Understand You’re Only Treating Symptoms
It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing doctors for health problems that are preventable. I made this mistake myself.
Over ten years ago, I was seeing 5 different specialists, and taking a handful of prescription drugs for my acid reflux, abdominal pain, chest pain, joint pain, back pain, sinusitis, and numerous other symptoms. Although I believed I “needed” my medications, none of them were actually working. I did not realize how much my nutrition was affecting my immune system.
Eventually, my health worsened and I experienced a resistant case of pneumonia and prediabetes. Pneumonia is a very serious infection that served as my wake-up call, prompting me to change my diet and lifestyle habits. I focused on low-fat whole food plant-based foods and that decision changed my life. Through food, I eliminated my cough and my pain and I reversed my prediabetes and came off all of my prescription drugs. I was successful because I decreased inflammation and insulin resistance. I boosted my immune system with food so my body healed itself.
With these changes, my health improved, I regained my energy, and I became healthier overall. The impact of food on health is so obvious to me now. However, many individuals, and even some doctors, never reach this understanding.
Anticipate The Cost Of Staying Where You Are
I was talking to a woman experiencing high blood pressure and diabetes for many years. In the past, she was reasonably satisfied with the health insurance she had from her employer. The insurance covered her medications for about $30 a month. She accepted her situation as not so bad (assuming things wouldn’t get worse).
She decided not to worry much about taking all the medicine, even as the number of pills began to add up. We have a natural tendency to get complacent when something feels easy and cheap. However, as time passed, the insurer began changing which drugs were covered and which were not. The medication was changed over and over again as her health steadily worsened. The final indignity was the day she turned 65, enrolled in Medicare, and her drug costs (for exact same medications) skyrocketed to nearly $400 per month.
This story is not uncommon. Consumer reports surveys found that costly prescription drugs are forcing many individuals to cut back on groceries to pay for their medicines [Ref 1]. Paradoxically, fresh fruits and vegetables are the best way to improve health and get off prescription drugs.
Take Control Of Your Own Health
Most doctors and hospitals are experts at stabilizing acutely ill people in a crisis, but not very good at prevention. Wellness and prevention are not usually the main focus of traditional medical school education. For this reason, the Western health care system is referred to as “sickness care”.
Furthermore, medical care, itself, can cause serious or even life-threatening side effects or complications. So the bottom line is that we want to avoid unnecessary medicines and procedures as much as possible.
The best way to do this is to strengthen your own immune system to prevent illness and help the body heal itself.
Instead of feeling discouraged, it is possible for you to take back control of your health. It starts with strengthening your body’s self self-healing capacity through diet and lifestyle choices. You can help your body heal itself, prevent illness, and reduce your dependence on prescription drugs naturally.
Check out this related cheat sheet to learn 10 Ways to Strengthen the Immune System, today.
Ref 1. Too Many Meds? America’s Love Affair with Prescription Medication. Consumer Reports Website. https://www.consumerreports.org/prescription-drugs/too-many-meds-americas-love-affair-with-prescription-medication/ Accessed February 20, 2019.
Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a physician, health coach, workplace wellness consultant, and speaker. She helps people heal themselves with food. Through wellness workshops and courses, she helps companies create healthy, energetic teams.
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