Dr. Ray Andrew and Physician Assistant Keely Fitzgerald
These days, everyone’s attention is focused on cancer. This makes sense since it is estimated that one in eight American women will have breast cancer during her lifetime, and that’s just one of many cancers that plague Western society. However, what might come as a surprise to some is that heart disease kills more American men and women than all forms of cancer combined.
Why aren’t we as a society doing a better job of preventing and treating heart disease? As with everything in medicine, the answer has to do with money. But that is the subject of another article. While Grand County Wellness Center cannot change what government, insurers, hospitals, and other doctors do, staff providers routinely help one patient at a time identify and change specific risk factors, thereby preventing disease instead of waiting until it happens.
Twelve years ago Dr. Andrew trained with a group of preventive cardiologists who taught him that standard cholesterol testing has very limited value in predicting heart disease. It is stunning that even today, patients and doctors alike talk about the traditional cholesterol numbers as if they mean something. When studies demonstrate that half of people with heart attacks have normal cholesterol—and many of these are already taking statin drugs—this should be a clue that the cholesterol theory of heart disease is missing the boat. Doctors are looking at the wrong numbers and trying to make those numbers better with drugs instead of identifying and treating the true underlying causes of heart disease. It should not surprise anyone then, when they get a "clean bill of health" from their doctor shortly before their heart attack!
Grand County Wellness Center staff do not waste patients’ money on traditional cholesterol testing. Instead, they order advanced tests that reveal a lot more about what's going on in patients’ arteries. They sit down with patients to review test results, discuss any abnormalities identified, and provide options. Because drugs are the least-effective and highest-risk agents for preventing and treating heart disease, those who are looking for an artificial chemical solution to their problems will usually be disappointed. Ironically, medical schools do not teach future doctors about several of the causes of heart disease. Why? Because there is no drug to treat them. Instead, the treatments are already found in nature. As much as multinational drug conglomerates would like to, they can't patent the foods, vitamins, minerals, herbs, and hormones that have prevented and treated heart disease—and so many other diseases—for thousands of years.
Fortunately—the body being a wondrous symphony of chemical and electromagnetic activity—many of the factors that prevent heart disease also prevent cancer and other diseases. Thankfully, patients don’t have to leave Grand County to find cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment regimens to restore that symphony. In fact, many come to Moab from Salt Lake City, Denver, and places even farther away because they are unable to obtain these services in the big cities. Not surprisingly, GCWC patients often discover that treatments they have been receiving for years are now starting to be recognized by their cardiologists and even some popular media medical advisers. GCWC is continually expanding its services, bringing breakthroughs from around the world to bear on common problems for which drugs and surgery have limited effectiveness. Due to a relentless pursuit of the latest in medical science and technology, you can always count on GCWC to be ahead of the curve—even in Moab.