Published: March 1, 2012 | Updated: May 7, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Chronic diseases are heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis and are the most common and costly of all health problems for Americans.
These chronic diseases are also the most preventable, stressing the importance for early detection.
Some believe early detection, like an ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.
One Hernando county physician has implemented a practical approach for local patients to spot small problems before they become big ones.
Dr. Adel M. Eldin, M.D., specializing in internal medicine and cardiology, his practice is Brooksville Cardiology, explained his health and wellness program, which focuses on preventative care. He presented his program to more than 50 participants gathered at Palace Grand in Spring Hill, listening to testimonials from patients who have experienced success with the cardiology center.
"It's possible to detect problems before there's an emergency and 95 percent preventable, given our knowledge, medications and lifestyle modifications," Eldin said.
But there's one problem, Medicare and other insurance companies don't cover preventive screenings without the presence of symptoms, he advised.
"Insurance focuses on illness, rather than wellness," he said. "Wellness is there for you."
"When you invest in your health, you won't have to be part of the insurance jungle out there." Eldin said. "I've spent five years introducing a new program that identifies risks, teaches preventive care and provides an on going partnership in healthy living."
Brooksville Cardiology is a medically supervised program to prevent disease and guide people into health-related choices. They review family and medical history, assess current status, identify areas that need attention and implement a plan. The patient is involved in the decisions for well being. His staff is trained to perform screenings, non-invasively to look inside arteries for plaque buildup that can cause strokes (brain shock), aneursyms and heart attacks.
One patient drives from Ocala to come to Brooksville Cardiology.
"Dr. Eldin showed me more compassion than any doctor my whole life," said Errol Wiles. "I signed up for this program two months ago. It's been a positive experience."
He mentioned that he plans to move to Jacksonville, but will continue being a patient, driving to Brooksville for appointments.
"We become your partner and coach, not just a specialist attending to one symptom at a time," said Dr. Eldin. "We have a model we are proud of."
The member fee is $150 per month. Covered medical services include two office visits for routine check-ups, baseline cardio-vascular testing including treadmill exercise stress test, echocardiogram, vascular studies, 24-hour Holter monitor testing, monthly Coumadin check, interrogation of cardiac devices, annual flu shot, year round supply of recommended supplement of Black seed, e-newsletter, personal access to physician through email up to one time per week and referrals to other specialists when needed. Members also receive access to a webinar which features educational programs on health.
There are no denials for coverage under the plan for pre-existing conditions and no additional payments are needed for tests such as co-pays. Additionally, there are no referrals or pre-authorizations for testing. Open enrollment is available throughout the year.
"This is the way health-care is headed," he said. "We want to boost the immune system and prevent diseases."
One supplement he recommends is Black seed, or Nigella sativa. It's also referred to as black cumin.
"Nigella sativa (black seed) is an important medicinal herb. In many Arabian, Asian and African countries, black seed oil is used as a natural remedy for a wide range of diseases, including various allergies," according to a study found on the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes for Health website.
Black seed oil proved to be an effective adjuvant for the treatment of allergic diseases, based on the research.
The seeds/oil has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, antimicrobial and antineoplastic activity. The oil decreases blood pressure and increases respiration, according to other research regarding its pharmacological and toxicological properties.
The seeds have been used in the Middle East to treat asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and related inflammatory diseases.
Researchers at Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have studied that thymoquinone, an extract of N. sativa seed oil, blocked pancreatic cancer cell growth and killed the cells, acting as a Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDAC) for use in psychiatry and neurology as mood stabilizers and anti-epileptics
Studies are in the early stages.
"Black seed has been around for thousands of years," said Dr. Eldin. "It is an old remedy mentioned in the Bible and was found in King Tut's tomb."
Black seed is not recommended for patients undergoing treatments for a medical condition or if they are pregnant or lactating, according to information provided by Envirotech International, Inc., the manufacturer. More information can be found at www.blessedsunnah.com.
Nigella Sativa has five FDA patents in the United States and one in the United Kingdom for the treatment of diabetes, inhibition of cancer cell growth, improvement of the immune system, viral infections, psoriasis and asthma.
Brooksville Cardiology will have a Heart Health and Awareness Day at 5 p.m. on Mar. 15 at the Brooksville location, which is open to the community. For more information on events and the wellness program, Brooksville Cardiology is on Facebook.