HealthMarkers℠ Benchmarking the Biologic Determinants of Your Health
HealthMarkers℠ are standardized and replicable laboratory measurements of an individual’s biochemical makeup that represent the functional health and adaptive capacity of that individual. The basic HealthMarkers℠ were identified during the 30-year tenure of the Riordan Clinic founder and innovator, Dr. Hugh Riordan.
Dr. Riordan reasoned that there was a profound societal need to identify HealthMarkers℠. Everyday thinking had become trapped in a systemic misunderstanding of what true “health” actually was. He and other medical visionaries warned that, in a strange Orwellian twist, our modern health care system had become, in reality, a sickness care system!
“Health care” in modern times has little to do with biologic health. Modern medical care instead can be depicted as an elaborate system that functions in four basic steps: 1.) the doctor names your sickness after it happens; 2.) he prescribes you a chemical or surgical symptom remedy; 3.) his office submits your diagnostic code for insurance reimbursement; 4.) he is paid if he has correctly followed the standard of care … whether you get better or not! Typically, the doctor overlooks the causative role of the patient’s lifestyle choices in his or her illness.
The excuse is often made that doctors and corporations cannot control the lifestyle behaviors of their patients/employees. This is true. Humans are self-responsible beings that resent others trying to control their behaviors. Freedom is a strong human need … even if it means making poor dietary, exercise, lifestyle, and stress-management decisions for one’s self.
Evidence for this poor self-care abounds in contemporary society. Look around: almost 70% of Americans are now overweight. Degenerative illness is on the rise: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, childhood obesity, mental illness, stress burnout, and a whole host of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases are currently overwhelming the health care system.
Health care reform is the buzz phrase of the day. This huge and divisive effort is directed at how sickness care is delivered, to whom it is delivered, and how the costs of delivery will need to be shared. Unfortunately, many medical experts seriously doubt that these reforms go deep enough to address the fundamental cause of this national crisis: poor self-care. In the meantime, health (sickness) insurance costs continue to skyrocket. Annual increases in premium costs of 50% or more have become commonplace.
The basic approach of HealthMarkers℠ to health care reform, simply put, is self-care reform! The simple goal of Dr. Riordan’s discovery is to empower individuals to be self-directed co-learners in an innovative behavior modification program that uses information theory to motivate and guide the care provided.
Information theory has three basic components: Starting Point, Target, and Path to Target. For example, if you own a loaded piggy bank (starting point) and you want the bank’s money (target), all you will need is a hammer to break open the piggy bank (path to target).
The Starting Point for HealthMarkers℠ is the enrollee’s baseline set of biologic values that represent current health reserves. These biologic reserves objectively reflect the composite lifestyle choices of that individual up to that point in time. Poor choices typically deplete resources and result in low reserves, a low overall health score, and a higher risk of stress-related disease.
Once the enrollee’s baseline data has been benchmarked, a Target is then set for each measured test. HealthMarkers’℠ target values are based upon 35 years of data collected at the Riordan Clinic lab, where over 71,000 health marker tests are performed each year. HealthMarkers℠ targets represent the upper echelon of biologic performance, where “optimal wellness” has been researched and documented for each test.
- Measure your biologic constellation of HealthMarkers℠.
- Identify those markers that demonstrate a significant gap between Starting Point and Target.
- Schedule your personal or group consultation with a Riordan Clinic doctor, in person or by video conference or phone, to review your results and create your Path to Target plan.
- Retest your HealthMarkers℠ panel every six months to get a health score to benchmark progress, no progress, or possibly regression.
- Adjust and fine-tune your plan in a progressive manner utilizing over 40 years of professional experience from our Riordan Clinic physicians.
HealthMarkers℠ is the missing piece in medical nutrition and employee wellness today: each individual is unique in their need for essential nutrients and hormones. Many factors impact this “dosage need.” The benefits of any vitamin or any other biologically active molecule depends upon a correct and appropriate dosage that fits the individual consuming that molecule, either as food, supplement, or hormonal replacement.