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Early detection goal of new women's health clinic

Posted Oct 04 2009 11:11pm
((( article link London Free Press )))
By JOHN MINER, FREE PRESS HEALTH REPORTER

In her role as an emergency room doctor, Lori Teeple often wishes she could roll back the clock when 60-year-old patients arrive with their diabetes out of control, suffering a heart attack.

"I look at them and think, if somebody had sat down with you in your 30s or 40s and talked to you about diet and got you on an exercise program, could this have been prevented?"

Then there are the women bedridden in their 70s with fractures of the spine because of osteoporosis.

"I think if someone had got you on a walking program with proper calcium in your diet, and taking appropriate bone medications if needed, none of this needed to happen," Teeple said.

The frustration of dealing with patients suffering diseases that might have been prevented is behind Teeple's decision to open the West Edge Medical Clinic for Women in London on Jan. 16.

"In emerge, we are trying to patch up and put Band-Aids on. This I see as helping the person never need the Band-Aid in the first place," she said.

West Edge Medical will have both elements of a fitness club and medical clinic.

Woman will be given the normal OHIP-covered medical checkup, blood tests for cholesterol levels and referral for relevant screening tests such as breast examinations.

But in addition, they will have their body fat analysed and their nutrition evaluated.

"They will bring in to me a three-day log of the foods they have eaten. I plop that into a program that analyses their nutrition and at the end of it I sit down with them," Teeple said.

"I will also do a physical fitness appraisal on them. I get them on the treadmill, I test their strength and the flexibility of their joints."

For the testing that isn't covered by OHIP, women will pay a $200 fee.

Teeple said a woman might be told she is only getting half the amount of calcium she needs a day and that puts her at fairly significant risk of osteoporosis from a diet point of view.

Patients will be given a list of things they can do to reduce their personal risk of developing breast and colon cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

The assessments will take 1 1/2 hours for each patient and Teeple expects to handle six patients a day.

Visit the Women's Natural Health Center
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