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How Healthcare Will Impact The Chronically Ill

Medical IronyWe live in a world where healthcare is foremost in our thoughts. With the passage of the new affordable care act, millions of Americans will gain access to “free care”. Now I am not writing this article to debate the merits of the new law. I am writing on behalf of chronically sick people all over the world. The people with gluten issues that go undiagnosed for decades until their bodies breakdown and develop the diseases below. These are the people who will be at a major disadvantage with the passage of the new healthcare legislation. Why? Because their ability to get effective health advice will be greatly hindered. I am writing from the perspective of what “free care” entails. If we take the time to evaluate the current state of healthcare in the US, we will see some very alarming trends:
  1. Cancer is on the rise
  2. Heart disease is on the rise
  3. Stroke is on the rise
  4. Diabetes is on the rise
  5. Osteoporosis is on the rise
  6. Obesity is on the rise
  7. Autoimmune disease is on the rise
  8. Arthritis is on the rise
  9. Treatment of the above diseases with medications is on the rise.
  10. Death rates from the proper use of these medications is the third leading cause of death in the US.
  11. All of these conditions are primarily nutritionally related.
That is not to say that medicine is to blame for the increase in the above diseases. Quite the contrary. You see, the above conditions are largely lifestyle induced. They are brought on by choices we make – foods we eat (gluten, sugar, GMO, etc), exercise we do or don’t perform, chemicals we expose ourselves to, etc. Certainly there are other factors that contribute to these conditions beyond individual control (environmental pollutants, etc), but the largest influence contributing to chronic degenerative disease boils down to choices we make.

Free Care is Not Effective Care

Where medicine fails is in the following three areas:
  1. Medical schools fail to provide adequate education on nutritional sciences. This topic was discussed in detail in a previous post.
  2. Acknowledge that nutrition and other lifestyle factors are more important than the need for medications
  3. Spending adequate time with patients on collecting health information and subsequently on patient education.
As long as the above three elements are flawed, no amount of “free care” given will be effective at achieving the desired outcome or goal – BETTER HEALTH. As it stands, many sick patients are to blame because they also fail to acknowledge diet and lifestyle factors as paramount to their health. Many doctors are to blame because they are guilty of the same crime, but also because they are in the leadership role. Doctor means teacher. To be a teacher one needs to be a perpetual student. Constant learning and evolving is how we grow and get better (i.e. practice). The following is a list of questions that need to be asked and answered to improve the health of the nation:
  1. Will providing free office visits and medicine lead to an improvement in the health of those receiving it?
  2. Has the traditional medical model of using medicine to treat symptoms of disease been successful? How does one define success in this scenario?
  3. What is the TRUE cost of providing healthcare in the form of ineffective treatments?
  4. Is keeping someone alive longer ethical when the means used to achieve said longevity lead to severe deterioration in quality of life?
  5. Can a doctor see 40 patients in a day and deliver quality care?

The Future of Healthcare

I have seen thousands of patients in 13 years of clinical practice. I have saved lives by changing diet and lifestyle in many of these individuals. I have seen patients who were able to stop using medications, recover from diseases with no cure, dramatically improve health as a result of using common sense. I have seen patients who, at the proverbial end of their rope, found hope and resolution with good old fashion “doctoring”. You know – the kind where a doctor spends quality time listening to and physically examining a patient. From there giving solid and sound advice beyond the traditional “Mrs. Jones you need to eat less and exercise more.” The future of healthcare lies in the doctor patient relationship. The doctor must be able and willing to give attention to detail, be willing to listen without passing the “crazy” or “overstressed” judgement so often doled out in clinics today. The doctor must be educated on nutrition and must be a student of physical exercise. The patient has to be open to making meaningful change. The patient has to have a true desire to improve and take an active role in their care, not just swallow a pill. If we were to give this concept a name it would be called “Functional Healthcare” – some have called it functional medicine, but that name implies that prescribing a medication plays a primary role in the process. It doesn’t, and it shouldn’t. The primary medicine’s used in Functional Healthcare are:
  • Nutrition – proper food and identification of dietary deficiencies
  • Exercise – person specific and non generalized.
  • Stress management techniques
  • Sunshine
  • Sleep
  • Spiritual and emotional guidance toward fulfillment
  • Clean air and water
Without implementing these primary changes, no amount of healthcare will be effective. That is why I developed my 100,000,000 Mission. I want to help bring Functional Healthcare to 100 million patients by 2030. If you are a healthcare provider and want to join my mission, need guidance on implementation, etc – contact my assistant, Casey, – If we work together, we can help more people have healthful and happy lives. What are your thoughts? Please share below… Always looking out for you, Dr. O – The Gluten Free Warrior

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