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Living a Life, Well: April 24, 2019

While many patients come to the doctor to find answers to their medical questions—doctors are now asking patients to answer some important questions about their health. “Do you just want to be well without disease, or do you want to be optimally well where you’re aging in a very vital and functional way?” It’s a critical question Lee Health internal medicine Dr. Salvatore Lacagnina asks patients during their visit. “I think people want to be well, but the standard American approach to wellness is let me take a pill and continue doing what I’m doing or let me have a procedure and continue doing what I’m doing.”

Instead, he empowers patients to take control of their health using the wellness wheel. “The wellness wheel that Lee Health developed is a real interesting concept because it has six areas that we should focus on to be optimally well,” he said.

The wellness wheel focuses on nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, and mental and behavioral health. Addressing each part of the wheel can help patients improve their overall health.

“When you start out looking at the wheel itself, it sometimes can be overbearing to think that you have to do all of those things at one time. So, what I really find out from my patients is what are you ready to do,” said Dr. Lacagnina.

The readiness evaluation helps to determine which part of the wellness wheel patients are most eager to address. “You will need to do some work, and you have to be willing to do that because you are either going to sacrifice something now or sacrifice later on—and later on means, you’re sacrificing the quality of life, the longevity of your life and those things really matter,” Dr. Lacagnina said.

By determining what patients are ready to change and then prescribing ways to get them started---doctors are helping people improve their health and take control of their lifestyle.


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