What is Personalized Medicine?
There are over 320 million people in the US, over 7 billion people in the world. But there is only 1 YOU. N=1.
You are genetically unique, yet most health care workers and the healthcare industry ignores this. The standards of care used by most medical practices are set by averaging responses from studies across broad population averages. This often misses its mark because each person’s genetic makeup is different, often in critical ways that affect health.
Personalized medicine is a rapidly advancing extension of traditional healthcare that uses gene-based information – in addition to family history, blood tests, metabolomics and epigenetics such as lifestyle and environmental factors – to customize health management. By combining gene-based, or genomic information, and traditional clinical information, physicians can customize medical care for the specific individual.
In statistical lingo, N is the sample size. With traditional medicine, the sample size for health-related recommendations can equal up to 7 billion. With personalized medicine, N=1.
Not what’s right for 99.9% of the population, but what’s right for you.
What does this mean practically?
At one level, your genetic makeup could mean that a diet that worked perfectly for your neighbor or friend could fail miserably for you, even if you follow it religiously. Or that your progress in a fitness routine is slower, or much faster, than others.
At a deeper level, personalized medicine allows physicians to make accurate predictions about a person’s susceptibility of developing a disease, the course of the disease, and its response to treatment. Armed with this knowledge, physicians can recommend diet, supplement, medication, and lifestyle changes that can reduce the chances of developing the affliction, or its severity. Happily, there are more genes associated with resilience and vitality than for disease, all offering the potential for increased health, wellness, and longevity.
Whether for health or disease, your genes are not your destiny. The way your genes get expressed is strongly affected by “genetic modifiers” including lifestyle and environmental and psychosocial factors. By understanding your unique genetic structure, you can optimize the effects of the positive genes, and minimize the effects of the negative ones.
At the Johnson Center, we practice personalized medicine to deliver customized and effective programs for medical weight loss, maximum productivity and energy, age-management, and optimal health and wellness.