From Dr. Diane Bowen, director of Centered on Wellness:
Health, wellness and beauty are interlocking circles; each plays a role with the other. As a plastic surgeon and physician it is my goal to optimize health and wellness while addressing issues to improve appearance and to help a person match their appearance to their inner vitality. Because of my goal to optimize a patient’s health and wellness was Centered on Wellness created. We live stressful lives and over time stress affects our appearance and our health. While a person can be a good candidate for a surgery, they may have nutritional issues that need to be addressed ahead of time to optimize healing and recovery.
Hippocrates one of the early fathers of medicine said that “It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.” This is called a whole person approach and is the foundational element to a type of medical care called integrative medicine. Integrative medicine focuses on wellness and prevention and addresses nutritional and genetic factors which can lead to disease. In my opinion, this approach to whole person, well person care was lacking in our community. I have partnered with other like minded providers to be able to be on the forefront of providing whole person wellness care and prevention to our community.
Breast cancer reconstruction is one of my areas of specialty training and an important part of my practice. As part of an integrative approach to their care and to help with healing and recovery, I will often do a nutritional screening. This includes checking levels of vitamin D, the minerals magnesium and zinc and B vitamins. This nutritional screening allows me to develop a supplement recommendation plan that is individualized for that woman’s needs. This is called smart supplementation. This is a much more effective way to guide the choice of vitamins than choosing how much and what because of the latest seen on Dr. Oz or what has worked for your neighbor.
Our bodies were created with an amazing ability to heal itself given the right tools. While we are blessed to live at a time when we have access to all of the medical advances of the 21 st century medicine, let us not forget the basic building blocks of eating healthy, exercising, reducing stress. Sometimes we need more concentrated nutrients than what we can eat and supplements can fill that gap.
Certain vitamins are powerful aids in the fight against cancer and helpful restoring wellness. Certain vitamins and minerals are key to optimizing health and wellness and in recovery from cancer. One of these is vit D. Research is showing that getting your vitamin D level above 50 reduces your risk of breast cancer by 50%. For men, Low D is also associated with low T, and increased risk of prostate cancer. So optimize your vitamin D first before you rush off and get your coupon for Viagra or start
hormone supplements. Who is at risk for low vitamin D? The quick answer is most of us! You are at risk if you work in an office, have either pale skin or dark skin, are older. I very rarely see an optimum vit D level that is from diet and sun exposure alone. Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin, because sunshine converts cholesterol in your skin into vit D that then plays a key role in calcium metabolism and our general health through its anti-inflammatory powers. Like many vitamins and minerals, vitamin D works best when given in its more natural form vit D3 and then when paired up with vit K2. While vitamin D helps calcium get into your cells, vit K2 acts as a traffic cop and directs calcium to go to your teeth and bones and not to your arteries where it is a bad actor and sets the stage for “hardening of the arteries”. Getting your vitamin D level checked is easy and should be done twice a year as your vitamin D levels vary with the season and the amount of sunshine you are exposed to. Once you determine how much vitamin D it takes to keep your levels above 50 then checking once a year should be sufficient unless you are found to be low.
Magnesium is an essential mineral which plays a role in over 300 enzymatic process in our bodies including the activation of ATP which is the body’s fundamental energy currency. Symptoms of low magnesium are muscle spasms, and low cellular magnesium has been associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, migraines, osteoporosis, and stroke. Magnesium is depleted in our soil so that low levels of magnesium are found in our foods. Most of the magnesium in our bodies is found in our bones and cells where it does its work. Often clinical symptoms are better indicators of magnesium status than ordinary blood tests. Many common medications will cause loss of magnesium including some medications including those for reflux like prevacid, some antibiotics, and diuretics. While 400 mg of magnesium a day is the average requirement, stress, lifestyle and genetics can increase our needs to 2-3x that amount daily. It can be hard to supplement magnesium due to its laxative effect on the GI tract. Thankfully magnesium can be absorbed through our skin. Both magnesium oils and creams can be used to supplement or magnesium needs bypassing our GI tract. Epson salt (magnesium sulfate) used in foot soaks or baths is a relaxing way to optimize your magnesium levels.
These are only a few of the key vitamins needed for a whole person, well person approach. In our clinic we take the guess work out of it in determining your vitamin levels by using the latest lab testing to get a detailed report of your levels. From these lab results we can formulate an individualized treatment plan according to your needs to help you reach your optimum wellness.
Call us to schedule a consultation today to get started on your wellness journey!