Senior Annual Wellness Visit
After your annual wellness visit you may wonder if your Doctor typically get financial kickbacks when referring patients for various procedures. Yes, they do. Your visit will last about forty minutes to go over the procedures and testing that will be ordered. Here I’m sharing my personal notes used to consider my options.
Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, DO
Osteopathic medicine DO~practice a whole-person approach to medicine, focused on looking beyond symptoms to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors impact well being. Fine a DO here. I prefer an Osteopathic Doctor for my care, the osteopathic manipulative treatments are invaluable for healing.
Shingles Vaccine – most effective between 60-69.Vaccination against the chicken pox virus prevents a painful rash common in older men, but it has limits.
Vaccination comes with some important caveats:
- If vaccination is not covered by insurance, it could cost over $300. The vaccine is covered by Medicare under the Part D drug plan. The manufacturer ($150 is their cost) offers partial rebate coverage to those 60 and older.
- Not everyone builds strong immunity to shingles after being vaccinated. The older you are, the less likely it is that the vaccine will protect you. In those 50 to 59, the vaccine works 70% of the time. It drops to about half that in people 70 and older. On the other hand, the older you are, the more likely you are to develop shingles, so the potential benefit of vaccination is greater—if it works.
- Hypothetically, the vaccine’s protection may wear off over time, although it is not known how long this could take. Doctors may discover that people need a booster shot, as is the case for many other vaccinations.
- The older you get, the more likely you are to get shingles. On the other hand, the older you are, the less likely the vaccine is to provide effective protection.
- Get the vaccine if you want to do everything you can to avoid PHN, although your overall risk of developing this painful condition is fairly small. Originally published: June 2014
Flu Vaccine – not too effective with adults 65 and over. The dose is 4x’s the normal dose for older adults. High dose flu vaccine.
Pneumococcal Vaccine/PPSV23 & PCV13-According to the ACIP recommendations published in September 2014, both pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13, Prevnar 13, Pfizer) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23, Pneumovax, Merck) should be administered routinely in a series to all adults age 65 years and older.
One of the most controversial ingredients in the vaccine is aluminum, a known neurotoxin that is harmful to the cells in our body. It is known to concentrate in the brain, liver, and thyroid.
When we ingest aluminum in our body our kidneys and intestines will work to eliminate this toxin. But when it is injected through a vaccine, our bodies are unable to filter out the toxic metal and it can accumulate. Too much aluminum eventually lead to neurological damage.
Patients at risk or already exhibiting symptoms of neurological disease should be wary. They may see an increase in symptoms after getting their annual routine flu vaccination, Prevnar shots, or the pneumococcal vaccine. This is due to the slow accumulation of toxic metals in concentrated areas of their brains.
“We have found that brains from Alzheimer patients contain approximately 1.4 times the aluminum level found in a control series.”
If you have a healthy lifestyle and don’t often get sinus infections, or fall victim to chronic illnesses which can develop into pneumonia, then your need for the vaccine may not be warranted right now. If you are sedentary and at higher risk for congestive issues then it may be helpful for you.
10 Simple Lifestyle Changes can Naturally Lower Your Risks:
Know your particular risk factors (liver function, spleen function, presence of an autoimmune disorder)
Isolate yourself from loved ones when they are exposed and symptomatic from a contagious virus or infection
Test for a vitamin D deficiency and supplement as needed
Don’t smoke or expose yourself to secondhand smoke
Frequently wash your hands
Eat healthy home cooked meals that are not highly processed and full of chemical additives
Get plenty of rest
See a doctor at the first signs of illness
Properly follow your doctor’s treatment protocol
Actively reduce or eliminate sugary and acidic foods which feed bacterial growth
Tetanus Vaccine-tetanus toxoid is a formaldehyde-immunity, with a reinforcing dose every 10 years.
First of all, tetanus is rare in the United States with only about 100 cases occurring each year. Most who get tetanus are older people who have not ever been vaccinated. Of those who get tetanus, three out of ten die from it. For others, there can be a 1 to 2-month recovery process which usually involves being in the Intensive Care Unit and large doses of antibiotics.
If you have never been vaccinated or your shot has not been updated, it is critical that any open wound you get be properly treated. Keep the wound clean, apply antibacterial ointment and wrap it with a bandage, changing the dressing at least once a day. Since deep wounds to the foot are more at risk for tetanus, it is a good idea to always wear shoes while outside.
Other ingredients included in the tetanus shot include:
- Formaldehyde – used as a liquid preservative but is considered safe in vaccines because it is used in small amounts.
- Thimerosal – controversial because it contains mercury. This ingredient is no longer used in the children’s vaccines for tetanus but is still used in tetanus shots for adults.
- Aluminum Phosphate – The Environmental Defense Fund suspects this ingredient is harmful to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems but is used in tetanus shots in safe amounts.
- Sodium Phosphate Di-basic – creates acidity in the blood which gives the vaccine a boost to work properly.
- Sodium Phosphate Mono-basic – used for its fungicidal properties.
- Sodium Chloride – also known as table salt.
- Distilled Water – is what most of the vaccine is made up of.
Vaccines Revealed…get the current information about vaccines.
Blood Pressure & Breast Exam
American Cancer Society Says: Cut Back on Mammograms Now
A report created in 2015 by the U.S. Preventative Task Force (USPTF) rattled the conventional oncology community when it first came out. The report, which was finalized this past January, recommended that women cut their exposure to mammograms by half:
“The evidence reviewed by the USPSTF indicates that a large proportion of the benefit of screening mammography is maintained by biennial screening, and changing from annual to biennial screening is likely to reduce the harms of mammography screening by nearly half.”
Pap Smear / Cervical Cancer Screening – Older than age 65: You can stop having cervical cancer screening after age 65 if you do not have a history of moderate or severe cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer and if you have had either three negative Pap test results in a row or two negative co-test results in a row within the past 10 years, with the most recent test performed within the last 5 years.
Bone Density Screening~test for osteoporosis, every 2 years after 65.
What blood tests are done to test for osteoporosis? Information on these common osteoporosis and bone health tests:
Vitamin D 25(OH)D blood test.
Ionized calcium test.
Intact parathyroid hormone blood test (iPTH)
24-hour urine calcium excretion test.
Thyroid hormone function test (TSH)
N-telopeptides crosslinks (NTx) urine marker of bone resorption test.
One of the drugs given for low bone mass~Fosamax is supposed to prevent age-related bone damage. Instead, people who took the drug may suffer from a wide range of side effects, including femur fractures, jaw problems and esophageal ulcers.
Colonoscopy– every 10 years (preferred). Risk involved.
Other methods include the following tests:
- Yearly fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test with high sensitivity for cancer
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years – smaller and shorter~make sure it’s being cleaned correctly.
- Double contrast barium enema test every 5 years
- Computed tomography every 5 years
- Fecal DNA test (interval unknown)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a very common disorder, and medical therapy is very safe. Concerns about endoscopic treatment modalities are the limited safety data and unclear long-term effectiveness in relieving symptoms. Endoscopic treatments can result in serious complications, including death. Therefore, it is unclear at this time, who is the ideal candidate for these procedures. Many gastroenterologists have chosen not to perform these procedures so they are limited in availability. What are the diagnostic tests done before the endoscopic anti-reflux procedure? Patients should go through a complete evaluation for GERD with several tests prior to the endoscopic treatment procedure.