Understanding (animal) health in a new way: Prevention in focus
When it comes to the concept behind our Aniveri Analysis as a preventive check-up, we always talk about recognizing health problems as early as possible in order to take preventive action and prevent chronic stress. But what does “preventive medicine” actually mean and why does prevention still seem to have a low priority in the small animal sector in the west?
Disease and prevention
Before considering the term “preventive medicine” in detail, the definition of a disease should be clarified. An illness or disease is a “disorder of normal physical and mental functions that reaches a level that has a subjectively or objectively perceptible negative impact on the performance and well-being of a living being.” (Medical experts at DocCheck, 2022 ). We speak of disease only when the human or animal’s life is noticeably restricted internally or externally and their well-being is reduced. According to the textbook Prevention and Health Promotion, prevention, precaution, prophylaxis or prevention includes all approaches that “aim to avoid the occurrence of diseases and reduce their spread and effects.” (Hurrelmann et al., 2014) According to Hurrelmann (2014), it is crucial to “delay or completely eliminate” the causes of disease.
The German Society for Nutritional Medicine and Prevention (DGNP) describes preventive medicine as the “key to the health of the healthy and sick” and also emphasizes the importance of individuality: “Preventive medicine is about analysing individual human risk factors […] in order to promote healthy behaviour.” (German Society for Nutritional Medicine and Prevention, 2021) The Aniveri Analysis is based precisely on this concept. Using comprehensive data combined with ICP-MS (mass spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma) laboratory analysis of a hair sample, it filters out individual sources of danger, in this case toxin loads or nutrient deficiencies. Animal owners can then optimise their pet’s food and other aspects of everyday life, i.e. “promote health-compliant behaviour”, as suggested by the DGNP (2021).
Types of prevention: Classification of the Aniveri Analysis
According to the DGNP (2021), a distinction is made in preventive medicine between three different types of prevention. Primary prevention is about maintaining health and preventing disease. Possible causes of health restrictions should be identified as early as possible, even before damage or illnesses actually occur. This type is therefore mainly geared towards healthy creatures. Secondary prevention, on the other hand, is about preventing the progression of a disease or recognizing it as early as possible. The course of the disease should not worsen or become a chronic limitation. Tertiary prevention, on the other hand, aims to prevent the deterioration or progression of an already manifest disease, such as a tumour.
The Aniveri Analysis can basically be considered primary prevention. First, ICP-MS laboratory analysis provides an overview of the toxin load and the nutrient supply over the past six to nine months. In combination with the recorded animal-specific data, such as breed, body constitution and activity level, previously unknown correlations and asymmetries can then be identified. If the entire ecosystem around the animal is taken into account, based on a few parameters, conclusions can be drawn about the geographical environment or the quality of the drinking water etc. The analysis results are a valuable tool, especially for individual adjustment or optimization of the pet’s food. Needs-based feeding is very important, particularly for the animal’s (intestinal) health. The Aniveri hair analysis can also be used on animals that are already suffering health problems. As already highlighted in some of our previous articles, the DGNP (2021) points out that cases of “common diseases” such as obesity (overweight), arteriosclerosis, diabetes, tumour diseases and many others are constantly increasing, and not only in humans. A holistic approach should be the priority for tackling this.
importance of maintaining health
“Every person (healthy and sick) benefits from preventive medicine – because prevention is better than cure […]” – cited on the website of the German Society for Nutritional Medicine and Prevention (2021). The corona pandemic has also pushed the necessity of precaution to the fore as the aim has become to prevent and be ahead of potential infection. However, we generally only consult a doctor, or take our pet to the vet when there is already a health issue. Medicine today is still mostly about how to treat diseases and symptoms that are manifest already, not how to prevent them.
New technologies such as artificial intelligence and data-based applications, in combination with scientific rigour, make it possible to calculate any imbalances in an individual’s health. The Aniveri Analysis is a digital monitoring tool and preventive examination for use alongside other diagnostic methods and the expertise of vets. It represents a move away from a disease-focussed approach, to one based on health.
List of sources:
Medical experts at DocCheck. (4/03/2022). Illness – DocCheck. DocCheck Flexicon. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from https://flexikon.doccheck.com/de/Krankheit
Hurrelmann, K., Klotz, T. & Haisch, J. (2014). Textbook on prevention and health promotion (4th, fully revised). Hogrefe AG.
German Society for Nutritional Medicine and Prevention. (2021). Definition of preventive medicine. dgnp.de. Retrieved on February 14, 2023, from https://www.dgnp.de/wir-ueber-uns/definition-der-praeventionsmedizin.html
Spork, P. (28/01/2022). Preventive medicine: How we treat diseases before they develop. ReefReporter. Retrieved February 14, 2023 from https://www.riffreporter.de/de/wissen/praevention-medizin-frueh-behandeln-leben-in-gesundheit