How many of us think we will be around to see our children graduate, get married, and have granchildren? Meet Jay, a 43 year old father of two who thinks he will be around into his 80’s and 90’s and will see his kids through the highlights of their lives. Well, Dr. Oz wants us all to take the The Longevity Calculator Quiz, a tool used by Northwest Mutual Insurance Company that can predict what age you will die based on your current lifestyle. Dr. Oz thinks that real numbers will pull us away from the glitter that we use to cover up the realities of life. And what’s Jay’s reality?
His wife Carol’s biggest fear is that Jay will not be around for his family. She knows Jay as her best friend, great husband and father and they have a wonderful life together. But she also knows he lives on a diet of ribs and brisket, enchilados and tacos, chicken fried steaks and cheese burgers and whose favorite pasttime is competing in barbeque competitions and drinking beer. He doesn’t exercise and has gained 50-60 pounds since he broke his back when he was 30.
He has already been diagnosed with high cholesterol, acid reflux and Barrett’s Esophagus. She’s afraid that Barrett’s Esophagus may turn to cancer and thinks he may have sleep apnea.
So, knowing that it’s time to take his health seriously, Jay was brave enough to take the Longevity Test on The Dr. Oz Show and found out what age he is predicted to die. Here are a few of the questions. Jay’s answers are underlined:
1. Family history of heart disease (genes). Family history does not mean it’s going to happen to you. It only means you may have a tendency towards that problem but you can control your own health destiny.
Do you have no relative with heart disease
one relative with heart disease before age 55
two relatives with heart disease before age 55
2. Exercise – controls blood pressure and stress management.
vigorously every day
walk 30 minutes four times a week
five servings of fruits and vegetables a day
less than five, some fast/processed food
fast/processed food regularly
4. Drinking alcohol – poisons your liver, makes you gain fat, clouds decision-making. You may do things that you don’t want to do in your life.
less than two drinks a day
three to four drinks a day 2x week
5 or more drinks at a time more than once a month ( this category takes off six years of your life)
Dr. Oz had Jay take some intensive medical testing, something he wishes all of us could have.
Jay was sent off to Biophysical Corporation to take a cutting edge test which analyzes biomarkers in the blood to get an in depth look at Jay’s overall health. This test helps predict his risk for organ dysfunction like getting diabetes and heart disease.
Then Jay went to the University of Texas Fitness Institute where he received a full body composition assessment. A Dexa Scan determined Jay’s percentage of body fat and bone density. If lots of fat sits around our organs (visceral fat) it impedes our lung function. Jay also completed strength, endurance and flexibility tests.
Jay wore a sleep test device to monitor his breathing during the night to determine if he had sleep apnea.
Jay then met Dr. Oz in New York City at the New York Presbyterian Columbia Medical Center, Dr. Oz’s home base, to undergo a stress test. When Jay worked the treadmill, Dr. Oz said his heart rate immediately shot up which tells Dr. Oz that Jay’s heart is out of shape the way the rest of his body is.
LDL Cholesterol – should be below 100 – Jay’s was 121
Jay was currently taking statin drugs which are suppose to lower cholesterol. Dr Oz said even with the “Quick Fix” statin drugs, his level was high. Not Good
C-Reactive Protein predicts heart attack rates
should be below 1 – Jay’s was 4.1
Glucose should be below 100 – Jay’s was 119.
Dr. Oz said Jay is a scoop of ice cream away from diabetes!
Weight – 260
BMI – 36 – Obese category
Body fat test shows Jay’s belly is 50% fat and that his viseral fat surrounding his organs are compressing in on his organs.
At 43 Jay is predicted to die at 57 – 14 more years to live in his current lifestyle.
His one year old son will be without a dad at 15 years old. Jay will have missed his high school graduation.
His 6 year old daughter will be without a dad at 20. Probably won’t be giving her away at her wedding.
He will have missed having grand children
Three weapons to reverse the numbers and Add Back Years
Dr. Lori Mosca, MD Director of Preventive Cardiologist at New York Presbyterian Columbia Medical Center said Jay was a heart attack waiting to happen. The root cause of Jay’s problem is obesity and poor lifestyle choices.
- Small changes applied constantly can make a big difference.
- swap out high fatty beef with lean chicken and fish
- Portion control – ½ plate should be fruits and vegetables, ¼ whole grains, ¼ protein
- These lifestyle changes will add 5 years
Mark Hyman, MD Functional Medicine Expert reminds Jay he is pre-diabetic. He says Jay needs to eat to control his blood sugar, balance his homones, and reduce cravings.
- Eat protein with every meal.
- Small frequent meals
- Get rid of processed food
- Use spices for flavor instead of sauces like BBQ sauce which can have 66 cubes of sugar per bottle.
- Sufficient fiber in your diet
- Try glucomannan supplement. It’s a Japanese root fiber and acts like a sponge. When you have a few capsules before a meal it reduces the amount of sugar and fat that goes into your bloodstream and reduces the insulin which controls your appetite. It slows down your appetite, lowers your cholesterol, lowers your blood sugar and helps you lose weight.
- These lifestyle changes and 70 pounds of weight loss will add 8 years
Robynne Chutkan, MD Gastroenterologist at Georgetown Hospital addresses Jay’s acid reflux. She points out it is really Barrett’s Esophagus, which is a pre-cancerous condition of the esophagus. In 2004 and in 2006 when Jay had his endoscopy, they saw changes in the lining of the esophagus was can lead to cancer of the esophagus. But it is reversable, starting now!
- Number one thing is to cut out the alcohol. Cut out rather than cut down!!
- Commit to 70 pounds weight loss
- Eat 5 servings fruits and vegetables daily
- Exercise regularly
- After these changes introduce back into diet one beer a day
- These lifestyle changes will add 7 years
- Managing stress effectively with partner will add 2 years
- Taking care of the sleep apnea and acid reflux will add 2 years
Dr. Oz points out that if Jay makes these lifestyle changes, he will add 24 years back on to his 57 for a new predicted to die at 81!
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