Genetics-Based Care: I’m Trying Wild Health, Here are my Thoughts 30 Days In
Personalized health care, driven by your genetics. That’s the tagline of Wild Health, a Precision Medicine service that helps achieve optimal health by providing personalized, genetics-based care.
It’s no surprise if the name Wild Health or the term Precision Medicine sounds familiar — in 2021, CrossFit Health launched CrossFit Precision Care, a service that, in partnership with Wild Health, worked to provide an individualized and proactive data-driven approach to lifelong health. This year, CrossFit transitioned all of its members to Wild Health.
Wild Health, started in 2019 and run by a bunch of “CrossFitting doctors,” works with everyone from professional athletes to everyday people — not limited to CrossFit — to provide holistic, personalized health care. Genetics is the center of Wild Health’s work; they use the unique blueprint of your body to create this customized care.
I was given the chance to experience Wild Health’s health optimization protocol firsthand, going through the entire process from start to finish. 30 days in, I’m here to give an update.
Worth Noting: Around six months ago, I gave up tracking everything — I ditched my Whoop, SugarWOD, everything and anything — because it fueled my anxiety, and I felt information overload. I’ve been operating for the past half-year with a “do whatever feels good” mentality, which has worked pretty well.
- I went into my Wild Health journey knowing three important things about my body and lifestyle: I love fitness and feeling fit, I don’t want anyone to make me track what I eat, but I am curious about long-term health, and how to best serve my body.
How it works: The basic setup of Wild Health looked like this: After getting bloodwork, a DNA test, and completing health logs, I had an introductory meeting with my Health Coach.
- (Wild Health provides a care team for every member, composed of a Health Coach and Physician. The Health Coach is there for questions, to help guide lifestyle changes, and to help set goals, while the Physician is responsible for interpreting and explaining lab and DNA results, ordering additional tests and providing medical guidance.)
When my DNA and blood results come in, I would schedule a call with my Physician, who goes through a 50-page report telling me everything about my body and genetic blueprint. This document would be the base for my customized care: my Health Coach and Physician will work together to provide lifestyle optimization choices through supplements, diet, macro and micronutrients, and recovery activities to help me perform better in the gym and in life.
My First 30 Days: The team at Wild Health deserves a hand, because their onboarding process is truly as simple as it gets.
When you sign up for Wild Health, you’re given access to a dashboard — containing everything you need from data, appointment scheduling, intake forms, and more — and sent a handful of emails, some welcoming, some logistical.
The welcome email gave a good bit of insight into the program, noting that it was a very holistic program that combines all of the in-depth analysis of genetics (insert science jargon here) with an entire care team that would help me meet my health goals with physical, mental, and spiritual lifestyle changes.
With that welcome email, I received my lab requisition for what seemed like a million blood tests, a DNA test, and an invitation to fill out several health forms and logs.
- Again, kudos to Wild Health — the blood work was as easy as it gets. They handled the logistics with the company, all I had to do was sign up for an appointment online. Even the appointment was easy; I was in and out in less than 15 minutes.
- The DNA test was just as simple. Wild Health mailed the kit to me with a return label; all I had to do was swab my mouth and ship it off to the lab for analysis.
I found the health forms and logs interesting — they weren’t what I typically expect from a medical experience. Along with asking for my medical history, current medications, and other administrative information, they asked for some athletic benchmarks, my typical day of eating, my mindfulness habits, and my goals.
Then, it was time for a call with my Health Coach.
This initial call was a get-to-know-you call; my coach asked questions about my habits, hopes for the program, and more, all based on the information from the intake forms I completed.
Two things that stuck out:
- There was no pushing or aggressive suggestion from my Health Coach. They listened to what I wanted — to learn everything I could about my body and find the right balance of health for my lifestyle — and were receptive.
- And, noting that I had a bad history with food and tracking calories, space was made to acknowledge and discuss the prospect of nutrition. My coach recognized that tracking macros or having a diet may be a negative experience for me. I appreciated this touch, knowing that they were taking my entire health and habits into account, even though it was in the past.
First impressions in a nutshell: At first, to me, the idea of Precision Medicine was a bit intimidating. But Wild Health walks you through the process with ease, holding your hand at every step and making it as simple as possible.
- Even from the initial consult, I felt like their care team was providing truly personalized care, from the simple touch of acknowledging an experience that could be negative for me. They listened to what I wanted without pushing standards, statistics, or generalized care down my throat.
- The holistic approach to care is refreshing. Filling out a health intake form that didn’t focus only on my health, weight, and daily medications was a different, welcome approach. Immediately, it made me take a step back to consider my health from a more comprehensive perspective.
Next up in my Wild Health journey? The 50-page, comprehensive health report that will give me insight into my unique genetic makeup. After I receive it, I’ll be back with another update (and most likely, new health goals).