A retired physician details how various preventative measures can fend off disease and disability in this consumer health guide.
Schilling (A Survivor’s Guide to Successful Aging, 2014) had a family medicine practice in Canada for many years before retiring and now runs a health information website. He writes that too many in his former profession focus on treating a patient’s symptoms with various medicines instead of addressing the underlying causes. He begins this book by highlighting stories of famous people that he feels were “failed by medicine” (Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, Michael Jackson), and then segues into the scenario of a modern-day “Joe” who experiences dangerous side effects from prescribed medications before having the “motivation and willpower to follow through on lifestyle changes” that “solve his medical problem without medication.” Schilling then spends the bulk of the book citing studies that support various measures for staying healthy at the cellular level, which may help prevent heart disease, cancer, joint problems, and brain atrophy. As Schilling notes, “Balanced nutrition with organic food, vitamins and supplements and exercise will all contribute to having optimal mitochondrial function.” He also covers several alternative therapies, including intravenous chelation treatments to flush out toxins and, most particularly, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, saying that “If your doctor still recommends [synthetic hormones], maybe remind him that human females are not horses!” He then dedicates an entire chapter to the importance of hormone balance for both men and women. Although Schilling ventures into some controversial territory in his latest book, it’s generally an engaging, helpful synthesis of ideas that draws on reputable research from the Mayo Clinic and other sources. Overall, it serves as an intensely detailed wake-up call to the importance of preventative health. Schilling’s citations of studies can be a bit dizzying and overly scientific at times. However, he largely brings an accessible and even-tempered tone to his narrative, warning readers, for example, that preventative health measures can only aid in “a delay of aging, not ‘eternal living.’ ”
A thought-provoking, impassioned plea to be proactive about one’s health.