A hallmark of Pritikin is its strong medical presence. Ten physicians, all board-certified in fields such as cardiology and endocrinology, provide each guest with the expert medical attention required for achieving major life changes smoothly and successfully.
While most health/spa programs charge significantly extra fees for medical appointments and tests, the following medical services are standard at Pritikin:
- Comprehensive 1-hour history and physical, and includes dietary analysis, blood pressure review, medication review, and weight-loss planning
- On-going personal consultations with our physicians to closely track fitness, weight loss, health progress, and changes (often reductions) in prescription drugs for conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. In total, you will spend about 2.5 hours in private consultations with one of our physicians.
- Cardiometabolic fitness testing
- State-of-the-art blood panels, including inflammatory markers, comprehensive cholesterol analysis, and insulin and blood sugar sensitivity
- Exercise prescription for both Center and home use
Adds Pritikin internist Sam Sugar, MD, who is also on the faculty at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine: "Outside Pritikin, in the 'real world' of medical care, we doctors have little time to listen. About seven minutes. Then we pick up a pad and write a prescription. We can do a lot of harm that way. At Pritikin, we take seriously the Latin meaning of the word 'doctor' – which is 'teacher.' We spend a long time listening and educating. And the payoff is priceless. Patients tell me, 'I never really understand my medical situation until now, and I haven't felt this good in years.'"
Concurs cardiologist Ronald Scheib, MD, Medical Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center and previously Chairman of the Board of Trust at the Miami Heart Institute: "It is altogether rewarding to watch the improvement in patients involved in the Pritikin Program. It is even more rewarding to understand we are dramatically improving quality of life and potential longevity."
Additional Medical Services at Pritikin Include:
Sleep Disorders Evaluation and Treatment
A good night's sleep is vital for our heart and overall health, and can even help us lose excess weight. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is particularly harmful to the heart. To confirm a diagnosis, you would normally need to spend the night in a sleep clinic. At Pritikin, overnight testing is easily set up in your hotel room. Also included, if needed, are highly effective treatments for controlling sleep apnea.
Controlling sleep apnea has priceless benefits, including improved blood pressure, improved diabetes control, more daytime energy, and the ability to shed excess pounds more easily.
Your Pritikin specialist may discover that your sleep disturbance is caused by something other than sleep apnea. Whatever the cause, we can help you get to the root of the problem – and get back to the many rewards of a long, restful night's sleep.
Biomechanical and Musculoskeletal Evaluation (BME)
Knee, shoulder, or back pain? Old injury bothering you? Does pain get in the way every time you try to start an exercise program?
If so, make an appointment with one of our two biomechanical consultants. Each has more than 25 years of orthopedic experience helping hundreds rediscover the joy of movement when it's pain- and injury-free.
Your evaluation consists of two life-changing sessions.
In the first, which is 90 minutes, one of our biomechanical consultants will assess you from head to toe, analyzing your posture, alignment, gait, muscle strength, range of motion, flexibility, and any pain or discomfort you feel in your daily activities. You'll then receive personalized exercise instructions based on your unique needs.
You'll also receive written step-by-step guidelines and pictures of the exercises for future use when you return home, plus a dictated narrative detailing each exercise's purpose and benefit.
In the second session, which is 60 minutes, one of our university-degreed exercise physiologists will make sure you're performing every exercise correctly. And together you will design your daily home fitness routine.
State-Of-The-Art Diagnostic Testing Of Your Heart And Circulation
The newest, most scientifically advanced diagnostic tools can detect cardiovascular disease in its early stages, sometimes years before a heart attack or stroke occurs. These tools are now at Pritikin.
When it comes to heart disease, it's what you don't know that can hurt you. With Pritikin's testing, you can actually see what your arteries look like. Utilizing these tests, your doctor will prescribe the most appropriate intervention.
And seeing any build-up of plaque in the arteries can fire one up, like never before, to exercise and eat well. Pritikin's testing, which involves new vascular ultrasound technology, is noninvasive and completely safe. There is no pain, no radiation, no iodine, and no claustrophobic MRI experiences. The testing will provide you with sharp, exquisite images of your:
- Carotid arteries, to evaluate blood flow and identify any blockages or plaque;
- Beating heart, to assess any valve leaks and narrowing;
- Abdominal aorta, to evaluate blood flow and if you have plaque or aneurysms;
- Legs' arteries (especially important for people with diabetes), to assess blood flow and identify plaques.
DEXA Bone Density Scan
Osteoporosis is characterized by thinning, brittle bones and deterioration of bone tissue, leading to an increased susceptibility to serious fractures of the hip, wrists, spine, and ribs.
Osteoporosis afflicts women and men. It is called the "silent disease" because it is symptom-free until a bone fracture occurs. With DEXA, the most advanced assessment of bone strength, you and your physician can take steps to treat the disease before you're at risk of fracture. You will also learn how to prevent bone loss. No other bone density test can match DEXA for dependability and accuracy.
DEXA Body Composition Scan
Your weight as measured by the scale is far from the whole story. The scale doesn't tell you how much muscle mass and body fat you have. It's important to know because gaining muscle and losing body fat greatly enhances your health and your weight-loss efforts.
The DEXA Body Composition Scan calculates your percentage of lean muscle and body fat from head to toe.
With the Pritikin Program, you certainly lose fat. But you also gain lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn – and the quicker you reach the leaner body you want.
More muscle mass means you look better, too – leaner, fitter, more toned – regardless of what the scale says. It's far healthier to be 220 pounds with a high percentage of muscle tissue than 220 pounds with little muscle.
The DEXA Body Composition Scan is also very motivating. No matter what the scale says, you know you're on the right track. You can feel it, you can see it, and your DEXA results prove it.
If you are staying two weeks or more, you will also receive a free follow-up scan. You'll actually see the extraordinary effects of the Pritikin Program in each area of your body.