What is lifestyle medicine?
Lifestyle Medicine is an emerging area of medicine whereby rather than treating the symptoms of disease, the focus is looking at the cause of the disease, and exploring areas of the patient’s life which could be exacerbating and leading to their symptoms. Evidence-based practice is then used to help individuals to improve their health and quality of life by changing and sustaining lifestyle behaviours. Examples of this are making changes to the diet, or practicing stress relief techniques.
Which conditions can be managed by lifestyle medicine?
There are many symptoms and illnesses in which lifestyle can cause or contribute to. Examples of conditions which can be improved and often treated with changes to lifestyle are:
weight problems | high cholesterol | high blood pressure | type 2 diabetes | fatty-liver disease | chronic pain | joint pains |depression | anxiety | lethargy | chronic stress | reflux | IBS | food intolerances | hormonal problems | infertility and autoimmune diseases.
If appropriate Dr Hodgkinson can refer to other practitioners such as nutritional therapists and acupuncturists.
What happens during a consultation?
You will be given a questionnaire to complete at home before your appointment. The consultation lasts for one hour. Dr Hodgkinson will take a detailed history including personal, family and medical history. She will explore your diet, exercise and sleep habits, your sources of stress and how you cope with it. She will assess your health concerns and evaluate your symptoms.
She may suggest some necessary tests such as blood tests to help to get a full picture of your health.
Changing your lifestyle habits will be the main way of treating and managing your chronic disease. Our goal is to work with you and to give you a lifestyle plan which is tailored to you, which you can implement and sustain, giving you the tools to make changes in your life to improve your health.
What happens after the first consultation?
Dr Hodgkinson will then usually advise a follow up appointment lasting for 30 minutes a few weeks after implementation of lifestyle changes.
If you have had blood tests then you will be advised to book a 20 minute telephone appointment to discuss the results of the tests and any further advice based on the results. If you would prefer to come and discuss this face-to-face, the consultations are for 30 minutes.
Further appointments if required will be discussed with you. If you would like to come and speak to Dr Hodgkinson at another time that is not prearranged, then you are welcome to book an appointment using the online system.
Will I still see my GP about my chronic condition?
Yes absolutely. Lifestyle consultations are designed to compliment rather than replace the need to see your GP. Chronic conditions which can be attributed to poor lifestyle are focused on. Any other chronic condition and acute medical problem will need to be managed by your own doctor.
Can I get a prescription for my chronic condition?
Dr Hodgkinson will offer advice on lifestyle changes and may suggest supplements. She will not prescribe for medication which you can obtain from your GP. The exception to this is if you have been consulted for a hormone imbalance and you are managing this with hormone replacement therapy.
What if I have a lifestyle consultation for chronic symptoms including hormonal imbalances?
If following a lifestyle consultation, it is felt that you may have a hormonal imbalance, then hormonal blood tests will be suggested. Rather than a telephone consultation following the results, you will be advised to have a 30 minutes face-to-face consultation to discuss this including suggested treatment options.
Why should I consider a consultation with Dr Hodgkinson?
If you want to learn how to make positive, healthy and sustainable changes in your lifestyle, you may benefit from a lifestyle medicine consultation. Hopefully you will then feel empowered to improve your life for the better!