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Is Donald Trump OK? Concerns about his physical well-being and cognitive fitness started circulating long before he became president. Trump’s health matters — he has to be in shape both physically and psychologically to do his job. That’s why they release the results of his yearly physical each January.
Now, the public wonders if the White House doctor’s claims about the president’s health being “excellent” are accurate. The man is borderline obese, doesn’t exercise, and eats Big Macs. Is he really in good health?
Trump gets a different annual physical than you
Trump’s physical was more thorough than most. | BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
In general, people over the age of 65 undergo more intense physical exams to screen for age-related diseases. Donald Trump’s doctor takes this a step further.
The president gets an EKG and likely other expensive tests that doctors usually advise against unless they’re absolutely necessary. If there’s an issue with his health, they want to catch it as early as possible to preserve his life. Health care costs are already high enough without everyone getting these kinds of exams whenever they want them.
Next: Trump’s doctor isn’t worried — but maybe he should be.
Here’s what the doctor said
Dr. Jackson’s comments seemed selective to some. | Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Every annual physical offers the White House physician a chance to discuss any health concerns with the president. Despite speculation, he only had a few things in mind.
Dr. Ronny L. Jackson reported that the president is in “excellent health” despite being overweight and not exercising as much as he should. He apparently does not smoke or drink alcohol, but his poor diet might be something Trump wants to work on.
Next: Trump’s reported diet might hint that he isn’t actually fine at all.
Is his diet putting him in danger?
Trump’s diet is famously bad. | Donald Trump’s Instagram
Several sources have warned us about Donald Trump’s dietary preferences — pretty much the exact opposite of the first lady’s. Every time he orders a meal from McDonald’s, he puts more stress on his heart. That, on top of reportedly neglecting exercise, could mean he’s at risk for heart disease, even if the numbers currently say he’s fine.
Next: Are Trump’s meds masking underlying health issues?
He also takes multiple medications
Trump includes aspirin as part of his daily routine. | Source: iStock
From what we’ve been told, the president takes medications for cholesterol, hair growth, and more. Taking medications to improve metrics like blood pressure and cholesterol doesn’t always mean a patient is in poor health. In Trump’s case, these meds could be precautionary.
There’s also the possibility that these meds are the reason Trump’s doctor says he’s fine, even if he isn’t. Having normal blood pressure because of medication, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean your heart’s in good shape. We’ll probably never know for sure.
Next: Is the president mentally fit for his job?
Donald Trump’s mental health
Trump’s recent behavior has caused some to question his mental health. | Scott Olson/Getty Images
Everyone’s much more concerned about Trump’s cognitive fitness than they are his physical health. He’s previously been recorded speaking erratically and slurring his words — and though Twitter won’t ban his account, many of his tweets cause many to question his mental state.
Dr. Jackson says he also isn’t concerned about the president’s cognitive health. Unfortunately, the test he used to screen Trump for early signs of dementia might not have been enough to foresee a problem.
Next: Here’s what early signs of dementia actually look like.
Is he at risk for Alzheimer’s disease?
Trump’s father suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. | Global TV via YouTube
The older you get, the higher your risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. At 71, the president is automatically more likely to experience cognitive decline over the next decade or so.
Though Dr. Jackson said there isn’t evidence Trump is heading down that road anytime soon, some experts say the screening test he used isn’t good enough to prove it. He probably should have also undergone a psychiatric evaluation, but did not do so.
Next: Did Dr. Jackson lie?
Why did his physician lie?
The evidence doesn’t seem to correspond with the doctor’s findings. | SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
It’s likely he — technically — didn’t. This was a report that followed the president’s annual physical, and based on his clinical observations, Dr. Jackson likely gave his professional opinion believing Trump’s health is fine considering his age and occupation.
Without a detailed medical history and a personal evaluation from a licensed psychiatrist, from the outside, the public can only make assumptions about how physically and mentally fit Trump might be.
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