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Health and Nutrition 101: Advocating for Your Health Can Save Your Life – San Clemente Times

Posted: August 15, 2021 at 1:45 am


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By Gina Cousineau

As a nutritionist, most people come to me for weight loss, but due to my training in integrative and functional nutrition, my goal is to help my clients live long, healthy, independent, joyful lives.

So, along with a sustainable nutrition approach to lose the weight and keep it off, it is imperative that I teach them to take responsibility for advocating for their health and, in turn, their lives.

All too often clients share with me that their physicians didnt recommend preventative screenings, nor communicate that out of range lab values were concerning. With this, I have uncovered a host of health concerns that threaten to lead to years of disability and shorten my clients lives.

Here is a list of labs, covered by insurance, which I believe are warranted, and necessary, for all ages, along with a host of preventative screenings suggested along the lifespan:

Preventative Screening Tests:

This year alone in my patient population, we have uncovered colorectal cancer in a client nine years overdue for a colonoscopy, an epidemic of osteoporosis and osteopenia (thinning bones), and significant cardiovascular disease, all of which were preventable, treatable, and/or curable, with regular screening and testing.

When looking at these tests above, I too often hear of patients whose blood lipids were out of range, or pre-diabetic, and told simply to lose weight, eat healthier, and exercise.

While our medical care system doesnt allow for the time necessary to further assess risk, I help my clients look at these areas in-depth, assessing family and personal medical histories, accounting for past nutrition and exercise experiences, along with these tests/screenings.

In most cases, I insist on a deeper dive to assess risk, with additional labs and screenings, usually with the appropriate medical specialists, like a cardiologist and endocrinologist.

My recommendation is to start with a primary care provider that is a good listener. Go to healthcare.gov, as well as your insurance provider, and print out these lists of recommended labs and screenings to discuss at your next appointment and be ready to advocate for your health and life.

Gina Cousineau sees clients virtually and in person out of her San Clemente office. Her extensive educationa BS in dietetics and MS in integrative and functional nutritionchef training, and 30-plus years as a fitness professional allow her to help clients lose weight and improve their health. You can reach her at mamag@mamagslifestyle.com, 949.842.9975, and on Instagram and Facebook @mamagslifestyle. Register for her complimentary weekly newsletter at mamagslifestyle.com.

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Health and Nutrition 101: Advocating for Your Health Can Save Your Life - San Clemente Times

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