August 21, 2023

Ask a Lifeforce MD: How Is This Different From What My PCP Offers?

photo of Perry Santanachote

Written By

Perry Santanachote

photo of Russell Van Maele, DO

Medically Reviewed By

Russell Van Maele, DO

Lifeforce Physician

photo of Vinita Tandon, MD

Medically Reviewed By

Vinita Tandon, MD

Lifeforce Medical Director

Ask a Lifeforce MD: How Is This Different From What My PCP Offers?

Q: I've seen four doctors over the last three years about my plummeting energy levels and steady weight gain. How am I still at square one? 

I have no answers when it comes to my crappy energy levels, steady weight gain, and whether I should be doing more for someone with a history of heart disease (I'm 56 years young). How is Lifeforce different from just seeing another primary care physician? Is the blood panel all that different from a standard doctor-ordered test?

A. The medical system tells you that once you reach middle age you should feel like crap and not have energy. 

People don't feel heard or receive any optimism. They feel like they’re just a number. That’s never the case at Lifeforce.

Common responses people get from their primary care physician (PCP) might be, “There's nothing we can do about this,” “It is what it is,” or “Here are some medications.” Basically, they’re saying they don't have time to tell you how to fix this. 

At Lifeforce, we know it’s possible for people to feel just as good — if not better — in their 30s, 40s, and 50s than they did in their 20s. That’s because we practice proactive medicine versus the reactive medicine that is traditional healthcare.

Proactive vs. Reactive Healthcare

You mentioned you have a history of heart disease and you’re right for thinking about this now. The top five fatal diseases can now often be diagnosed decades before symptomatic — and yet, American life expectancy is six years lower than other first world countries. 

At Lifeforce, it’s our mission to change that. As the first clinically integrated proactive care platform, we give evidence-based recommendations and interventions to help you: 

  • Improve your quality of life

  • Reduce your risk of dying prematurely — including the five diseases that most often shorten lifespan (ASCVD, metabolic syndrome/diabetes, cancer, dementia, osteoporosis) 

  • Slow the aging process

Reactive healthcare, by comparison, falls short in all of the above. It’s only once your disease gets to a certain point will they take action and give you a medication, and when that disease progresses, they’ll give you another medication to manage those symptoms. 

While Lifeforce can’t replace your PCP when it comes to things like your annual physical exam or getting you a prescription for antibiotics, Lifeforce is your partner in proactive healthcare so hopefully you don’t even need to see your PCP more than once a year. 

Here’s a closer look into what we do at Lifeforce that primary care can’t or won’t do.

What Your PCP Isn't Telling You

The Extras: What Your PCP Isn’t Telling You

If you come to Lifeforce with low energy levels, are experiencing weight gain, and are concerned with your history of heart disease, a Lifeforce physician will look at where you’re at and get you to where you want to be. We do this in three phases.

1. Test your levels. 

When you go into primary care and get your blood drawn, they check cholesterol, liver, kidney, electrolytes, and blood counts. The Lifeforce Diagnostic measures all of these biomarkers, plus inflammatory markers, critical nutrients, and a full hormone panel. 

You're getting a much broader look at your biomarkers and health. If you ask specifically for these add-ons at your primary care doctor’s office, they won't do it in most cases because they need a diagnosis code to order it. If they can't come up with a reason for insurance to pay for it, they won't. 

2. Talk to a doc. 

A familiar ritual is people get their blood work checked once a year by their doctor and they say, “You're healthy, there’s nothing to be done, we’ll see you next year.” But you went in saying you felt like you had no energy and felt terrible. Hence the frustration.

As a Lifeforce Physician, I’ll go over your blood panel results with you in detail (and spend time before the consult reviewing your results and goals to prepare your program). We’ll discuss your pillars of health including nutrition, sleep, exercise, stress, and sex — and how you're doing in each category. That's why it's a full half-hour conversation. You're never going to get a half-hour with your doctor.

3. Take action.

At Lifeforce, we guide you in the right direction, put you on a path, and give you the nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals your body should be on. Of course, that’s half the battle. You must also apply lifestyle changes, like adjusting your diet, revamping your exercise routine, managing stress, and getting serious about sleep.

It's not just a financial investment; it's a time commitment. To change your life and lifestyle, you can't do the same things that got you to this point and expect anything different. But we’re here to actually help you.

I’ve seen that patient satisfaction is higher, people are feeling better, their biomarkers are improving, they're losing weight, their sex life is better, and they have more energy. There’s a better way to manage your health! 

— Dr. Russell Van Maele, DO, Lifeforce Physician

Looking for more support to live longer and stronger? 

The Lifeforce Membership empowers you with biomarker testing every three months, unlimited health coaching, plus clinical advice from experienced clinicians all dedicated to helping you look, feel, and function at your best. Learn more here and get started with $200 off. 

This article was medically reviewed by: 

  • Russell Van Maele, DO, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine 

  • Vinita Tandon, MD, ABIM Board Certified in Endocrinology and Metabolism

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