your doctor for optimum health

Collaborating with your doctor for optimum health

There are plenty of people to tell you what your body needs.

Over the course of your life, you will likely consult with a range of doctors and medical and health practitioners. They can be a wealth of knowledge. But having a good understanding of your own body will be the strong foundation needed for a good relationship with your doctor.

They won’t be annoyed if you ask questions if time permits and, if it doesn’t, book a longer appointment.

I’ve always wanted to delve more deeply into my health so if I’m prescribed a drug I also want to know why. What’s the cause? What’s the range of tests I can have to address it and how big a role does my lifestyle play in my treatment plan?

So, when your blood test shows a high bad (LDL) and a low good (HDL) cholesterol level and your doctor prescribes statins, it’s worth having some extra information.

If you’re in the middle of the AstonRX program and in a weight-loss phase, your LDL will likely be elevated. Firstly, it's important to understand what you are doing on your AstonRX program. If you tell your doctor that you’re on a keto diet, you’ll probably be told you're doing the wrong thing for your health, so it’s important to be accurate in the way you describe AstonRX because it’s not a keto diet at all. It's a therapeutic intervention.

Secondly, if you’re losing weight, the contents of your fat cells is released into your bloodstream to mobilise your fat, which contains cholesterol. These temporary spike as triglycerides and LDL on the blood test which is why we always advise our members to wait for at least 12 weeks, post completion of the program to re-test your pathology.

It’s good to know there are further tests to take such as a CT calcium score, measuring the amount of plaque in your arteries, or a blood test to measure the particle size of your LDL cholesterol. If they’re small, oxidised particles, they’re more worrisome than big fluffy LDL.

Similarly, if you have skin disorders such as rosacea or eczema, it’s worth investigating whether a poor gut microbiome is the source even though it may not be your doctor’s first line of inquiry. Your gastrointestinal tract could also be at the root of nutrient deficiencies such as iron.

Remember that you’re in charge of your body and you’re the manager of your health. It’s not an external source, whether that be me or your doctor. You can ask questions, learn which tests are available and don’t stop looking until you get some answers.