Dr Julie T Chen MD

"Healthy Initiative, Transforming the Nation's Health"I always tell my patients in my clinic of integrative medicine in San Jose CA that when you try to fix early disease states or address early symptoms that just are not quite right, you are essentially heading off a catastrophe before it happens.

The reason this is important is that most diseases are years in the making. If you start to address your early symptoms that don’t seem quite right, you are likely able to fix the problem before the disease fully develops.

There was a recent story lately on the news about an HIV baby that was treated with a full cocktail of HIV medications as soon as the baby was born and after it got the early full dosage therapy, years later, they are finding that the HIV is almost non-detectable in the body even without medications currently. They are now just monitoring the young child to make sure that the viral count in the body remains non-existent. The virus was so effectively suppressed that they thought maybe the child was misdiagnosed years before but the genetic studies show some traces of the virus in the body but is now not obviously active.

I was very interested in this story because it just goes to show us that when diseases are addressed early on with medications, supplements or lifestyle changes, very good things can happen. This is what I’ve always said to my patients. There is absolutely no point in waiting for the disease to fully develop before you take it seriously. The time to take it seriously is as soon as you notice something is not right.

I have seen a lot of my patients who are pre-diabetics change their lifestyle and get their blood sugars into the solidly normal range. Along with the positive lifestyle change, usually their cholesterol, weight, energy, and quality of sleep improve.

I use the HIV baby story not to say that I am a strong proponent of always using medications early in a disease state, but rather to say that something should be done early on and that ignoring symptoms or labs that are borderline abnormal isn’t the best course of action in your quest to achieve overall health.

For those readers who know of someone who is pregnant with HIV, this story may be worthwhile for her to bring up with that someone so that she can talk to her doctor about it. For those of you who are fortunate enough not to have HIV or know of anyone with HIV, I want to use this story to remind you that when you address a disease state or symptom early on in its course, you will always end up ahead of the bad things to come. So, if there is something that is concerning you about your health, please see your doctor or nutritionist or gynecologist or psychiatrist sooner rather than later. Ultimately, doing so will lead you to a healthier and happier place…because we all know that preventing a spill is always easier than cleaning up a mess afterwards.