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My 60+ Previous Health Problems

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

It’s important for people to understand from where I started and what I had to overcome in order to get to where I am today.

Some people start out in a great place and ruin their health. I had a lot of challenges growing up, not all of which were related to health, but I’ve overcome them all.

But health was the biggest challenge I faced over a lifetime. 

At the height of my health issues between the ages of 23-26, I was completely disabled to the point where I couldn’t work or school or have friends or be in any relationships. I was just focused on survival and overcoming my health challenges. I didn’t think I would ever be healthy at that point and that I would never get better.

At a certain point, I went from being completely disabled to starting multiple companies.

But being a high-tech entrepreneur with many businesses, being in relationships, and having a rich social life created new challenges that I didn’t face when life was more simple.

For a few years, I would say I neglected my health to focus on building SelfDecode, but I’ve since renewed my focus on my own health optimization in the last year and a half.

I’ve been on a continuous journey and the cutting-edge tools that we built with SelfDecode really allowed me to make leaps and bounds with my health – 10X more than I ever thought possible.

I was always interested in improving my health and started health hacking at an early age. I stopped eating junk food for the most part since I was in high school. But without the right tools and information, I was just swinging blindly and my health just kept declining.

The following were previous health problems that I have completely gotten rid of without the use of any drugs.

My health regimen completely solved all of these problems. Not only did I solve them, but I am significantly better in almost all these areas than “healthy people.”

For example, I went from very low motivation to very high motivation, rather than just having a normal level of motivation. The same thing goes with other areas – I didn’t just fix them to be average, I fixed them to be way above average.

I reiterate, what works for me won’t necessarily work for you, which is why I highly recommend you use SelfDecode to figure out your own personalized regimen.

My Health Problems

Keep in mind that all of these health problems were occurring as I was eating extremely healthy from a standard perspective. I was doing everything “right”, yet I was so unhealthy. This is exactly what motivated me to get into precision health, because I realized one size doesn’t fit all.

If you’ll also notice, none of these problems are considered a serious or deadly disease like cancer, so they aren’t taken too seriously by the medical world.

Mental/Social:

  1. General anxiety
  2. Social anxiety
  3. Inability to handle stress
  4. Mood instability
  5. Depression
  6. Insecurity and low self-esteem
  7. OCD
  8. ADHD
  9. Alexithymia
  10. Antisocial
  11. Sleep: Quality, Latency, Length, Continuity, Tired after waking
  12. Lip/nail biting/hair pulling/teeth grinding and other compulsive behaviors
  13. Libido problems
  14. Restless leg syndrome

Cognitive:

  1. Very low motivation and excessive procrastination
  2. Inability to focus
  3. Brain fog
  4. Poor verbal ability
  5. Poor working memory
  6. Information Processing issues or thinking in real-time
  7. Short-term memory loss
  8. Long-term memory deficit

Fatigue/Metabolic:

  1. Chronic Fatigue
  2. Exercise intolerance – tired easily, getting sick post-exercise, being sore for days after exercise, insomnia and anxiety from intense exercise
  3. Low energy & stamina
  4. Dizziness during exercise & when blood pressure was low
  5. Couldn’t function without 8+ hours of sleep
  6. Glucose intolerance – severe fatigue after glucose
  7. Cold/Poor circulation (feeling cold all of the time, inability to regulate temperatures)

Gut:

  1. IBS: SIBO & Bloating
  2. Flatulence
  3. Constipation
  4. Gut pain
  5. Bloody stools
  6. Nausea, especially while in a car or bus

Skin, eyes, teeth, nose

  1. Tinea Versicolor/Skin fungus
  2. Jock Itch
  3. Itchy skin
  4. Warts
  5. Hemorrhoids
  6. Acne
  7. Hair loss and thinning
  8. Dry eyes and eye sensitivity (overly sensitive to environmental dust, etc…that would cause itching and pain)
  9. Early graying
  10. Gum pain
  11. Cavities
  12. Dandruff
  13. Worsening vision every year (from 11-32 yrs old)
  14. Sunburns
  15. Teeth grinding
  16. Nose bleeding
  17. Hearing loss
  18. Heavy sweating – especially under my arms

Inflammatory:

  1. Pain (knees, back, shoulders, fingers – all from injuries)
  2. Frequent urination and excessive thirst
  3. Brain inflammation
  4. Chemical sensitivity and intolerant to alcohol
  5. Exercise headaches
  6. Post nasal drip
  7. Tinnitus/ear ringing
  8. Chronically stuffy nose
  9. Bells palsy – with multiple flare-ups after the first one
  10. Immunodeficiency
  11. Frequent infections
  12. Early artery hardening (measured by CT scan)
  13. Plantar Fasciitis
  14. Golfer’s & Tennis Elbow
  15. Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  16. Wrist tendonitis
  17. Muscle pain during exercise

Labs That Were Not Optimal

The following are lab tests that I successfully corrected that were increasing my risk of disease significantly.

Most of these were actually not contributing to the issues mentioned above, but rather I still have worked to correct them to lower my risk of future disease.

Out of the normal range:

  • High Cholesterol
  • High LDL-C/LDL particle numbers
  • High Lipoprotein a
  • High APOB
  • High blood pressure at certain points
  • High homocysteine
  • High creatine kinase
  • High Amylase and Lipase
  • High Hemoglobin
  • High phosphorous
  • High IGF-1
  • High IgE
  • High SHBG
  • High Ammonia
  • High lead
  • Low DHEAS
  • Low T3
  • Low free & total testosterone
  • Low ferritin
  • Low zinc
  • Low Arginine
  • Low Histidine
  • Low Proline
  • Low B1
  • Low B3

Out of the suboptimal range:

  • High Alkaline Phosphatase
  • High ALT
  • High AST
  • High LP-PLA2
  • High fasting glucose, HbA1C
  • High GGT
  • High hsCRP
  • High Antimony
  • High Tin
  • Low & High BUN
  • Low white blood cells
  • Low uric acid
  • Low CO2
  • Low Total Protein

Requirements for my regimen:

Generally, in order for a supplement or lifestyle habit to be included in my regimen, it must meet 4 out of the 5 criteria below:

  1. No noticeable harmful side effects
  2. Double-blind placebo-controlled research published showing its effectiveness in my main area of interest
  3. Noticeable and positive effects with a mega dose
  4. More than 1 benefit – it can’t just benefit one specific thing (pleiotropic)
  5. Must improve significant biomarkers or genetic weaknesses

See my complete health regimen here

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.

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