Check Your Health Offers Chance to be Proactive About Wellbeing

By Dr. Ron Hunninghake, MD

The Riordan Clinic’s preventative health initiative was originally developed in 1992 by clinic co-founder Dr. Hugh Riordan, MD. Dr. Riordan and the clinic’s fellow co-founder, Olive White Garvey, shared a vision that measuring nutrients and understanding individuals’ nutritional needs can maintain and restore health.

Prevention is key, and since 1992, the Riordan Clinic has offered opportunities to measure your nutrient levels to help reduce the risk of chronic illness and the need for long-term care.

Now known as “Check Your Health,” the program was originally called “Beat The Odds.” Dr. Riordan believed that individuals could improve their long-term health by increasing their understanding of the factors that are known to reduce the incidence of degenerative disease and slow the aging process.

The next event will be held this month. Riordan Clinic is now accepting appointments for lab draws on weekdays from September 11-22. These simple tests take about 15 minutes for a quick blood draw. Please keep in mind when scheduling that all but one requires fasting. Lab draws can be done at either of the Riordan Clinic locations in Wichita or Overland Park and will be processed through the Bio-Center Laboratory in Wichita. Results will be available in approximately two to three weeks.

The Beat The Odds name was originally chosen because of the expectation that those who participate will, over time, have fewer diseases such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease than would be statistically predicted. Dr. Riordan’s goal was to reduce the incidence of degenerative disease to less than half of what would be expected in the general population. It was also expected that by slowing the aging process, participants could enjoy greater vigor and productivity later in life than would be statistically predicted for the general public.

In the 35 years I have practiced nutritional medicine and worked with the Riordan Clinic’s nutritional testing program, nothing I have discovered is more important than understanding your individual nutrient levels. This is a cornerstone in building a personalized nutritional protocol, diet, and lifestyle that will strengthen and fuel your biochemistry. At the Riordan Clinic, we build individualized care programs that are unique to each of our co-learners.

The program has evolved over the years with the addition of educational programs, health fairs, changing lab profiles, and supplement sales, but the core of the program has been and remains, nutrient testing so participants can use the data to learn which nutrients they may be deficient in and how to replenish their nutrients as close to their ideal levels as possible. Prevention can catch hidden nutrient deficiencies long before they eventually manifest as illness.

The original Beat The Odds program offered one lab profile that tested key vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acid levels. Those profiles have also evolved over the years. Participants in this month’s Check Your Health event can choose from one of five profiles: Mega, Nutrition, Advanced Wellness, Basic Wellness, and Hormone. All were designed to accommodate different testing needs and price points. Our fall event pricing represents a discount of up to 45% off the regular price.

Brief descriptions of each of these panels are available in this newsletter and online at

An early review of the Beat The Odds program in late 1994 showed a wide range of deficiencies in participants, which continues to be true. Various things can contribute to nutrition deficiencies, including poor diet, stress, digestive dysfunction, and chronic inflammation.

When giving presentations, I ask the audience what they believe is the most important nutrient. Some would often say vitamin C or D. In reality, the most important nutrient to each individual is the one they are lowest in, which can vary from person to person. Too frequently, people fail to eat a balanced diet, instead filling up on sugars and oxidized fats – what I call “anti-nutrients.” People often eat more food, but it is less healthy and provides less nutrition. The digestive system is not absorbing and metabolizing what nutrients are consumed.

You can also think of your nutrients being tested as analogous to your vehicle’s fuel gauge monitoring your gas reserves. Sometimes, one or two people in the audience at presentations would admit to running out of gas sometime in the last year. I compare nutrient testing to the fuel gauge because it helps you know how to prevent a problem. When it says your gas is low, you take action, and it helps you avoid a problem. Nutrient testing works the same way. If you know what you are low in, you can take action to correct it before it becomes a problem.

Dr. Riordan defined health as having the reserves to do what you need to do and want to do with enthusiasm. If you don’t know what your reserve is, you are more likely to run out of gas.

I encourage participants to repeat and compare their Check Your Health results. Several participants return each year to ensure their current care plan is still on track. You aren’t the same person from year to year. All kinds of things can happen to a person in the course of a single year, such as illness, stress, and environmental changes.

Education is an important component of the Check Your Health program. Join me for the upcoming Lunch and Learn event at noon on September 14, in person at the Wichita clinic at 3100 N. Hillside and virtually via our YouTube and Facebook channels. I will discuss “Mitochondrial Mayhem: Correcting the Root Cause of Cancer” and further explain the importance of measuring your nutrient levels and their impact on your health. There is no cost for the program, and a healthy lunch will be provided for in-person attendees at 11:30 a.m. Reservations are required for in-person attendees and may be made online at or call 316-927-4791.

The Mega, Nutritional, and Advanced Wellness Profiles will include a 30-minute virtual appointment with Laura Vasquez, MSN, APRN, NP-C to discuss results. Call 913-745-4757 to schedule an appointment.

Any individual who is taking supplements or considering supplements should test their nutrient profile to ensure that they are having a desired impact on nutrient levels. Cancer is one of the diseases that Dr. Riordan believed could possibly be prevented by regularly checking your health. The Terrain 10 approach to integrative cancer care follows that belief, and “Test, Assess, Address, Don’t Guess” can be applied to nutrient supplementation as well.

The Nutrient Store will also offer discounts during September. A 25% discount on all supplements and other products will be offered from September 18-22. All participants in the lab profiles will also be given a coupon for a 25% discount to use later when your lab results are available.

Please see page 6 for a description of each of the five lab profiles available this month. Prevention is key … Check Your Health.