Founder’s Note: Today’s issue comes from our good friend and trusted Connection, Dr. Sanjay Jain. As a U.S.-trained, board-certified physician with certifications in diagnostic radiology, integrative medicine, and healthcare quality and management, Sanjay has seen a lot. In this essay, he shares some of his hard-earned personal experience – and a lesser-known screen that he’s found invaluable. If you have questions for Dr. Jain, feel free to send them to mailbag@manwardpress.
A little Know-How can go a long way – especially when it comes to your health.
The simple truth is that nobody can (or will) look out for your best interests as well as you can. The system just isn’t designed that way.
Overtaxed doctors must go from patient to patient as quickly as possible, and insurance companies are right there holding the stopwatch.
It often leaves patients with more questions than answers.
Odds are you’ve experienced it for yourself.
That’s why it’s so crucial for you to take ownership of your health – to have a clear idea of what you need to live better.
Here’s a way to do exactly that…
Keep an Eye on Your Business
On the surface, you know your body better than anyone. But inside… it’s important to know how everything is running.
If there are any weaknesses, you want to nip them in the bud sooner rather than later.
If we think of our body as a business, it’s like having a problem employee. You don’t just let him go on spreading negativity. You start with a sit-down conversation. You try to get him to change his behavior. And if that doesn’t work out… you give him the boot.
But none of that can happen if you don’t first understand what’s happening. Only a CEO with his ear to the ground is going to discover this type of problem before the negativity spreads to the rest of the workplace.
The same goes for your health.
There’s a lot going on in our bodies that we’re completely unaware of. And not all illnesses come with pain or other side effects to let you know they’re there… especially in the early stages, when it’s most beneficial to catch them.
And as we grow older, we grow more prone to disease and illness.
If you want to “keep your ear to the ground” and make sure you have a good idea of what’s happening within you, a full-body CT (FBCT) scan is a great way to get it done.
These scans use computed tomography to get a transparent view of exactly what’s going on in your body. They’re a great complement to the typical blood work screens that can miss certain ailments. And if something is found, an FBCT scan can help you catch it early.
And if nothing’s there, well, that’s great news, and you’ll have peace of mind.
I’ve found FBCT scans to be helpful in pinpointing little things that explain larger issues. For instance, this scan can detect early signs of arthritis, which may explain why your back has been hurting. Knowing this, you can then make lifestyle changes to address the issue.
These scans can find tiny gallstones or kidney stones that aren’t causing any symptoms yet… and are easier to deal with in the early stages.
FBCT scans can also uncover tiny calcifications in your blood vessels, indicating the potential for heart disease. While these would otherwise go unnoticed, now you’ll know – before the pain starts – that it’s time to make changes to your diet and lifestyle.
These scans can even spot diverticulosis, which is a complication from chronic constipation, or a stone in the appendix, which can be a precursor to appendicitis.
Again, many of these examples are nonsymptomatic and simply lurk in your body.
On a personal level, I have friends who have died in their 30s and 40s from heart disease and cancer just because it was found too late… something an FBCT scan could have helped prevent.
Why Isn’t Everyone Talking About This?
Of course… this technology isn’t without its controversy.
There are no governmental guidelines or recommendations when it comes to FBCT scans. And if you persuade your doctor to order one, most insurance companies won’t cover it.
In their eyes, it’s not a cost-effective means of diagnosing early problems.
Makes sense coming from folks who aren’t concerned with prevention. They want only to cover treatment.
That means you’re looking at an out-of-pocket expense of anywhere from $500 to a few thousand dollars to order an FBCT scan.
But I want to emphasize that, even if you have the means, these aren’t for everyone.
One downside is the radiation exposure. That’s why it’s better to get an FBCT scan once you’re over 50, when the rewards are more likely to outweigh the risks… and you’re generally past childbearing age.
Another key factor to consider is whether or not you have any current medical issues.
For an otherwise healthy individual, the radiation exposure may not warrant an FBCT scan. And this isn’t something you would get with any regularity because of the high radiation levels.
But that risk is quickly outweighed for someone with symptoms of a dangerous condition.
Even common conditions, like high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure are good enough reasons for one.
If you have a family history of medical problems, an FBCT scan might not be a bad idea. And if you are a smoker, regularly drink alcohol or are overweight, there is good reason to look into getting an FBCT scan.
That all being said… some people don’t want to open the Pandora’s box that can be their health. And to be fair, discovering new ailments and hidden diseases can be detrimental before locking down a life insurance policy. (Preexisting conditions can raise premiums or outright prevent getting a policy.)
I’ll tell you this…
While there are many factors that need to be weighed, the peace of mind I received after getting my FBCT scan results was invaluable.
For me, the potential medical value of this diagnostic tool and the opportunity to get a huge head start on preventative measures were easily worth the risk factor.
It made looking out for my best interests that much easier.