Prevention – Could This Be An Answer to Our Health Care Woes?

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Do you want change in our health care system? If so, it is critical to start thinking about health care change in the form of preventative action rather than remaining with the Status Quo.

Our current health care system relies too heavily on reactionary treatments that wait until the problem is acute (and sometimes too late) instead of emphasis on changes in lifestyle that would support a preventative system and better health.

When people get sick, what do they do? The normal course is to make an appointment to see the doctor, and get a prescription for medication or antibiotics. It’s less common to hear of someone treating their ailment or disease at home, with real food and natural remedies.

Why is this the case? Our system is built upon the premise that a doctor who gives you medication will be able to “cure” your disease.  But is this really true?  How often do you hear your doctor talking about real food or natural remedies as a treatment for your health problem? The answer is, you won’t hear this as an emphasized way to improve your health because if you were making less trips to the doctor, soon you would start to see a lot of doctors closing their doors.

The medical system as a whole has made consumers feel powerless to take charge of their own health. As a culture, we believe as though we couldn’t possibly have any of our own answers about why our bodies get sick and that we should rely upon treatment by a licensed medical doctor to get well, or we will continue to stay sick. And yet, in our developed nation where we have the “best health care system” available and the “safest food system in the world”, we are still seeing record numbers of disease and illness, and it’s continuing to rise.

As one example, just look at the statistics on the steady rise in obesity in the United States since 1989 – the numbers are staggering.  Heart disease, cancer, auto-immune disease, and other health problems are also increasing at staggering rates. If our current system was effective, wouldn’t these numbers be going down?

How is prevention different than our current system? Let’s take a look:

  • Prevention assumes that everything you do affects your health, which it does. It comes from a holistic approach, rather than than a compartmentalized view taken by allopathic medicine. In other words, allopathic medicine waits until the problem is noticed by the patient and then treats symptoms, not causes. Preventative medicine knows that every day counts in making your health optimal. It considers diet, stress, sleep, physical, spiritual, and emotional needs.
  • Preventative measures are ongoing. They are continual in nature, whereas allopathic treatments are used only when there is a symptom occurring. Many people have health issues and aren’t even aware of it. It can take days, weeks, or years sometimes to notice negative effects of poor lifestyle habits. That is why preventative medicine is so important.
  • Preventative medicine does just what its name implies – it prevents issues from occurring before it happens or lessens the severity of a problem because action is constantly being taken. Allopathic or reactionary medicine doesn’t prevent anything except the body’s reaction to poor lifestyle, and then can cause or exacerbate other issues in the body because everything is connected. Our organ systems are not isolated from one another and when one system is compromised, it puts a strain on the others.
  • The cost of preventative health care is paid incrementally and falls under a “cost of living” item, and is much less compared to costly intervention recommended by allopathic treatment after a condition has gone on for a long period of time.

Political leaders, CEOs of agricultural and food corporations, the government and leaders in health continually praise our food system. They claim that it is the “safest in the world”. In 2007, President Obama talked about how we spend less than 4 cents of every health care dollar on preventative care. The U.S. Preventative Medicine organization praised his appeal for modernizing health care by investing in prevention. But is he just giving lip service?

The main point here is, it doesn’t seem to matter who’s been in the oval office, the correct approach to health is ceasing to be employed. Our health care system needs a recognizable preventative component. We need to see some results from the money we pour into the health care system – not higher numbers of disease and illness.

We need action and leaders who will deliver!

The time has come to address this issue and put pressure on government and health decision-makers about creating a health care system that values and utilizes preventative care for citizens of our country. As long we as rely on pharmaceutical and allopathic care for the primary treatment of health issues and undervalue the importance of lifestyle changes that really work, we will continue to see a rapid decline in the health state of all people, everywhere.

Write letters to your congressmen and women, and to the president expressing how important preventative care in our health care system is to you.

Grassroots are the key to change

It sometimes seems as though the government and legislation will never listen to our concerns. So even though it is important to become active in the larger, political sphere, it’s even more critical to become involved locally wherever you can. Become an activist and make waves in your local community, or run for office. Start a blog and get involved on message boards and social network sites where you can make your voice heard. The only way we will see change in our current system is from people who get involved and want action.

Any prevention plan that works will include eating diet of whole foods and encourages you to avoid processed foods. That means, literally, foods that are as close to nature as possible. If our ancestors didn’t eat it, it’s probably not healthy to consume.

If you have been noticing the proliferation of food recalls in the news lately, it’s because our food system is one of the most dangerous in the world – a system relying upon automation, heat treating, irradiation, pasteurization, genetic modification, and use of dangerous chemicals and other toxins to produce it. If the situation with our industrialized food system doesn’t change, things will only get worse.

That’s one reason why we are seeing disease and illness in such numbers – because of the consumption of processed foods like grains, corn, nuts, soy, pasteurized dairy products, and meats and meat products laden with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and are from animals on feedlots.

To learn more about the health benefits of raw dairy, read The Truth About Raw Milk, Part I and Part II. To learn more about the benefits of meats and meat products that come from animals on pasture, read Whole and Healthy Meat…Does It Really Exist?

