To your health_ _ postindependent. com

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Eight years and about 400 health columns later it’s time to say farewell in what will be the last issue of the Free Press.

I’ve tried to write about things that are educational and inspiring in the quest to achieve great health. Some topics have been conventional, some not so conventional, and some a little controversial. My intention has always been to promote critical thinking. I’ll leave you with some final thoughts and doctor’s


advice.

Seek the root cause and the solution to your health issues instead of accepting another medication that will simply mask another symptom. Find a functional medicine practitioner to help you dig deeper and fix the problem. Take responsibility for your own health. Question everything you are told. Do your own research.

Don’t limit yourself to seeing only an MD or DO. Consult with specialists in psychology, nutrition, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, yoga, etc. They complement what we do.

Do your own reading on natural supplements. Don’t trust the media or the medical establishment on this topic. Go to reputable websites and research for evidence of safety and effectiveness. Work with experts in nutrition and supplements.

Invest in your health. Don’t limit yourself to only what your insurance covers. There are many advanced specialized tests and therapies that insurance companies consider experimental. If you need a certain test or therapy that might help your health then budget for it.

Avoid medications when possible as they always come at a price. The adverse effects of prescription drugs is the fourth leading cause of death in the U. S. The incentives are high, as is the temptation to obscure negative outcome data, minimize side effects, and overstate benefits. We doctors are rapidly becoming puppets of the pharmaceutical “sickcare” industry. Drugs, drugs and more drugs.

Resist the takeover of healthcare by the government, pharmaceutical industry and insurance companies. Who do you want guiding your health, a non-medical bureaucrat, someone with an incentive to sell you a drug, or a company that makes money in part by limiting coverage of services? It should be you and your health providers guiding your health decisions, period.

Get a health savings account that is coupled to a high deductible insurance policy. Insurance is designed to mitigate catastrophic risk, not pay for routine costs. We are paying for a trillion dollar industry that controls billing and manages your health decisions, while doing nothing to directly improve your health. Until this changes we’ll all be subject to high premiums and limited services. Someday, when health insurance returns to a pure indemnity model instead of a management model, we’ll see the free market return to healthcare and your costs will plummet while your freedom of choice expands.

The keys to great health are in your hands, heart and mind. Start by having the right attitude to make the right decisions for your health. Work on a healthy diet, regular exercise, plenty of restful sleep, stress management, healthy social relationships and a strong spiritual base.

Then find a practitioner to help you with more than just a diagnosis. Analyze hormones, heal the gut, eliminate delayed food allergens, cleanse and detox. Maybe even test for nutrient deficiencies and genetic single nucleotide polymorphisms.

Don’t let anyone tell you that “you’re just getting older”. If you study the aging process it becomes clear that we are designed to reproduce and to survive, not necessarily age. Many symptoms and diseases of aging are the direct result of hormone decline. Replace hormones that can help prevent disease and maintain quality of life.

Wellness is far more than the absence of disease. Be proactive and strive to build a reserve of good health that will help sustain you when the inevitable aging, injuries and illnesses come along.

I’ll continue writing a weekly column, available via email as the Rollins Health Newsletter. You can sign up for it on our website at imcwc. com.

Thank you to the publisher and staff of the Free Press for the opportunity to write in your paper – it will be missed. Lastly, a heartfelt thanks to you dear readers for your time and interest and for all the great feedback over the years. I can’t tell you how many patients have come to see me with a newspaper clipping in hand. You’ve been an inspiration. Here’s to your health!

Free Press health columnist Scott Rollins, M. D., is board certified with the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. He specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement, thyroid and adrenal disorders, fibromyalgia and other complex medical conditions. He is founder and medical director of the Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado (www. imcwc. com) and Bellezza Laser Aesthetics (www. bellezzalaser. com). Call 970-245-6911 for appointments or more information.

The Post Independent Updated Oct 16, 2015 08:18PM Published Oct 27, 2015 03:47PM Copyright 2015 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.