In the latest of many surveys to find the health care system in the United States dead last in efficiency and quality outcomes compared to other industrialized nations I think its time we take a good look at WHY our outcomes in the US are so poor and what we can do about it as individuals.
We spend more money than everyone else of course (which is partly because we are a bigger country) but we spend A LOT more so that point is relatively moot. Most of that money is spent on drugs and surgery. If you look at the news headlines perhaps you have noticed that just about every large drug producer has been busted and fined for bribing doctors to prescribe their drugs. That’s right, here’s a cool $15,000 to put a lot of folks on… (insert any drug you like).
Another interesting tidbit is that a majority of the “research” done to support a drugs efficacy and safety is done by or funded by the same companies producing the drugs. Interesting to say the least. I’m sure you have seen those ads on the TV that have a somber looking lawyer saying “If you or a loved one has suffered permanent damage from talking …(once again, insert drug of choice) you may be entitled to large cash payouts.” Those somber looking lawyers are looking to sue the pants of some drug company because the product that was rushed to market and supported by home made research was found to actually cause severe organ damage. Who knew right?
But here’s the catch. Even if they do get fined by the government or sued by a handful of individuals the few million dollars they lose don’t make much of a dent in billion dollar profits. In fact, some have called the fines and lawsuits “just a business expense.” Sounds like the kind of people you want caring for your health right?
With this kind of irresponsible behavior being allowed it’s really no surprise that our health care system is terrible is it? We are a medication nation that covers up problems until we need to surgically repair something or go on end of life care. We burn through money on excessive tests, evaluations and medication and hope for the best even though anyone who knows the system knows that while this is a recipe for disaster in terms of health it’s a guaranteed win in terms of making $$$.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
Stop listening to their BS advice and find a doctor who actually cares about your health is step one. Look, the best of the best know what to do and can actually help you by recommending SPECIFIC steps backed by ACTUAL RESEARCH that don’t have a bunch of negative side effects.
There are several easy ways to start to regain your health and any doctor, even the paid off ones will tell you lifestyle is a big factor in being healthy. Of course, what those steps are many don’t actually know because they don’t bother to keep current with the information that actually helps people. I write a lot about food and talk about it all day in my practice and here a few things to get you started.
1) You need to manage blood sugar
Chronically high blood sugar leads to weight gain, lack of energy, crabby moods and eventually diabetes. Think about this one a second. The US has crazy high levels of obesity and diabetes. Two condition that go hand in hand and contribute to the development of countless other chronic conditions. But yeah, eat your healthy whole grains, pasteurized fruits juice and low fat sugar bomb yogurt. They are magically safe even though they put your blood sugar through the roof.
The first step in managing blood sugar is to manage your carbohydrate intake. Breads, baked goods, soda, fruit juice, any product with added sugar, all need to go or at the very least be reduced to a very small amount of your total calories. As a guide line I say about a cup of fruit a day is all the carbohydrate the average person really needs.
2) You Need to Eat Whole Foods
All that crap being advertised on TV like cereals, premade meals, etc… total crap. Processed foods have little to no nutritional value and adding back a little synthetic vitamin C isn’t going to fix that. Whole foods are a steak, broccoli, salad, and sliced onion, a handful of walnuts. Foods that are still as close as you can find them in nature and still have a full complement of vitamins, minerals and other health supporting compounds. Nutritional deficiencies found in the cardboard passing as food these days are a big reason most Americans are overfed but undernourished.
3) You Need to Drink Water
In order to be at your best you need to hydrated. The body is made up mostly of water for a reason and you need to keep hydrated for just about anything in your body to work properly. I recommend getting at the very least a pitcher filter. At best a serious water filter from a brand like Aquasauna that will remove pesticide, herbicide and other toxic elements from your water. For every caffeinated beverage you drink add one cup of water. How much do you need? Divide your body weight in half. The number you get is the amount of water you need to drink a day in ounces.
Lastly I want to remind you that making these changes will take a little time so don’t get discouraged if you mess up a night and eat something you shouldn’t or something. Accept that it’s a process and learning to take care of yourself can be difficult with all the bad information out there. You can get control of your health back and together we can make a difference and lets try to life the US out of the cellar of health care quality.
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