The human body is complex, but certain things seem to be certain – lower body mass index, more muscle mass, less visceral fat, lower average blood sugars, and lower average blood pressure seem to be great biomarkers to track.
Book a session with us today to track your biomarkers!
What’s Your Health Goal?
The first question our patient members are asked to answer is their health goal. Longevity? Wellbeing? Less pain? More muscle? Dementia prevention? It’s often quite specific for some and very vague or even undetermined for others.
The next question we ask is whether there is a biomarker we can use to track their health change and health progress. Many biomarkers are out there, and here at DNH we think they are still underutilized.
Living by Biomarkers
Let’s zoom out for a bit; most of us want to enjoy living our lives and don’t want to obsess over numbers and values. There’s value in tracking biomarkers, but it’s easy to obsess and falsely believe that tracking your HRV will make you live longer or prevent a heart attack.
We use biomarkers as a stand-in for how a patient feels. Do you feel good? Do you feel healthy? Is there a sense of wellbeing? If so, tracking a biomarker should only be done to squeeze out some longevity or prevent disease down the road – if that’s what you value.
There is always a cost to tracking biomarkers; the time & effort you spend tracking your biomarkers results in stress & anxiety and more time spent making adjustments to please that biomarker.
Tracking Biomarkers to Adjust Health Interventions
What are some generally overlooked by really accessible biomarkers to track?
- blood pressure
- heart rate
- oxygen levels
- blood glucose
- cholesterol levels
- liver enzymes
- kidney function tests
- serum inflammatory markers
- waist circumference
- body composition
- lactate levels
- joint range of motion
- muscle strength
- VO2 Max
There are lots more. However, the return on investment decreases as you get more and more specific. If the basics aren’t checked off, it makes little sense to worry about your HRV.
We have quite a few patients come to us concerned about their homocysteine levels when their ambulatory blood pressures are sky-high. The benefit this person would have from lowering that serum biomarker pales in comparison to lowering their vascular pressures.
Empowering the Patient
At DNH, we have no monopoly on secret insights into health; the cumulative knowledge here reflects what researchers have toiled over for decades.
- Losing weight is a powerful tool when you’re overweight.
- Increasing muscle to fat ratio is great for metabolism.
- Lowering average blood pressure will decrease the risk of strokes.
- Lowering average blood sugar values will make your kidneys last longer.
What matters is that our patients know this; that they understand their attention, time, and resources are limited, but they have the ability to pull on these biomarker strings to achieve their ideal health results.
When to Intervene?
So, remember how we said we have no monopoly on knowledge here at DNH? But we are artists. We apply the right information to the right person – that takes years of practice. That’s medicine.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by slightly elevated blood pressures or let a slightly high apoB drive the decision to start a PCSK9i.
Biomarkers should be chosen based on the highest risk exposure and titrated based on how effectively that biomarker improves.