Wellness Medicine

by Dr. Jorge Paz Rodriguez

Knowing and understanding your ailments and diseases, as well as identifying symptoms, are important to everyone. It eases the worry and questions you may have. Wellness medicine wants to make our health care information available to patients to increase their knowledge and understanding, therefore, enabling you, the patient, to live a healthier lifestyle.

While aging cannot be prevented, the effects can be controlled to lead that healthier lifestyle. Through attention to the care we give our bodies and our habits and activities, we can extend the quality period of our lives and may even add a few years to our lives.


Controlled clinical studies of ways to extend human life are difficult to accomplish because we live a long time--an average of 76 years. So any research about extending life will take many years to prove its effectiveness. Even so, we can take some actions that will help us live more healthy lives, which in turn should enhance the quality of our lives. (Editor’s note: Future monthly columns will discuss these specific actions.)

Advances in the Practice of Internal Medicine: Specialization in the practice of modern medicine is a fact of life. Physicians concentrate on one specific and precisely defined area of medicine and sometimes fail to take the "whole person" concept into consideration. The most recent advances in the understanding of the practice of Internal Medicine call for a comprehensive rethinking of our approach and require us to consider all of the variables impacting the patient's health, happiness and overall quality of life.

It is extremely important to have an internist that can manage your health as a whole. Coordination of referrals by the internist to sub-specialists as needed can save you time, as well as ensure complete control of your medical care.


Not Sick, but Not Really Healthy: Traditionally people have associated general or nonspecific complaints of malaise, fatigue, general aches and pains and simply "feel bad" with aging. We only go to see the doctor when we have a specific complaint, injury or illness. Many fail to recognize slow declines in mobility, activity and overall health, well-being, and quality of life and just write them off to “growing older”.

We take antibiotics for an infection, pills from our cardiologist for cholesterol or blood pressure, or medication for joint pain. In addition, we purchase over-the-counter medications for the occasional cold, headache, or other conditions as they arise.

Our doctors check for "conflicts" between the medications, but seldom consider the overall net effect on your health and well being. The end result is living in a condition of feeling not really sick, but also not living at an optimal level of health.
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