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Tag : optimal

Testosterone Levels Are Related to Heart Attacks

By Dr. Jerry Mixon August 1, 2013

A low normal testosterone level may increase your risk of dying from a heart attack.

126 men who were admitted to the intensive care unit for fresh heart attacks had their testosterone levels evaluated. These men were then followed for the next 30 days to see how they did. 16 men died, and 110 men survived. However, 100% of the men who died had testosterone levels in the bottom 25 percentile of the normal range. Their testosterone was not low. In fact, it was within a range in which there are a few American doctors who would recommend testosterone supplementation, but everyone who died was within that low normal range.

Once more, we have good evidence that being normal is not enough. Where you are within the normal range can make the difference in living and dying. As I keep saying, normal is not acceptable. Shoot for optimal.

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Ditching the Disease Management Model

By Dr. Jerry Mixon July 29, 2013

We don’t have a healthcare system. What we have is a disease management system, but disease management is just second rate.

We should be working to make you as healthy as possible. Failing that, our fallback should be treating disease. Unfortunately, most doctors spend virtually all of their time treating disease rather than improving health. But improving health requires active participation by Dr. and patient, while treating disease is often done with the patient in a passive role. Unfortunately, most physicians have focused on treating disease for so long they don’t even know what the optimal laboratory and physiologic ranges are anymore.

When you see your doctor don’t accept normal as the goal. Ask what the optimal range is. If your doctor doesn’t know the difference between optimal and normal, change doctors.

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"Normal" is Not Acceptable

By Dr. Jerry Mixon July 28, 2013

When doctors say "normal" patients hear "good". But in medicine, normal has a very specific meaning.

Normal is arbitrarily defined as encompassing 95% of the population. When your doctor says your test was normal, what he is really saying is that you are better off than at least 2.5% of the population on one end of the scale or the other. If your brain, heart, lungs, or bones are better than 3% or 97% of the people, you are equally normal. I don’t know about you, but given a choice, I will choose to be better than 97% rather than 3% every time. When your doctor says your test was normal for your age, it means at least 2% of the old fogies in your age group are worse off than you.

That is not acceptable. Tell your doctor that you won’t accept normal; you want optimal.

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