He asked me, “Am I healthy”

As a primary care provider, we are oftentimes the first means of help when it comes to advice on health concerns.  We are taught to consider both the subjective and objective information and that the physical exam is one of the most important parts to diagnosing and treating.  I would never forget the day the question, “Am I healthy?”, was posed by my patient.  As a deep thinker, I pondered this question while in the room with him.  Not that it was a strange question, but the mere fact that this question was not so simple to answer.  Many times, as patients we equate “Health” to only what is concrete.  In this instance, I had just reviewed labs with this individual; all of which were normal and would constitute a certain level of “Health”.  My follow up response to him was, “It depends on how you define health.”  Yes, I may have gone to left field with the response; as I am sure, he was only referring to his bloodwork.  I did acknowledge that based on the results and concerns at the time, everything was normal.

I think of health as being multifaceted, which involves not only physical health, but emotional, spiritual, financial, and mental, etc.  It can be hard to be “HEALTHY” when an area of your life is lacking.  Consider this perspective, if you will–  If you are worrying about finances and how you are going to make next month’s rent/mortgage payment, is it possible to be emotionally healthy?  As we may or may not know, stress, as defined by Websters dictionary is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension.  Stressors can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure).  When we are worrying/stressing about things, we may experience headaches, difficulty sleeping, stomach upset, low energy, suppressed immune system (frequent colds) etc., which can all cause your “Health” to become impacted.  Don’t get me wrong, not all stress is “bad”, and the length of time your body is in this mode also plays a part when it comes to negatively impacting your health.

Furthermore, instead of looking at health as just what the numbers say, take time to consider these aspects of health and how you can improve the areas which may be limiting you.  Optimal health often does not manifest solely in laboratory numbers.  I challenge you to think outside the box.  It is best to align all these things instead of focusing only on one aspect.

Ultimately, define what YOU constitute as “Healthy” and begin ELEVATING!

TIPS for maximizing Your HEALTH with a 360 view

  • Laugh more
  • Try to get adequate and routine sleep
  • Eat a balance diet (like the colors of the rainbow)
  • Exercise – the body thrives off movement
  • Stress LESS
  • Listen to your Body
  • Limit processed foods; maintain adequate water intake
  • Engage in supportive and nurturing relationships
  • Break bad habits and those not conducive to growth or are detrimental
  • Take time to connect to which is GREATER

2 thoughts on “He asked me, “Am I healthy”

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