Dr. Deborah Harding’s Preventive Medicine for Optimal Health and Vitality
“We start by conducting a comprehensive evaluation to determine your specific metabolism, endocrine system’s functionality, and overall physiology,” says Deborah Harding, M.D. At her 7,000-square-foot Anti-Aging Center, located in Metro West, her clients receive more than just a peek into their health. Based on the results of their Elite Executive Health Evaluation, Dr. Deb and her specialized team develop an individualized program for each patient.
“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to patient care. You are unique, and so are your issues, goals and concerns regarding your health,” Harding believes. By pinpointing what is happening internally, both physician and patient can take a proactive approach not only to healthcare, but also to anti-aging.
A fit body and mind prolong a vigorous life. And by maintaining good health, you can slow down the inevitable aging process.
Triple-board certified in Internal, Anti-Aging and Sleep Disorder medicines, Dr. Deb began a new journey a few years ago after experiencing a “disconnection” from her patients. She saw that the traditional healthcare model did not allow for strong physician-patient rapports for obtaining and maintaining optimal health. She wanted the freedom to offer her patients the latest science without restrictions.
“My practice [then] evolved into a unique concierge medical practice called the Harding Anti-Aging Center, which provides the ultimate personal experience to better health,” says Harding. In fact, clients choosing the full-day Elite Executive Physical even enjoy a private lunch with Dr. Deb. The center offers Follow-Up options, including 24-hour physician access. For $300 per month, patients continue their close rapport with their physician, where they can even text their health concerns to Dr. Deb. Moreover, concierge medicine allows for same-day, on time and unhurried appointments in a relaxing environment.
The center looks and feels like a luxury spa – Marble countertops, a chic front desk, a Mediterranean style lobby, VIP rooms, an executive business center, a multi-media room and conference space. Now, concierge medicine may make some feel a bit apprehensive. In today’s economy should we forego our already expensive health insurance plans and pay out-of-pocket for enhanced services? But, as the traditional healthcare model becomes less effective, more medical practitioners and patients see concierge medicine as a better alternative.
Research has found that boutique medical practices, that is, practices that limit the number of patients seen and opt-out of health insurance plans, can provide more effective and personalized preventive care. And that is the key to not only maintaining good health but also reducing hospital utilization rates. In a 2012 American Journal of Managed Care peer-reviewed article, researchers found that this practice model allows physicians to take a more proactive approach. This increase in physician interaction contributed to “lower hospital utilization and ultimately lower healthcare costs.” Keep in mind that many patients at these medical practices can still use their health insurance to cover screening test costs, while their membership affords them the benefits of personalized healthcare.
The Harding Anti-Aging Center takes the role of your primary care doctor, but with a stronger emphasis on comprehensive anti-aging programs.
Along with preventive anti-aging medicine, in-house bone density and thyroid screenings, fitness plans and new cognitive software, the Center also offers nutrition and lifestyle recommendations for both men and women.
“Our team of anti-aging physicians, certified personal trainers, nutritionists, and chefs will work with you every step of the way to create a unique and targeted nutrition program, to increase your muscle mass, lower your body fat, and increase your metabolic rate,” states the Center.
And because we all need our beauty sleep, the Center diagnoses and treats sleep disorders too.
Although internal youth is the Center’s focus, Dr. Harding and team offer noninvasive cosmetic procedures, including glycolic facial peels, eyelash enhancement, specialized skin care therapies and Dr. Deborah Harding’s Specially Formulated Anti-Aging Skin Care Line.
Above all, Dr. Deb wants to work closely with her clients to help them regain and maintain optimal health. The advanced laboratory analyses offered not only give a detailed picture of her client’s current health, but they are important tools in preventive medicine. As our body ages, inevitably it will succumb to disease. Modern medicine has yet to give us ambrosia, the food of the ancient gods. Preventive medicine, however, can prolong our lives. This is what the Harding Anti-Aging Center wants to emphasize – prevention. And one is not too young to take a proactive approach to his or her health.
March is national colorectal cancer awareness month, yet few are familiar with the risks associated with the second biggest cancer killer in the United States. CRC affects both men and women, claiming more than 50,000 lives per year. Smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, type 2 diabetes, alcohol abuse, a diet high in red and processed meats, increase one’s chances of developing CRC (a highly treatable cancer when caught early). The risk increases after the age of 50, but CRC can make its early stage appearance sooner. Invasive screenings are not that appealing and many patients put them off until it is too late. Among the elite laboratory tests the Center offers, Dr. Deb highly recommends a new, noninvasive screening test. ColonSentry ® measures the expression of seven gene biomarkers (signatures) in the blood that are early warning signs of CRC. If a patient’s risks are high, Dr. Deb will recommend her patient undergo a colonoscopy.
“Colonoscopies are the standard screening exam for detecting colon cancer,” Harding says. Between scopes, however, which can be periods of 5 – 10 years, we need something else to check for changes in our bodies. By incorporating this blood test in their annual physical, patients take a greater proactive role in their health.
In addition to blood tests that detect breast and ovarian cancer risks, the Center offers EarlyCDT ® – Lung. The simple blood test aids the physician in risk assessment and in early detection of lung cancer in high-risk, asymptomatic patients. An elevation of any one of the seven autoantibodies above a predetermined cut-off suggests that a tumor might be present. The Center offers urine tests that check for kidney and bladder cancers too. The goal is to catch disease early and, sometimes, traditional screenings are not enough.
“According to the standard blood test for cholesterol, your levels may be normal, yet you could still be at risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke,” Harding says. “We check cholesterol from a molecular standpoint,” she told me. Individuals with small-molecule cholesterol are at a higher risk of having a heart attack. The reason? It is harder for our bodies to eliminate smaller cholesterol molecules. With the proper therapy we can lower our risks.
For more than twenty-five years, Dr. Deborah Harding has used her diverse medical background and knowledge of preventive science to help her clients live healthier lifestyles. She shares the Metro West facility with her husband of more than thirty-four years, Dr. Victor Harding. Although their practices are separate, Dr. Victor is now transitioning to concierge medicine and is the Anti-Aging Center’s Director of Research. Board certified in Anti-Aging, Sleep Disorders and Internal Medicine, his interests include obesity, cholesterol management and vascular problems. Both husband and wife also serve as faculty members at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine.
Their future plans include merging their practices where anti-aging medicine is under an umbrella of concierge medical services.
“A major goal of the Harding Anti-Aging Center is to further the knowledge of aging, especially as it relates to preventing cancer, dementia, and heart disease.”