Dr. Lee, the Healthy Professor

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Use Of Questionnaires to Determine Nutritional Deficiencies

In his book, "Nutraerobics" (Harper & Rowe), Dr. Jeffrey Bland calls the symptomatology approach 'early warning risk factor intervention.' He says:

There is considerable difference of opinion today among health and nutrition professionals regarding the concept of optimal versus adequate nutrition. Traditionally, nutritionist and doctors have presumed that the absence of clinical signs of classic deficiency diseases ... indicates that the individual must be adequately nourished.

Greater attention is now being placed on the area of identifying marginal deficiencies and managing them before they actually produce the signs of diagnosable diseases. Experience has shown that detecting and treating these deficiencies at an early stage, rather than waiting for clinical signs, is highly beneficial and may be much more cost-efficient path toward health-care improvement.

A 'marginal deficiency' is a state of gradual vitamin or mineral depletion in which there is evidence of lack of personal well being associated with impaired physiological function. Depletion of the body's reserve of vitamins or minerals goes through several stages. An ASYMPTOMATIC preliminary stage progresses into a stage of BIOCHEMICAL ALTERATION AT THE CELLULAR LEVEL not normally detected by most health assessments or physical examinations. A third stage, called the PSYCHOLOGICAL CLINICAL stage which, if left untreated, finally becomes an ANATOMICAL stage in which a disease is recognized.

... We are not so interested in identifying specific disease processes ... because what we're looking for are the warning signs and the symptoms of declining organ reserve. This is prognosis, not diagnosis. The focus then is on finding in you as an individual any early warning markers to subsequent disease, so that we can design a program to minimize your risks.

Not only does this approach cause no harm, but preventive approaches using nutritional and lifestyle intervention have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing the risk to all diseases of public importance today.


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