Know Your Nutrient Levels to Best Manage Your Health
Posted by Dr. Ron Hunninghake, MD on Sep 30th 2022
Prevention is key to maintaining and restoring health. Since 1992, the Riordan Clinic has offered opportunities to measure your nutrient levels to help reduce the risk of chronic illness and the need for long-term care.
Now known as “Check Your Health,” the program was originally called “Beat The Odds” and developed by clinic Co-Founder Dr. Hugh Riordan, MD. He believed that individuals could improve their long-term health by increasing their understanding of the factors that are known to reduce the incidence of degenerative disease and slowing the aging process.
The next event will be held this month. Riordan Clinic is accepting appointments now for lab draws to be taken on weekdays from September 12-23. These simple tests take about 15 minutes for a quick blood draw. Please keep in mind when scheduling that all but one require fasting. Lab draws can be done at any of the three Riordan Clinic locations: Wichita, Hays, and Overland Park, and will be processed through the Bio-Center Laboratory in Wichita. Results will be available in approximately two to three weeks.
The “Beat The Odds” name was originally chosen because of the expectation that those who participate will, over time, have fewer diseases such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease than would be statistically predicted. Dr. Riordan’s goal was to reduce the incidence of degenerative disease to less than half of what would be expected in the general population. It was also expected that by slowing the process of aging, participants could enjoy greater vigor and productivity later in life than would be statistically predicted for the general public.
In the 30 years I have practiced nutritional medicine and worked with the Riordan Clinic’s nutritional testing program, there is nothing I have discovered that is more important than understanding your own individual nutrient levels. This is a cornerstone in building a personalized nutritional protocol, diet, and lifestyle that will strengthen and fuel your biochemistry.
The program has evolved over the years with the addition of educational programs, health fairs, changing lab profiles, and supplement sales, but the core of the program has been, and remains, nutrient testing so participants can use the data to learn which nutrients they may be deficient in and how to replenish their nutrients as close to their ideal levels as possible. Prevention can catch hidden nutrient deficiencies long before they eventually manifest as illness.
The original Beat The Odds program offered one lab profile that tested key vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acid levels. Those profiles have also evolved over the years. For this month’s Check Your Health event, participants can choose from one of five profiles: Mega, Nutrition, Advanced Wellness, Basic Wellness, and Hormone. All were designed to accommodate different testing needs and price points. Our fall event pricing represents a discount of up to 45% off of the regular price.
An early review of the program in late 1994 showed a wide range of deficiencies in participants, and that continues to be true. A variety of things can contribute to nutrition deficiencies including poor diet, stress, digestive dysfunction, and chronic inflammation.
When giving presentations, I ask the audience what they believe is the most important nutrient. Some would often say vitamin C or D. In reality, the most important nutrient to each individual is the one they are lowest in, which can vary from person to person. Too frequently, people fail to eat a balanced diet, instead filling up on sugars and oxidated fats – what I call “anti-nutrients.” People are often eating more food, but it is less healthy and provides less nutrition, and the digestive system is not absorbing and metabolizing what nutrients are consumed.
You can also think of your nutrients being tested as analogous to your vehicle’s fuel gauge monitoring your gas reserves. Sometimes one or two people in the audience at presentations would admit to running out of gas sometime in the last year. I compare nutrient testing to the fuel gauge because it helps you know how to prevent a problem. When it says your gas is low, you take action, and it helps you avoid a problem. Nutrient testing works the same way. If you know what you are low in, you can take action to correct it before it becomes a problem.
Dr. Riordan defined health as having the reserves to do what you need to do and want to do with enthusiasm. If you don’t know what your reserve is, you are more likely to run out of gas.
I encourage participants to repeat and compare their Check Your Health results. Several participants return each year to ensure that their current care plan is still on track. You aren’t the same person from year-to-year. All kinds of things can happen to a person in the course of a single year, such as illness, stress, and environmental changes.
Education is an important component of the Check Your Health program. Join me for the return of the popular Lunch and Learn event at noon on September 15, in person at the Wichita clinic and virtually via our social media channels. I will discuss “Measure to Manage – Know Your Nutrients” and further explain the importance of measuring your nutrient levels and the impact it can have on your health. There is no cost for the program, and lunch will be provided for in-person attendees. Reservations are required and may be made online at https://riordanclinic.org/check-your-health/ or call 316-927-4791.
All of our lab profiles for the September event include an optional appointment with a provider to discuss results, with either Michael (Mike) Shaw, PA-C, ABAAHP, or Laura Vasquez, MSN, APRN, NP-C. That visit can be done virtually or in person in Wichita or Overland Park. The Mega, Nutritional, and Advanced Wellness Profiles will include a 60-minute appointment, and the Basic Wellness and Hormone Profiles include a 30-minute appointment. Call 316-682-3100 to schedule an appointment with Mike Shaw or 913-745-4757 to schedule an appointment with Laura Vasquez.
Any individual who is taking supplements or considering supplements should test their nutrient profile to ensure that they are having a desired impact on nutrient levels. Cancer is one of the diseases that Dr. Riordan believed could possibly be prevented by regularly checking your health. The Terrain 10 approach to integrative cancer care follows that belief, and “Test, Assess, Address, Don’t Guess,” can be applied to nutrient supplementation as well.
The Nutrient Store will also offer discounts during September. A 25% discount on all supplements and other products will be offered from September 19-23. All participants in the lab profiles will also be given a coupon for 25% to use later when your lab test results are available.
Please visit the Check Your Health page for a description of each of the five lab profiles available this month. Prevention is key … Check Your Health.