For the past 50 plus years, common medical rhetoric tells us to avoid foods with fat and cholesterol – but in doing so, we’ve caused many of the very debilitating diseases and conditions which have become so chronic in our culture. To learn more about which fats are healthier to consume, read Which Is Better For You – Polyunsaturated or Saturated Fats? 

There are many courageous health care practitioners and doctors who are now coming forward and telling the truth about how important fat is to our health and how we’ve been lied to about this for decades and decades. 

Enjoy Eating Saturated Fats, They’re Good for You- video, Dr. Donald W. Miller, M.D.

Heart Surgeon Speaks Out on What Really Causes Heart Disease – Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D.

Dutch Get it Right and Recognize Saturated Fat Is Not A Problem – Dr. Joseph Mercola

Although a preventative lifestyle will not grant anyone perfect health, it will certainly go a long way toward preventing degenerative disease and illness. A return to traditional, whole foods is the only diet philosophy which supports a truly preventative way of looking at health.

Want to know more about why our current food system is making us sick? Is Cheap Food Really Cheap? The Hidden Costs of Industrial Food

Want more information about healthy foods? Read How Well Do You Know Your Food? Find Out!

Want more information about natural remedies? My Home Medicine Cabinet – What  I Use To Remedy Ailments

For more information about how the role of traditional diets prevents disease, visit the Weston A. Price Foundation.

7 Comments

  • September 28, 2010 - 12:40 PM | Permalink

    Raine, I am fairly certain that when the President or Congress refer to “preventative care”, they are talking about preventative care as defined by the medical profession. This means “screening” for all sorts of conditions, especially high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This means tests,which are often invasive and harmful, and prescriptions for statins,blood pressure medications, and a host of other drugs that are supposed to prevent illness but actually destroy the body. Also radiation such as mammograms, and “preventative” surgery.

    Big Pharma loves this kind of “prevention”, as it gains them lots of new victims, and the Medical profession loves it because it makes people into lifelong “patients” with an ever increasing need for medical care. Profit is everything to them.

    I think it is good to clarify that the excellent ideas you have are totally different from the conventional understanding of preventative care.

    • September 28, 2010 - 12:42 PM | Permalink

      I forgot to mention that vaccinations are considered to be the ultimate “preventative care”.

  • September 28, 2010 - 1:16 PM | Permalink

    Stanley – that is precisely why I wrote this post – because real, preventative care is not actually being employed in our country, on a large scale. And yes, you are right – screenings like mammograms, colonoscopies, x-rays, and other procedures like blood pressure screenings (which actually do nothing), and of course as you mentioned, vaccines. I’m outraged that incentives for preventative care are not put as a priority, but I know exactly why they aren’t being used – because the it is not in the overall health care, medical, and food plan to save lives – it’s to make money. So back to my original point, that preventative care is critical and people need to realize the difference between what most people refer to as “preventative care” and real, holistic prevention that involves avoiding chemicals as much as possible and eating a healthy diet with real food. I am so glad to have someone like you on the side of this important campaign – possibly the most important one the human race will ever witness.

    • September 29, 2010 - 12:55 AM | Permalink

      Glad to be with you on this, Raine. I agree, this is the most important campaign. I have seen a number of people follow your holistic prevention path and you know what? They don’t get sick, their bodies and minds heal, and they have absolutely no need for any kind of medical care.

      I am one of those people. I went from the brink of death to robust good health, just by avoiding chemicals and eating a real food diet,just like you advocate. And with no medical care or drugs.

      Thanks again for spreading this most important truth.

  • September 28, 2010 - 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Raine, thank you for trying to shift our paradigm from reactionary to preventative. In my mind it’s a fundamental principle of life; every action has consequences whether good or bad. If we don’t work to prevent sickness with good nutrition the clock is just ticking.

    Myself having Crohn’s I have seen this first hand in how I approach medicine. I can either face it now or in 20 years after taking powerful drugs that just short term fix the symptoms and mask the real cause. I run into a lot of people with the same disease who would rather stay reactionary. It is sad really. But by education I think people will get back to this mindset.

  • September 29, 2010 - 7:50 AM | Permalink

    Raine,

    Thank you for pointing out our advertisement pushing for prevention as a way to modernize the health care system. We at U.S. Preventive Medicine agree that the solution to the U.S. health care problem is Prevention. While there is some concern regarding prevention as defined medically being just screenings, it is in fact, much broader. The clinical definition of preventive medicine comprises primary, secondary and tertiary Prevention. Primary Prevention is what you speak of, keep oneself healthy by doing the right things, exercise, nutrition, seat belts, don’t smoke, etc. Secondary prevention is the early detection of individuals at risk or who have a condition of which they are unaware (this is the screenings, but some of it can be from questionnaires and histories, as well as diagnostics), and tertiary prevention is the effective management of people with a chronic disease.

    The data is clear that prevention works, saves money and creates a more productive workforce. Now is the time to change our system and place Prevention at the front end. We all must advocate for the appropriate policies and funding to do just that. Thanks for pushing this issue and asking people to get involved.

    By the way our company is U.S. Preventive Medicine, often confused and listed as “Preventative”. :)

    Fred Goldstein
    President
    U.S. Preventive Medicine

  • September 29, 2010 - 12:35 PM | Permalink

    Very interesting to read your post and all of the comments. Keep up the good work.

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